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Bought of Gary his discharge for three months' service, pay, etc., 320 acres of land, for $50, on account of Guy Richards and myself.[ 4]  Went with him to Gideon Walker to get the assignment executed.  Found the honest J. P. at work on a wagon (Sunday).  Without leaving his work he administered the oath by requiring the party to hold up his right hand while the oath was repeated to him, and signed the certificate on the wagon in the open air, all done in a few minutes.  Fee for oath, 12 1/2 cents, for certificate, 25 cents.

Also bought of Sanders Walker his discharge for three months' service and right to 320 acres of land, for $50.  Also on account of G. Richards and self.

Dined at G. Walker's, and then rode to John M. Walker's; he was not at home.  Determined to wait his return and stay all night.  No corn.  Hobbled my horse and turned him out.  Walker returned at night.  Was unwilling to carry our contract into effect, as he is not able to clear out the league himself.  (These Texans are growing smarter than they were a year ago.)  He, however, acknowledged it to be a fair bargain, and if I insisted on it he must comply, although a Mr. Stevenson had offered the very day that I arrived to clear out for one-fourth and the labor.  We finally settled it at one-third, which I agreed to take, as that is now the common price.

At night I slept in the same room with him and his wife; the same thing at Gary's.  No mock modesty about it on the part of the women; they seemed to regard it as a matter of course, and it is no doubt a thing of common occurrence.

Monday, March 27, 1837

At J. M. Walker's. -- My horse has strayed.  Walked over to G. Walker's to execute the deed from Jno. M. Walker to myself.  Bought of Francis K. Henderson (brother-in-law of J. M. Walker) his certificate of three months service, for $50, also on account of G. Richards and self.  Returning to J. M. Walker's, found my horse had returned.  Set out for Dr. Miller's in company with Captain W. W. Hill, one of the members of Congress for this county, who lives near Dr. M.  Passed over ten miles of beautiful country.  Rich land, undulating prairie, with a good admixture of clear running streams and wood.  Arrived at Miller's at dark; found Burnley there; good supper, good bed, poor log house, like all the rest.  Dr. Miller a Kentuckian, intelligent, but plain, lazy and rich.

Tuesday, March 28, 1837

At Dr. Miller's. -- Mr. Chrisman, the surveyor, came in at breakfast.  He, Miller and Burnley had business, which would take them some hours.  I went on to Washington, where Burnley is to join me at night.  Rode through Cole's Settlement,[ 5]  eighteen miles to Washington.  A beautiful country.  From Washington


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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