xt7x0k26f45h https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7x0k26f45h/data/mets.xml Texas Historical Records Survey United States. Works Progress Administration. Division of Professional and Service Projects Texas Texas Historical Records Survey United States. Works Progress Administration. Division of Professional and Service Projects 1939 217 l.: map, plans, charts 27 cm. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call Number: Y 3.W 89/2:43/T 312/no.202 books  English San Antonio: the Survey  This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Texas Works Progress Administration Publications Archives -- Texas -- Sabine County -- Catalogs Sabine County (Tex.) -- History -- Sources Inventory of the County Archives of Texas. No. 202, Sabine County (Hemphill), 1939 text Inventory of the County Archives of Texas. No. 202, Sabine County (Hemphill), 1939 1939 1939 2021 true xt7x0k26f45h section xt7x0k26f45h ERS|TY OF KEN 95‘


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Prepared by
The Historical Records survey

Division of Professional and Service Projects
Works Progress Administration


* * * x * *

San Antonio, Texas
The Historical Records survey
June 1959



The Inventory of County Archives 2: Texas is one of a number of
bibliographies of historical materials prepared throughout the United
States by workers on the Historical Records Survey of the Works Progress
Administration. The publication herewith presented, an inventory of
the archives of Sabine County, is number 202 of the Texas series.

The Historical Records Survey was undertaken in the winter of 1955-
56 for the purpose of providing useful employment to needy unemployed
historians, lawyers, teachers, and research and clerical workers. In
carrying out this objective, the project was organized to compile inven—
tories of historical materials, particularly the unpublished government
documents and records which are basic in the administration of local
government, and which provide invaluable data for students of political,
economic, and social history. The archival guide herewith presented is
intended to meet the requirements of day—to—day administration by the
officials of the county, and also the needs of lawyers, business men and
other citizens who require facts from_the public records for the proper
conduct of their affairs. The volume is so designed that it can be used
by the historian in his research in unprinted sources in the same way he
uses the library card catalog for printed sources.

The inventories produced by the Historical Records Survey attempt
to do more than give merely a list of records — they attempt further to
sketch in the historical background of the county or other unit of gov—
ernment, and to describe precisely and in detail the organization and
functions of the government agencies whose records they list. The
county, town, and other local inventories for the entire country will,
when completed, constitute an encyclopedia of local government as well
as a bibliography of local archives.

The successful conclusion of the work of the Historical Records
Survey, even in a single county, would not be possible without the sup—
port of public officials, historical and legal specialists, and many
other groups in the community. Their cooperation is gratefully acknowl-

The Survey was organized and has been directed by Luther H. Evans,
and operates as a nation—wide project in the Division of Professional
and Service Projects, of which Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Adminis—
trator, is in charge.






The Historical Records Survey, a Nation—wide project operating under
the Division of Professional and Service Projects of the WPA, was organ-
ized early in 1936 to make accessible the basic materials for research in
the history of our nation. Luther H. Evans organized the Survey, and has
been its national director from the beginning.

In Texas, the Survey was begun on March 14, 1936, with J. Frank Davis,
state supervisor of the Federal Writers' Project, as state supervisor and
Ike Moore as assistant state supervisor. In Fovember 1936 the Survey bBCEML
an independent part of Federal Project No. 1, and Mr. Moore became state
supervisor of the Survey in Texas. On January 1, 1939, field workers had
entered 180 counties. Charles W. Hodges, assistant state supervisor, became
state supervisor of the survey on February 21, 1939, when Mr. Moore resigneé
to accept the position of director of the San Jacinto Museum.

The records of Sabine County were surveyed by Irene Watson, Homer L.
Jarrett, and Christopher C. Woods, under the supervision of Claud Keltner,
field supervisor, from March 16 to October 19, 1937. Verification and
correction of the initial inventory was accomplished between October 13‘
and october 19, 1938, by Mr. Hodges; Virginia C. Holbert, district super—
visor, of Marshall; Joe B. Smith, area technical instructor, of Nacogdoches;
and Carlene Rice, research editor, of Clifton. James 0. Wright, county
clerk, and Charlie Gooch, district clerk, materially assisted in this work.
Editing of the inventory and the writing of accompanying essay material was
carried forward in the state Office under the general direction of Virginia
Smith Huff, supervising editor. Edythe Weiner, of Washington, assistant to
the national director of the survey, edited the first draft of the inven-
tory. It is believed that the compilation of this inventory of the records
Of Sabine County will greatly increase their accessibility.

