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vegetables exceeds anything I ever saw.  From the quantity and excellence of the vegetables, one might suppose it was midsummer instead of midwinter.  Indeed, the weather very much resembles May in Virginia.  Returning from market between 7 and 8 o'clock, saw the Cathedral door open and went in.  A pretty full congregation was assembled, and most of them were on their knees, some reading their books, some telling beads, and some looking as though their only object was to kneel; certainly there seemed nothing devotional about them but the position.  The priest was at the altar, making genuflections, and occasionally a little boy who stood near the altar would ring a little bell, but I could hear not a word spoken.  About the portal stood like statues some dozen of miserable, maimed, decrepit and disgusting looking mendicants, who silently held out their open hands to catch the casual alms of the passer-by.

Introduced by Triplett to Geo. Hancock and Col. Woolly of Louisville, and a Mr. Hawes of Kentucky.  Also introduced to Col. Hotchkiss,[18]  of Nacogdoches, agent of the Texas & Galveston Land Co.,[19]  and Mr. Yates,[20]  who is a New Yorker, and a lawyer, but has purchased largely of lands in Texas, and is going to settle a plantation on Galveston Bay.  He says he shall go largely into the cattle trade; that he will buy some native Mexicans, who have forfeited their liberty by debt, and use them as herdsmen; that they are the best for that purpose, being well acquainted with herding cattle, and are cheaper than blacks.  He showed me a chart of Galveston Bay, which was made under his direction by an old sailor.  I have borrowed it to copy.  Hotchkiss and Yates both speak Spanish.  They have travelled much in Mexico.  Hotchkiss says he thinks some old Mexican titles may be bought for $1,000 per league.  I am much interested with Yates.  He is intelligent and gentlemanly.  Raleigh Green has taken passage in the Brutus; she has one hundred passengers.

Saturday, January 2, 1836

Some difficulty has arisen about the sailing of the Brutus.  She was to have cleared today and to sail tomorrow, but a clearance is refused until some investigation takes place, as to her character, it being charged that she is fitting out to cruise as a privateer against Mexican vessels.

Met today Mr. L. Pearce and Mr. F. Wharton; the latter has left his pretty wife in Tennessee.  Mr. Pearce promised to obtain for me a copy of the laws of Texas, the only one, he says, he believes in New Orleans.

No letters from home since 28th of November.

Sunday, January 3, 1836

The weather, which has been remarkably fine, rather warm, during the past week, has today changed to heavy rains.  I did not go out all the forenoon, except

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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