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at between $369,000 and $880,000. Vertical Files, Revised Handbook.

20. [p.54]  Andrew J. Yates, born in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 20, 1803, was a college professor and lawyer who acquired a headright in the Zavala colony, which he located near Liberty in 1835. After a brief stint in the army, he joined the Texas commissioners in New Orleans to attend to legal details and perform clerical duties on their behalf. In 1841 he moved from Liberty to Galveston where he practiced law, published a newspaper, and advocated public education. He moved to California in 1851. Webb, Handbook, vol. 2, p. 942.

21. [p.56]  Many different opinions existed about the differences between legitimate land promotions that would benefit Texas and personal speculations that injured the public interest. The Texas Constitution of 1836 invalidated three sets of claims: (1) those by, to, or on behalf of New York speculator John T. Mason from the Coahuila and Texas legislature in 1834; (2) grants enacted by that legislature on March 14, 1835; and (3) eleven league holdings within twenty leagues of the U. S. border in contravention of Mexican general colonization laws. Whether intentionally or as an oversight, the Convention delegates failed to invalidate certain other large grants made in 1835. Lack, Texas Revolutionary Experience, p. 92.

22. [p.56]  The legal system described by Yates was first promulgated for Anglo colonists in Texas by Stephen F. Austin's Civil and Criminal Regulations in 1824. The process of concilación before the alcalde applied to civil cases involving $10 to $200 and derived from Hispanesque procedural law. Criminal regulations in Texas allowed a six-man jury to determine findings of fact and required that capital or corporal punishments would not be inflicted without review by higher authority. In practice alcaldes in the areas of Anglo settlement also improvised in a manner familiar to U. S. traditions. In general, Mexican law was more concerned with legal due process. The colonists complained little about the administration of civil justice, but pushed for and received "reforms" in 1834 providing for English as an official language and for establishment of appellate courts in Texas. Joseph W. McNight, "Stephen Austin's Legalistic Concerns," pp. 247-54, 262.

23. [p.57]  Gray's information regarding the legal dodges that protected slavery in Texas was quite correct. For a fuller description of the Texas efforts to establish and defend slavery amidst Mexican restrictions, of the general support for the institution, and of its subsequent growth, see Lack, Texas Revolutionary Experience, pp. 4, 250-52, 264-65.

24. [p.57]  Recent scholarship on Mexican peonage suggests considerable variety of practice depending on region and period; however, debt servitude was less common and less coercive than is suggested by the information recorded by Gray.  Especially in northern Mexico, peonage most often involved both negotiation

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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