The Inventory of the County Archives of Texas will, when completed,
consist of a separate book for each county—in the state, the inventories of
the counties being numbered according to their respective alphabetical posi—
tions. The inventory for Sabine County is thus number 202. Inventories of
the state archives and of municipal and other local records will constitute
separate publications.

Historically, records found in Texas county courthouses may be grouped
to correspond to the three major periods in the history of Texas: Spanish
records, covering the period from 1690 to 1821; colonial records of the
Mexican period, 1821 to 1836; and county records of the Republic and state,
1837 to the present. Although Sabine County was organized under the Repub—
lic of Texas in 1837, a fire in 1875 destroyed practically all records made
prior to that date, and this inventory covers the period since 1875.


The present publication is divided into a historical sketch, which
attempts to trace the background and development of Sabine County; an essay
on governmental organization; and essay on the records system; an essay on
the care and housing of the records; and the inventory itself, which is
arranged by bureaus and agencies. The bureaus are grouped on the basis of
their functions: administrative, recording, judicial, law enforcement,
financial, and technical supervision. Preceding the records of each bureau
is an essay detailing the specific duties and functions of that bureau and
a list of its legal records requirements. Within bureaus, related records
are grouped by subject.

The Survey wishes to acknowledge the interest and assistance of J. W.
Minton and J. H. Hinton, of the firm of Minton and Hinton, attorneys and
abstractors, who made available their collection of maps and manuscripts,
and their office facilities. The courtesy of J. Cullen Browning, editor of
the Sabine County Reporter, in making available a copy of his paper pub»
lished February 25, 1887, and of P. P. Gandy, who made available a copy of
The Beddoe Family, is also gratefully acknowledged. The splendid coopera—
EEBh of each—of_the county officials of Sabine County with survey workers
was indicative of the custodians' interest in their records. EPA officials,
local and stateuwide, aided the Survey in every possible way.


The various units of the inventory of county archives will be issued
in mimeographed form for free distribution to state and local officials,
public libraries in Texas, and to a limited number of libraries and gov—
ernmental agencies outside the state. Requests for information concerning
particular units of the inventory should be addressed to the Historical
Records survey, EPA, Smith—Young TOWer, San Antonio, Texas.

San Antonio, Texas Charles YL Hodges
June 21, 1939 state supervisor.
Historical Records Survey


 Table of Contents

Part A. Sabine County and Its Records System

1. Historical Sketch of Sabine County, Texas ........ .......... page 5
Map of Sabine County ...... . ..... ........................ 15
B. Governmental Organization... ............. .................. 18
Charts of Governmental Organization..................... 39
3. Records System.......... ...... . .................. .......... 39
4. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of Records ..... ... ....... . 5
Floor Plans, Sabine County Courthouse.... .......... ..... 48
5. Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes ..... ......... 48

Part B. County Offices and Their Records

I. Commissioners Court... ............ .. ... .
General Proceedings. County Finances. Roads. Schools.
Elections. Miscellaneous.

II. County Clerk as Recorder and Clerk of the County........... 72
Ownership: Real Property; Personal Property. Taxes.
Mortgages. Judgments and Liens. Commercial Records.
Professional Licenses. Vital Statistics: Marriages;
Births and Deaths. Official and Public Responsibility
BOnds. eputations. Military Service. Administration
of Office. Miscellaneous.

III. District Court. ........ ............. ................... .... 100
Court Records: Minutes; Dockets; Case Papers;
Processes; Fees and Expenses; Miscellaneous. District
Clerk's EX Officio Records: Professional Licenses.

