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Lamar's Efforts to Promote Trade

Locations were being surveyed nearly two hundred miles above Bastrop. Bastrop itself was pictured in November 1838, as growing rapidly, and LaGrange was spoken of as "going ahead" at a surprising rate.[25]  By August 1839, "the most cheering accounts" were being received in some of the older settlements "of the immense emigration to the Upper Colorado and western country."[26]  Yet, a year later, the country between the Guadalupe and the San Marcos, on the west, and the Colorado on the east, above a line drawn from Gonzales to LaGrange, was still a wilderness. Below this line the country was sparsely settled. Between Gonzales and Austin, on Plum Creek were two recent settlers, Isom J. Goode and John A. Neill. From Gonzales to within a few miles of LaGrange there were no settlers. There was not one between Gonzales and Bastrop, nor between Austin and San Antonio. A road from Gonzales to Austin, then in the first year of its existence had been opened in July 1839.

While thousands of emigrants were pouring into Texas in 1838-1839 from depression-ridden United States, a large proportion of them was described as

young lawyers, physicians, clerks and graduates recently from the various universities of the United States. These young men come to our shores lured by the brightest prospects and burning with high hope. They have heard Texas described as an El Dorado, where naught but golden visions cheer the bold adventurer who has but to seek her fertile prairies, and bask in the bright sunshine of uninterrupted prosperity. But alas what bitter disappointment often awaits them! They here find indeed a country unsurpassed for beauty and fertility, and abounding in agricultural wealth; but all this affords them no encouragement. They wander about from place to place, only as Arabs wander amid the fertile fields of Goshen. What is to the farmer a paradise, is to them a desert. The occupations which afford them the means of support, are here either neglected or are already overburthened and rendered sterile by competition. Often have we seen young men of this class, who have been nurtured in the lap of luxury, and who, previous to the period of their emigration, had never known the sting of want, but had been constantly fostered and sustained by wealthy and indulgent parents, here bowed by disappointment, suffering under the most abject poverty, embittered tenfold by the recollection of former and brighter days of happiness and of ease. Our country is yet quite too new and its

25. Matagorda Bulletin, Nov. 15, 1838.

26. Colorado Gazette and Advertiser (Matagorda), Aug. 1, 1839.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963