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says a new convention will meet on the first of March; that a full declaration of independence will then be made.  He was in favor of such a declaration in November, and it would then have been made but for Gen'l S. Houston, who would not agree to it.[10]  Col. Houston offered to sell me a league of land near Sabine Bay for $5,000.  It is his own headright.[11]  Too high for me.  He cautioned me against many of the lands that will be offered, the titles to which are not good.  He says if he could sell his land he would immediately buy provisions and return to the army, without waiting for the Commissioners.  He is a plain, unpretending man, uncultivated, and of but little information or genius; apparently honest and moderate in his views.  Thinks a very large majority of the people wish to come into the Union with Uncle Sam; that all wish it except fugitives from the laws of the States, and a few ambitious men who wish to be leaders.[12]

Also a Mr. David Brown, a surveyor in Texas, and Mr. A. C. Allen,[13]  the owner of the armed schooner Brutus, now fitting out in this port, about which there is much talk.  Some say she is to be a privateer, and wish the United States attorney to stop her sailing.[14]  There is a strong monied party here opposed to the revolution in Texas on account of its endangering the trade with Mexico, in which they are largely concerned.  The Messrs. Lizardi, Mexican merchants, residing here are said to be worth $15,000,000.  Allen, and his brother, Jno. K. Allen,[15]  who resides at Nacogdoches, are largely concerned in land speculations in Texas.

Went at night with Col. Causin, Col. Jenifer and Parker to a masquerade ball.  It proved to be a low, vulgar, disgusting exhibition.  Met there several gentlemen that I knew, among them Dr. Carter, Mr. Erskine and Mr. Chinn, spectators like ourselves.  Looked also into a Hell, or Gambling House.  Jenifer and Causin put in $5 each, which Jenifer made bets with.  In a few minutes their stock in trade was gone and we retired.

Thursday, December 31, 1835

Spent the forenoon in visiting different parts of the city, the arcade, cotton presses, etc.  Dined by invitation with Dr. Barton.  Present, Professor Powell, S. Baron, Geo. French and Shakspeare Caldwell.  He said others were invited, who sent excuses, among them J. H. Caldwell, who had an engagement out of the city.

Robt. Triplett[16]  arrived today from Nacogdoches.  He had made a conditional purchase of land in Texas of A. C. Allen, dependent on his being satisfied with the title, etc., after having looked into it.  His investigations have determined him not to purchase, and he has hastened back, to annul the bargain and receive back his deposit of $15,000.  He thinks the titles to lands in Texas are very insecure,

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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