IV. County Court .................... . .......................... 118
Probate. Lunacy. Civil and Criminal: Minutes;
Dockets; Case Papers; Processes; Fees; Miscellaneous.
Juvenile Delinquency. Beer Hearings.

V. Justice of Peace Courts. .......................... .... .... 129
Precinct 1. Outlying Precincts.

VI. Grand Jury... ...... . .......... . ....... . ................... . 134

VII. County Attorney .................................. . ........ . 157

VIII. Sheriff ........ . ........................ ...... ........... .. 138
Service and Fees. Jail Register. Miscellaneous.

IX. Constable........ ...... .......... ...... . .......... . ....... . 141

X. Tax Assessor—Collector.... .......................... ...... 145

Real and Personal Propertv Waxes. Poll Taxes. Motor
Vehicle and Chauffeurs' Licenses. Reports:and Fees.


 Table of Contents





Board of Equalization.. ................ . ...................

County Treasurer ...........................................
Accounts. County Funding Bonds. Reports. Miscel—

County Board of School Trustees ............................

County School Superintendent ...............................
Teachers. Scholastics: CensuSos; Attendance;
Transfers; Tests; Transportation. Books. School
Finances: Apportionment; Funding Bonds; School Taxes;
Vouchers, DepOSits, Invoices. Miscellaneous.

County Surveyor ........................ . ......... . .........
Public Weighers ........................................... .
Bibliography ....... . ............................ .... .......
Chronological Index ...................................... ..

Subject and Entry Index ................................... .





(First entry, p. 66)


Sabine County, in deep East Texas on the Louisiana border, is one of
the twenty—five original counties created by the Republic of Texas after
independence was won from Mexico. like most of the first counties, Sabine
is the direct successor of the Mexican unit of local government, the

Until railroad construction in the 1870's opened new ways for trade
and travel, the county was athwart one of the oldest and most used over—
land routes of North America, the Camino Real extending from Natchitoches
on the Red River to San Juan Bautista on the Rio Grande. Explorers,
soldiers, traders, missionaries, smugglers, filibusters, empresarios,
settlers, and statesmen who lived the history of early Texas came along
the road.

From its position at the doorway to the Southwest the territory
witnessed the struggle for supremacy between the Spanish and French in
the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. After France sold Louisiana
to the United states in 1805, the western movement of the Anglo~American
people pounded upon the sabine until in 1821 the Spanish Government author-
ized Moses and Stephen F. Austin to bring settlers to Texas.

Most of the settlers who followed the Austins and other empresarios
from the United States to Texas came either by boat from Few Orleans or
overland along the Camino Real. Stephen I. Austin himself first set foot
in Texas (on July it, 1821) in what is now Sabine Coun.y ("Austin's
Journal," Quarterly 2: the Texas State Historical Association, VII, 288).

The history of Sabine County may be divided into four periods:
French and Spanish travel, l700~l794g Spanish settlement, 1794—1809;
Anglo—American immigration, 1809—1856; Anglo—American control, since

The first white man thought to have penetrated the forests of Sabine
County was Louis Inchereau de St. Denis, the intrepid and colorful French—
Canadian who at the beginning of the eighteenth century was a principal
character in the drama of French and Spanish rivalry for the southwest.
As soon as the French established themselves in Louisiana, their chief
concern became the extension of trade with the Indians and the discovery
of mines. In the young St. Denis they found an able man to carry out
such objeCtives. Operating from Mobile, St. Denis and Jean Baptiste Le
Moyne de Bienville in 1700 led twenty—two Canadians and seven Indians on
an exploration of the Red River Country. Hearing from Indians that
Spaniards were in the region, the party returned, and St. Denis made a
second trip the same year, going to the village of the Natchitoches and
one hundred leagues west to the village of the Caddos, where he was told
that it had been two years since Spaniards were seen. In either expedi—
tion he may have been in the area now Sabine County. According to his
own statement when questioned in Mexico City, he led a third party as
far as the Rio Grande in 1705, following the same route taken later in
his momentous expedition of 1714. To the great surprise of the commander
of the Spanish post at San Juan Bautista, on the Rio Grande below present



Historical Sketch of Sabine County, Texas (FirSt entry, p- 56)

