De Leon's Colony, 1824. De Leon's colony, Texas's only entirely Mexican colony, was founded in 1824 by Martin De Leon, who petitioned the provincial delegate of San Fernando de Bexar on April 8, 1824, requesting permission to settle forty-one Mexican families "of excellent moral character" and create Nuestra...
De Leon petitioned the provincial delegation in San Fernando de Bexar on April 8, 1824, to settle forty-one Mexican families on the lower Guadalupe and establish the town of Nuestra Senora Guadalupe de Jesus Victoria. On April 13, the colonization grant was authorized. The following year, De Leon brought a further eighty-nine families from Matamoros to help populate his new town.
Nuestra Senora Guadalupe de Jesús Victoria is now known as San Antonio. When it was first settled, it was called La Villita (the little village) because there were only about six houses here. Today, this area is part of downtown San Antonio, along with Southtown and Westwood.
In addition to founding San Antonio, Martin de Leon also helped found three other Texas cities: Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Houston. He was not only a brave soldier but also an excellent businessman who knew how to give good jobs to others' slaves. His family business in Mexico thrived under his management so he had enough money to free his son Isaac and send him to school to learn about books and science. When Isaac became a young man, he went back to Mexico to help his father run the business.
Through hard work and dedication, Martin de Leon raised his family up above poverty level, which meant they could afford to buy their own land and build their own house.
Stephen F. Austin founded Austin's Colony, the first and biggest Anglo-American settlement in Mexican Texas, in 1821. It was sanctioned by the Mexican government and permitted the entry of 300 families into Texas. The colony was based at what is now called Austin City Limits and covered about 250,000 acres, most of which is now part of Houston. In addition to Austin, the colony included a number of prominent men from America and England who had come to seek their fortune in the new country.
As president of the Republic of Mexico, Santa Anna granted the charter for the city of Austin on August 16, 1822. The document also included land that is now known as West Austin in its scope. The following year, Austin led a group of 80 immigrants to establish a colony on this land. The colony was successful and by 1825, it had 100 residents who were all British or American born. In addition, there were several Mexicans who had moved to Austin from other parts of Texas who were not citizens of the Republic of Mexico but rather "subjects" of Spain or France, as they were then called. These people were able to work the lands under Spanish or French rule without paying taxes because these countries didn't want to upset the political status quo in Texas.
In April 1824, President James Monroe issued a proclamation offering free land immigration to aid in the development of Texas.
He established a colony of several hundred people on the Brazos River in 1822, and for several years afterwards, as the migration of US citizens to Texas expanded, he was a prominent actor in the conflict between Mexico and the US for control of the region. In 1836, after Mexico won its war of independence from Spain, it agreed to let America have Texas back if it could convince 1 million Mexicans to move there. Many Americans crossed the border into Texas instead, but it was too late to stop them, since the deal had already been made. When the Mexican government refused to pay him for his land, Stephen F. Austin turned him down when offered money to give up claim to 4,000 acres of land. Instead, he left for Mexico to demand the land be given to him, but died en route home.
His main contribution to Texas was beginning the process that would lead to its statehood. He showed other settlers where to go and what to do, and by doing so laid the groundwork for the growth of large cities such as Houston.
Austin's settlement became known as Texas because it was founded in honor of our first president, George Washington.
Martin De Leon (1765–1833) was a Texas rancher and rich Mexican empresario descending from Spanish aristocracy. He was the patriarch of one of early Texas's most important founding families. Both the river and Mexico's president, Guadalupe Victoria, were referenced in the name. His descendants include prominent people such as Senator Lloyd Bentsen and Nancy De Leon Richardson.
De Leon was born in 1765 into an aristocratic family in what is now Spain. His parents were wealthy landowners who owned much of what is now Texas. When Martin was young, his father died, leaving him to manage their ranching operations in Texas. Because there were no schools for white people in Texas at that time, Martin taught himself to read and write by studying ancient books stored on the ranch. In addition to running the family business, he also fought for Mexico against both American settlers and indigenous tribes.
After many years of fighting for Mexico, De Leon decided to settle down. He married Maria Josefa Ortiz de Zúñiga y Alfaro, a wealthy landowner with her own family ranch. The couple had eight children. After his wife's death, De Leon retired to his family's ranch near present-day Austin. There, he spent his last years writing about his experiences during the war with America. He died in 1833 at the age of 65.