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I got wet up to the knees, both boots full of water.  Arrived safe, found a warm fire, good supper and comfortable lodging.  Washed my feet, put on dry socks and did not take cold.

Friday, February 19, 1836

After breakfast rode as far as Col. Edwards', where I found Mr. Childers.  Waited until after dinner, expecting Chambers and Lewis.  They did not come.  After night Chambers arrived, in company with a Dr. Motley, a delegate to the Convention from Goliad.  Found that Chambers had abandoned his trip to the Falls, and would proceed directly to the United States after waiting tomorrow for Lewis.  They also persuaded me not to attempt to go to the Falls alone, as the Indians were troublesome, and it might be dangerous.  Wrote to my wife.  An express was received at San Felipe last night which brings intelligence of the approach of the Mexican army.  One thousand men have passed the Rio Grande; as many more are on the opposite side, and they are passing over wagons, pack mules, etc.  It is not known where Santa Anna is, but this is supposed to be the advance of the grand invading army.  He has sworn to win Texas or lose Mexico.  The Texeans say if he crosses the Rio Grande he will never return alive.  And if he sustains a defeat or a check here it will be the signal of revolt in Mexico.

Saturday, February 20, 1836

Determined to stay here today and recruit my horse and write letters, to go to Virginia by General Chambers.  Wrote to T. Green and gave Chambers letters of introduction to Patton, Jennifer, T. Green, Dr. Barton, and T. B. B.

General Chambers has a command from the provisional government of Texas to proceed to the United States and raise a brigade of ----- men, to be called the army of reserve for the defense of Texas.  He makes a donation of $10,000 to be expended in that object, and the faith of the country is pledged for the payment of the expenses of the corps, etc.  He has blank commissions, and is authorized to appoint all the officers of the Brigade.

Had much interesting conversation with Chambers on the Texean affairs, and received much information.  He explained the speculation of the 400 leagues differently from John Durst.  Says that Gen'l Mason obtained the first sale of 300 leagues.  Mason attempted to get more, but was defeated by Chambers.  Sam'l Williams was the principal actor in the second sale.  He openly pronounces it to have been obtained by fraud.  The objections to it are that it was authorized by eight members of Congress, which was not a quorum, there being thirteen and two-thirds being a quorum.  The sale was made before the decree was published, so there could be no competition.  It was made to themselves -- Durst


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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