Eagle Pass, who did not know a Frenchman was within a thousand miles,
St. Denis arrived there in 1714 from Natchitoches. In these two trips
St. Denis passed through the northern part of Sabine County in the vic—
inity of the present town of Time. (Carlos E. Castaneda, Eur Catholic
Heritage in_Texas, II, 20—51, and end map of Spanish and French expedi-
tions (Austin, 1936)

The expedition of 1714, of which the most is known, was outfitted
by Antoine Crozat, a French merchant. Leaving Mobile in 1713, with
twenty—four men and ten thousand livres worth of goods, St. Denis dis—
posed of much of the goods among the Asinai or Tejas Indians in East

Speaking of these Indians, St. Denis said in his declara—
tion, "Their land was formerly settled by the missionary
Padres of the College of La Santa de Emeretaro, who aban—
doned the site twenty—six years ago /he meant 22, from 1693
to iVi§/. There are eleven tribes, the chief of which is
the Asinai. Their allies are Navedachos, Nacaos, Namidis,
Nacogdoches, Ainays, Nadacocos, Nacitos, and Nachoos. Among
them are some who have kept our holy religion, as is the case
with their governor, Bernardino, whom they all obey. Their
lands are all cultivated and there is no fruit in the world
richer than that found here, nor more wonderful grapes of
various kinds and colors in such quantities. The bunches
are as large as twenty-eight and thirty—pound shot. There
are also such extensive fields of such excellent flax that
all the fleets of Europe could be supplied with cordage.
From the head tribe, this nation occupies an area of forty
leagues, all well populated." (Ibid., II, 29—30, citing
Declaration of St. Denis, San Francisco e1 Grande Archive,
VIII, 29)

The presence of the French in Texas spurred the Spanish to reoccupy
that province and to protect their frontier by establishment of the pre-
sidio of Pilar at Los Adaes, Spanish outpost and first capital of the
province of Texas, across the Sabine near present Patchitoches, Louisiana.
This presidio was established by an expedition in 1710 led by Domingo
Ramon and guided by St. Denis, who was temporarily in the employ of Spain,
having married a Spanish girl and sworn allegiance to the King of Spain.
(Herbert Eugene Bolton, Athanase de_Mezieres and the Iouisiana-Texas
Frontier, 1768—1780, I, 57~58 (Cleveland, 1914) The next three Spanish
expeditions sent to Texas and to this outpost crossed the Sabine just
north of the Sabine County line: the Alarcon expedition in 1718, the
Aguayo expedition in 1720, and the Rivera inspection in 1727 passed along
the way to Los Adaes (Castaneda, end map). Since it was the practice of
the expeditionists to forage the country wherever they camped, it is
probable that soldiers dropped down into Sabine County in search of meat.



Shortly thereafter, a camino real leading to Los Adaes was established
through northern Sabine County (Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle
Eighteenth Century, end map (Berkeley, 1915). This route continued to be


Historical Sketch of Sabine County, Texas (First entry, p. o6)

the highway to Texas even after Los Adaes lost its primary position in
East Texas to lacogdoches in 1779, and San Antonio de Bexar replaced it
as provincial capital.

The earliest settler in Sabine County of whom there is a record was
Juan anacio Pifermo, a citizen of Natchitoches, who in 1794 secured a
grant of four leagues from the lieutenant governor at Nacogdoches (Spanish
Archives, Book 37, p. 240 ff., General Land Office, Austin, Texas).

By 1810 Anglo—Americans had already begun to appear as squatters in
the Nacogdoches area. Realizing that land disputes would arise, the
Spanish Government ordered that more specific and authoritative grants
be made for the land occupied by legal owners. On May 10, at the petition
of Juan anacio Pifermo, now listed as a resident of the vicinity of
Nacogdoches, the gOVernor of Texas, Manuel de Salcedo, ordered the sergeant
of the Bexar Company to go to Pifermo's ranch with two witnesses. There
he was to make a visual examination, verify measurements and the circum—
stances of the land and its waters, and evaluate the holding. (Idem)

