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out through this settlement and on up New Year's Creek, is the finest looking part of Texas that I have seen.

Met ----- Evans on the road.  He had walked from Marion to Washington, and appeared in defence of a horse thief, who was whipped and branded.

Met also Colonel Jno. P. Coles, who is Chief Justice of the county, returning from Washington, where he had been holding a court of probate.  Had a half hour's chat with him on the road.  Said this section of the country is very healthy (so said Miller).  He had been unfortunate in losing several children, but not from diseases of the climate.  His is the only family that has lost children in the settlement -- has been here thirteen years.  Land will produce thirty to forty bushels of corn to the acre, or a bale of cotton.  One hand can make seven to eight bales of cotton.  Dr. Miller thinks seven bales to the hand is as much as can be made in Texas, on a fair average of one year with another.

Arrived at Washington at 3 o'clock.  Found a considerable encrease in building; in March 1836, there were only about ten families here; now thirty, and several houses building.  Put up at S. R. Roberts', who is now a Justice of the Peace, and called Squire Roberts.  Saw Dr. Smith, who was very polite, and took me to his house.  Saw Scates, who is married to the Doctor's daughter, but did not marry until after their return from the runaway scrape.  He lamented very piteously his having sold his headright -- talked of his poverty, etc.; says the Pine Island league cannot be got without a law suit, and he must give us another.  He never got a deed for the Pine Islands, and Menard had laid an eleven-league grant over it.  He has authorized Judge Hood to select his headright for him, which he says he will convey to us -- but, begged me not to say anything to father-in-law's family about it!  I don't like his manner about it, and fear he is not reliable.  He spoke of going to his old neighborhood to make contracts for clearing out lands, which I advised him to do, and offered to go halves with him and advance the money required.

Found here a Mr. Blair of Tennessee, and a Mr. Mitchell from Orange County, Virginia, who are going in a new corps of Rangers against the Indians on the Colorado.  They furnish their own horses and arms, serve a year, receive rations, clothing, $25 per month, and 1280 acres of land.  Pretty good employment for young men without business.[ 6]

Found at the post office a letter written to me by Dr. Barton in March 1836.

Wednesday, March 29, 1837

At Washington. -- Became acquainted with Mr. W. Gant, Member of Congress for the county; Mr. Merritt, clerk of the county, and Mr. Shepherd, clerk Circuit Court.  Burnley not arriving, left Washington after 12 o'clock; stopt and


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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