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promised reward he went and brought him in a half hour.  The old Mexican, all this while, had not reported himself, so I left him without his reward.  It is a common trick with them to secrete horses until a reward is offered, after which they are easily found.

Introduced to Asa Brigham, a delegate from Columbia.  He is called here a cornstalk lawyer, which is explained to be equal to a quack among physicians.[44]  Also to Mr. Moody, the auditor of public accounts.

Had some interesting conversation with Chambers.  He has very little confidence in the land titles that are given out at this time.  He says the government with which the Empressarios made their contracts is destroyed, and the Convention of Texas ordered the offices to be closed.  Titles given under such circumstances he thinks would not stand in law, though it is possible and probable that, in the present deranged state of things, they may be permitted to stand.  Thinks the titles given in Milam's Colony are not good; that Milam's grant for colonizing was forfeited, and renewed under false pretenses.  Williamson claims to be Milam's agent, and to have authority to act under an irrevocable power, although Milam is dead.  This Chambers says is not good.  He thinks the civil law, as a rule for property and for practice better than the common law; that the civil law being that under which all the titles in Texas are held, it should continue to be the law of the land.

While my horse was standing at the door, Major Williamson offered me half a league of land in Milam's Colony for him.  But not having confidence in the title -- not knowing what confidence to place in the man, he not having the title here, nor indeed in himself yet -- and not having it in my power to procure another horse, and he being a little lame, I declined the trade.

Went again to the land office, and finding the surveys of three leagues on the River Navidad not taken, I entered one as my headright.

Paid Commissioner's fees     $15 00
      Clerk's fees 10 00
      Stamps 2 00
      Recording 2 00
      Surveyor's fee 48 00
  ------
  $77.00

The government dues, which will be some thirty or forty dollars more, are to be paid in three installments or four, five and six years.  Dr. Peebles is to bring me the deed to Washington by 1st of March.

Left the land office at 4 o'clock, intending to reach Cummins' before dark.  This I should have done, but missed the road on the prairie, and went six or seven miles out of my way, so I did not reach Cummins' until after 7 o'clock.  It was quite dark, and the latter part of the road very bad.  In crossing Mill Creek


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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