In 1797 the first ferry was established for crossing the Sabine.
Famous first as Gaines's ferry and later as Crow's ferry, the boat carried
Stephen F. Austin across the Sabine in 1821, and many men who followed him
on their way to win fame in Texas. James Gaines, a native of Culpepper,
Virginia, bought the ferry about 1812. It was a profitable investment
since this point became the main entrance from the United States to Mexico.
A town was surveyed by William McFarland and named Pendleton in honor of
General Pendleton Gaines, commander at Fort Jessup, Louisiana, and brother
of the ferry owner. James Gaines served in both the Gutierrez-McGee
expedition of 1812—1813 and the Long expedition of 1819. He was a promi—
nent and influential man on the frontier during the Mexican regime.
(Edward Harper, county judge, "Sabine County Once Gateway of Texas to the
United States; Crow's Ferry Was Vital Link," The Sunday Enterprise,
Beaumont, Texas, May 31, 1936) In 1825 Gaines became district judge in
the first election of the District of Sabine (Transcripts of Nacogdoches
Archives, XXVII, 163—155, University of Texas Library). He commanded a
company with which he helped to defeat the Fredonian Rebellion in 1826
(George L. Crocket, Two Centuries in East Texas, 155 ff. (Dallas, 1952).
In 1830 he obtained the second-oldest and first Anglo—American title in
Sabine County at the location of his ferry (Spanish Archives, Book 38,

p. 782). Gaines signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and during
the Republic served as a senator. In 1844 he moved from Pendleton to
Nacogdoches, and when gold was discovered in California, he emigrated to
the Pacific Coast, where he died in 1855 at Oakland. (Harper) Gaines
County, Texas, Was named for him in 1876 (Z. T. Fulmore, History and
Geography of Texas_a§ Told in County Names, 75 (Austin, 1935):1__.._



Other early Anglo—American settlers in Sabine County were Donald
McDonald, a Scot who settled in the southwestern part of the county and
later became sheriff of San Augustine County (Harper); James Hines, who
received a bachelor's fourth of a league in 1830 and was the only Anglo-
American besides Gaines with a title previous to 1834 (Spanish Archives
Book 40, p. 1927); Isaac Lindsey, who brought his familytfrom Tennessee,
in 1819 and settled a short distance west of the present town of Pineland,


Historical Sketch of Sabine County, Texas (First entry, p. 66)

where his sons received headrights in 1855 (Harper); Elbert Hines, who
settled on the Sabine and served as alcalde of the District of Sabine
(Transcripts of Nacogdoches Archives, XXX, 186-188); Matthew Caldwell
and William Clark, Jr., both of whom were delegates to the Convention of
March 1, 1836. Clark, born in Virginia in 1798, moved from Louisiana to
the District of Sabine in 1829, where he acquired a large holding and
where his home was known far and wide for hospitality. He signed the
Declaration of Independence and served in the second Congress of the
Republic. He moved to Nacogdoches in 1840, where he died January 3, 1871.
Caldwell, also a signer, was born in Kentucky in 1798 and moved to
Missouri in 1818, where he was active in fighting and trading with the
Indians. In 1855 he closed his business, crossed the Sabine River n
horseback at Gaines's ferry, and settled near the town of Milam. He
removed to Gonzales in 1836. (Harper)

Adventurers from the Neutral Ground, and some of the participants
in the GutierreZ~Magee and Long expeditions crossed the Sabine River
into Texas between 1819 and 1821. It is probable that some of them
became permanent settlers in Sabine territory. By 1822, communities
had been established with a sufficient number of inhabitants to warrant
a semblance of community life.

The first Baptist sermon delivered in Texas is said to have been
preached in 1822 by the Reverend Joseph Bays at a private residence in
Sabine County. The Reverend Mr. Bays was arrested for his religious
activities the nex year, because the Roman Catholic faith was the only
one sanctioned by the Mexican Government. The Methodists began their


work in the county at about the same time. (harper)

The political confusion and lawlessness caused by lack of any govern-~
ment in the District of Sabine is expressed in a letter of June 9 1824,
from James Gaines to Juan Seguin, political chief of the District of

Dr. Sir I am Sorry to Say I have never found this District
so confused with false hood as at the present moment, the
Devil appears to of been Set loose to Sow discord and
Jealousy by falsehood and while those Disappointed Sancti-
fied office Hunters Live We need not Expect any hing Else
for they can tell a lie with such grace as to make a Saint
Believe them However as we know that God is Greater than
the Devil and that when he suffers him to have his Reign
out he will shet him_up and leave us again quiet.

