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besides myself were Mr. Prentiss, the member-elect from Vicksburg, Major McNiel, and Mr. Angus McNiel,[ 6]  of Natchez.  Capt. Quitman presided, contrary to all rule.  Angus McNiel was the former partner of J. J. Chewning, "Wilkinson, McNiel & Co.," that failed about ----- ago.  The concern is now nearly wound up, and will come out whole, and something to spare.  He is a large landholder in Texas.  Has travelled all over Texas, and is said to know of the country than any other person in this State.  A very intelligent man, but visionary.  Major McNiel says his views are at least twenty-five years in advance of the state of things.

The military extremely boisterous, but great good feeling seems to prevail.  Prentiss was toaster; made a speech; interrupted by the arrival of a reinforcement of Fencibles, who have just arrived in another boat.  He waited until they were seated, and then went on with his speech.  Declamatory, vehement -- ad captandum -- bad taste.  Reputed a man of first rate talents.  Think him overrated.  Dining party broke up by command of the Captain about 6 o'clock.  Returned to their quarters in order.  House crowded.  Major McNiel slept in our room.  He and I sat up talking until 2 o'clock.

[Memo on inside back cover]

MEMO. GIVEN BY T. GREEN. -- At Nacogdoches get all the information about Texas lands, in what grants the titles are best, and where are the most desirable lands, headrights and 11-league grants.  Do not be in too great a hurry, but examine well, and be very particular.  See the information of Thompson about the purchase of lands.  Keep a diary.  Write T. G. frequently, with a particular description of each tract of land, both before and after a purchase, with the field notes.

Route received by T. G. -- Down the Nueces and Snow River, and on the Trinity, then on towards Austin's Colony, and Robinson's and Williams' grant.[ 7]


 

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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas