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distant objects, which loom beautifully.  The Missions are heavy, strong built places, intended for fortifications as well as dwellings.  Says Mexican rights may be bought very low.  And they are the best titles.  Says contracts are obligatory, not revocable, as far as he knows, in the way stated by Yates.  Austin, also, said if there was such a law he did not know it.

Wrote a letter to Mrs. Gray.

Monday, January 18, 1836

Weather warm, and raining.  Prepared to go up Red River in the steamboat Levant, which was to have started today; but in consequence of the rain, postponed until tomorrow, 10 o'clock. 

Wrote to J. Taliaferro, and enclosed contract for loan, and letter to T. B. B. and Mrs. Gray.

Wrote also to J. M. Patton and S. L. Southard, enclosing contracts.

(Yesterday received a visit from Dr. McPherson, the husband of Madame Jerome.  Promised to call and see Madame on my return.)

Went to see R. Marye; found it a home of mourning.  Mrs. Blackwell's youngest son had been buried this afternoon.  His complaint was chronic scrofula.  He was unwell the last evening that I spent there, but I did not know he was so ill.  I was mortified at having been in the city and not knowing the illness and death of the child until after its burial.  His name was George Steptoe.  Her only other son is William Wyatt, who is at school in Frankfort, Ky.  Mrs. Blackwell was sick in bed.

Tuesday, January 19, 1836

The rain is over and gone, and the wind fresh from north; quite cool.  My last care in the city was to call at Wallace's and at the post office for letters.[15]  None!  I have not had a line from Virginia since 7th of December, and there are letters in New Orleans from Fredericksburg as late as 3rd of January.  One from Metcalfe to B. Chew informs that I. Smock died on Christmas day.  Jere. Morton returned to the city last night, and called this morning to see me.  He wishes to go into the Texas loan.

Another loan has been made of $50,000 cash -- and in other respects like the first, only subject to our priority of choice.  It was negotiated by Mr. J. P. Irwin (son-in-law of H. Clay).  Thornton went in $1,000.  Irwin offered them $100,000 for land at fifty cents per acre.  This they refused, as they are not authorized to sell lands, nor are they willing to pledge the faith of their government any further on the terms of the first loan.

General Austin, Col. Huston, R. Triplett, Aug. Slaughter and R. L. Marye came on board to see me before starting.

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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