Any correspondence from you may well be made in the
Language of the Nation 1 dont wish to mention anything fur—
ther on the subject If mi Father Ramon Norriss wants his
Land Surveyed and will call me by your Leave I will do it


Historical Sketch of Sabine County, Texas (First entry, p. 66)

well as 1 have all the implements necessary, him or any

God and Liberty, as in duty bound
Your obt Servt
James Gaines
(Transcripts of hacogdoches Archives, XXV, 11)

The District of Sabine was probably first organized in late 1825 or
early 1824, for in a petition formed by the settlers of the area on
February 15, 1824, there is reference to the fact that James Dill, alcalde
of Nacogdoches, had ordered election of alcaldes in various districts
(ibid., XXIV, 204—210). Although there are no records of this election,
it is probable that James Gaines was the first a1ca1de, because correspond—
ence is found from him in that capacity as early as May 15, 1824 (ibid.,
XXIV, 256). It is significant that the organization of the District of
Sabine was, as in the other districts in the vicinity of Nacogdoches,
ordered by an Anglo-American local official without authority from.the
central government of Mexico. The Mexican officials were exceedingly
suspicious of these borderland Americans, and the only official recogni-
tion given them as residents was an order to administer to them oaths of
allegiance to the Mexican nation, issued June 6, 1824 (ibid.,:DW} 259).

On February 26, 1825, an election was held for the District of Sabine
in which thirty-five Anglo—Americans voted. Don Pedro Procela, the
military commander at Hacogdoches, was elected alcalde but appears never
to have served in that capacity. (Ibid., XXVII, 165—165)

On April 18, 1825, Hayden Edwards was granted a right to settle eight
hundred families in East Texas, in a district embracing the present county
of Sabine and the important village of Nacogdochcs (John Henry Brown,
History of Texas, I, 120 (St. Louis, 1892). Edwards, however, soon in—
volved himself in the ill-fated Fredonian Rebellion and was forced to
flee from Texas. A colonization grant was then given Lorenzo do Zavala,
but since the part of his grant that is now Sabine County lay within the
twenty border leagues forbidden to settlement by foreigners, the squatters
were not able to obtain title to land until 1855. However, Anglo—Americans
continued to immigrate until the whole district was dotted with plants»
tions, and in the year 1828 the inland town of Milam was founded. (Harper)

In the border leagues each man continued to make his own law. Law—
lessness flourished, and what attempt at authority was made was instantly
opposed by some defiant group or individual. Most murderous was the year
1826. On March 22 of that year, Samuel Norris, alcalde of Nacogdoches and
brother—in—law of James Gaines, wrote to the political chief of Texas:

James Gaines left today, with instructions from me and the
Ayuntamionto to bring two companies of militia composed of
foreign Americans settled in this District who have offered me
their services to enforce obedience to the laws of the Mexican


Historical Sketch of Sabine County, Texas (First entry, p. 66)

Federation to preserve good order in this locality, and to
expel therefrom any vagrants and criminals. A general
review of the three Companies will take place on the lst
of next April, and by the earliest opportunity I will
report the result to your Lordship. Don Miguel Arciniega
passes through this place in a great hurry, and I am busy
receiving the archives. (Transcripts of Nacogdoches
Archives, XXIX, 29)

At the review of the militia of the Arroyo de las Borregas, one of the
militia men was murdered (Patricio de Torres, Nacogdoches, to Adminor. de
Correos, Bexar, July ll, 1826, Bexar Archives, University of Texas

