Part 1, Note 30
Click Here to See All Notes to Part 1
The Austin Papers, vol. 1, p. 775; W. A.
Glass and Eltea Armstrong, Colorado County [Land Grant Map] (Austin:
General Land Office, 1946). It is not clear exactly where the settlers lived
before they received titles to their lands. As we have already seen, just before
the titles were issued, the approximate geographic center of the settlement was
Eagle Lake, and the previous summer, Austin had considered that his colonists
were too widely dispersed along the river to properly defend themselves from
Indians. Apparently, at first, most of the colonists on the Colorado settled
between the crossings of the La Bahia and the Atascosito Roads. Within months,
probably because of Indian incursions, many of them moved downriver. The son of
Thomas Williams remembered that his father and, apparently, Caleb Bostwick,
Thomas Jamison, and Moses Morrison, moved south in June 1823, and that two more
families, which he identified as those of a Mr. Harrison and John Bell, moved
south that fall. Certainly others either joined them or were already there,
among them Thomas Tone, who, Williams reports, taught a school in the vicinity
(see The Reminiscences of T. J. Williams, The Center for American History,
University of Texas, Austin). Jesse Burnam stated that, initially, colonists had
settled upriver from his home; but they shortly moved to escape the Indians,
leaving his home, which was just northwest of the present Colorado-Fayette
County line, as the farthest upriver (see "Reminiscences of Capt. Jesse
Burnam" The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, vol.
5, no. 1, July 1901, p. 13). Whatever the settlement pattern earlier, the law
under which the colonists were granted their land required them to settle on it
or forfeit it; therefore, one can be reasonably sure about their residences
after the land titles were issued.
It should be pointed out that many other colonists whose names are important in early county history received land grants that summer in areas that are now in counties immediately adjacent to Colorado County. Among them were Thomas J. Rabb, Andrew Rabb, Joseph Newman, John C. Clark, and Robert Kuykendall, all of whom, that summer, got land on the east side of the river in what is now Wharton County. Jesse Burnam and, well upriver, William Rabb and Sylvanus Castleman got land on the river in what is now Fayette County.