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The Republic's Colonization Program

teen years of age within the next three years. They were given two tracts of land, one of which was "situated upon the Río Grande, commencing at a point nearly opposite Camargo and running to El Sal del Rey, thence in a parallel line to a point opposite Dolores, below Laredo."[4]  This tract, however, was never settled by the contractors as it was too near areas occupied by Mexican troops and subject to Mexican marauding parties. The other grant was located west of San Antonio and included that section "now comprising parts of Medina, Uvalde, Frio, Atascosa, Béxar, McMullen, LaSalle and Zavalla counties."[5]  At the same time Houston appointed Castro, a trustworthy and educated Frenchman, to be consul general for the Republic in France.

Without visiting the land which had been granted to him, Castro returned to France in the spring of 1842 and began recruiting colonists to settle a colony in southwest Texas on the Medina River. In the meantime, those French immigrants who had arrived at Galveston and other points on the Texas coast[6]  were authorized to proceed at once at their own expense to San Antonio and select and occupy the vacant houses in that place, and to cultivate such farms as might be unoccupied, taking due care, however, not to interfere with the rights of any citizen who might wish to do the same.[7]  These immigrants were assured that at San Antonio they would find a French consul who

4. Ibid., 785-786; Proclamation of a Colonial Contract between the Republic of Texas and Henri Castro and John Jassaud, February 5, 1842, in Writings of Sam Houston, II, 483-484; Florence Johnson Scott, Historical Heritage of the Lower Río Grande: A Historical Record of Spanish Exploration, Subjugation and Colonization of the Lower Río Grande Valley and the Activities of José Escandón, Count of Sierra Gorda, together with the Development of Towns and Ranches under Spanish, Mexican and Texas Sovereignties, 1747-1848, p. 105; "Report of Joseph Waples, Acting Secretary of State, to the Senate, July 6, 1842," in Harriet Smither (ed.), Journals of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, III (Called Session), 10-12; Telegraph and Texas Register, Feb. 16, 1842. El Sal del Rey (the Royal Salines or the King's Salt) was a salt lake in the lower Río Grande Valley.

5. Julia Nott Waugh, Castro-Ville and Henry Castro: Empresario, p. 4.

6. The Atlante, a barque of five hundred tons from Le Havre, arrived off Galveston on February 9 with sixty immigrants (chiefly farmers) and a considerable cargo of merchandise, and the Amanda, a French vessel, reached Matagorda on June 25, 1842, with "a fine company of emigrants to lay the foundation of a large settlement, which," declared the Telegraph, "we understand is to be composed mostly of Swiss, from the neighborhood of Lucerne." Telegraph and Texas Register, Feb. 16 and July 6, 1842.

7. Houston to Major George T. Howard, Washington, Jan. 24, 1842, in Writings of Sam Houston, II, 440-441.

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