Gaines's militia of the Sabine District opposed the Fredonian
Rebellion and supported the Mexican Government in disputes with the
settlers, as did Alcalde Norris. On September 13, 1826, Elbert Hines,
who appears to have been the third alcalde of the District of Sabine,
wrote the following letter:

state of Couhouila)
and Texas ) Mr Samuel Norriss Esqr
District of Sabine)

Sir you Requested me to Report to you
the new Situation of my District I have Saw the Grater
parts of the people in my District they all Say that they
in Tend to suporte the Government as they were sworn to Do
I Do not Discover any thing mor among them at this time
Given under my hand at office this SC Day of September 1826

Elbert Hines
(Transcripts of Nacogdoches Archives, XXX, 514)

The Anglo—Americans found themselves helpless in maintaining law and
order. If they organized their own courts, as in the case of Hayden
Edwards or that of James Dill, who was tried and acquitted by a jury,
they found themselves accused of rebellion by the Mexican Government.

The dilemma is witnessed by the following example. Allen W. Arthur and
Olly A. Ferguson killed Louis Blackman, and left the country. On September
18, 1826, they wrote Alcalde Hines, saying that they were desirous of a
fair trial. On September 20, Hines wrote the following letter to Samuel

Dr Sir I can Inform you that Olly Fergurson and Allen
Arthur has rote to me Cravin a trial in Case where they Stand
Charged of killin Lims Blackman and I wish you to Give me Sum
Instruction in the Case as I Don't know whether it is in my
power to try them with out first obtaining a order from you
or not to Try them as I Dont wish to net in to Difficultys in
that Case I whish you to rite to me whether it would be cor—
rect or not for me to act in that Case and what way to try
them it is Greadale of truble to Summons as many Jurors as
I have bin acqanted Summons with in the Cuntry where I have


Historical sketch of Sabine County, Texas (First entry, p. 66)

Lived it is my oppion that it would be the best way to
Summons twelve Good men and Late them heare the hole proff
and for them to Decided on the Case as none of he partes
has proprty a Sufficient to d fray the Exspenses of having
so many Jury Summons I want your oppinion in that Case
For your Information I have sent you the Lcter that was
Rots to me on the Subject nothin mor but Remains

Your humble Servant

Elbert Hines
(lbig., XXX, 189)

The delicate and unsatisfactory situation of such settlers in the
borderlands was all the more acute because until 1828 they occupied and
developed their holdings without legal authority. On March 10, 1827, 168
foreigners assembled at Ayish Bayou (present San Augustine) and directed
a petition, this time to the president of Coahuila and Texas instead of
the governor of the department:

Most Excellent Sir:
The undersigned Petitioners, natives of the
United States of North America, settled within the Boundary
Border Leagues of the Republic of Mexico, between Nacogdoches
and Sabine, with due respect to the exalted character of the
Supreme Government represent: That the greater part of them
. were located at their actual residences previous to the pro—
mulgation of the general colonization law, and most of them
by the tacit cognizance of the local authorities, who far
from objecting to their settling, did, it may be said, author—
ize it, by assembling the inhabitants for the purpose of tak—
ing the oath of allegiance to the constitution of Mexico,
which they have done; That they have erected buildings and
mills, constructed machinery to gin cotton, and have opened
large fields at the cost of immense labor in clearing the
lands, which were densely covered with timber and brush, and
they by these means have made considerable improvements; That
they are settled so near to one another that a league Cannot
be granted to each individual without injury to a third
party; That the old residents of Nacogdoches have sundry
claims on various parts of these lands because they have
asked them of the government, but your Petitioners believe
that they were not all legally obtained by them and as they
were entirely abandoned when your Petitioners came into the
Country; for which reasons and inasmuch as your Petitioners
had no hesitancy in settling them as they did in good faith,
they therefore pray your excellence the governor of the
Coahuil—Texian State to appoint a commissioner to distribute
the before—mentioned lands, upon principals of justice and
conformably with the prayer of this petition, with the under—
standing that they promise the most implicit obedience to the
colonization law, and all other laws of the country they
reside in, performing in each case of necessity all the duties


Historical Sketch of Sabine County, Texas (First entry, p. 66)

required of them f