8. FOREIGNERS IN PRINCIPAL TEXAS TOWNS

A Spanish Census of Nacogdoches in 1804 showed there were present: Americans - 20, Irish - 11, English - 2, French - 18, Scots - 1 and 14 Louisiana born French.

1850/1860

Nationality

San Antonio Galveston Houston Austin New Braunfels
German 412/1477 1088/1613 425/816 60/255 951/1001
Irish 118/310 108/344 49/241 6/30 1/1
Mexican 570/1220 8/10 6/17 2/24 1/0
English 34/68 157/300 50/114 8/32 0/2
French 78/232 110/182 45/62 4/8 0/16
Others 52/294 122/249 23/100 15/75 3/20
Total Population 3268/7543 3499/6129 1869/3776 629/2517 1237/1740
Fgn. Population 1274/3601 1593/2698 598/1350 95/424 956/1025
% Foreign 39.0/47.1 48.0/44.0 32.0/35.7 15.1/16.8 77.3/58.9

From Census figures of 1850 and 1860

General Comments On This And Other Data Of The Period

In 1860, four of the five towns had foreigners constitute a third or more of their population. This compares to only 10.3 percent that foreigners made up of the whole state's free population. In the period from 1850-1860 the Irish population of Houston increased five-fold while the total population of the city only doubled. Among the "others" listed in the 1860s were Scots (56 in Galveston and 17 in Houston), Poles, Swiss, Russians, Canadians, Italians, Danes, Spanish, Belgians, Dutch, Cubans, Maltese, Portugese, Swedes, Prussian and people from the British West Indies. A quarter of the foreign born population in Houston were property holders, this is meaningful when you extrapolate the figures for children and women, most of whom did not own property. The county and city jails in the major towns had an unusually high percentage of foreigners as part of their population figures, this is believed to be the result of foreigners recieving harsh treatment by the courts.


Occupations Of Foreign Males In Houston, 1860

Houston/Galveston/San Antonio

Nationality Craftsman Laborer Merchant Clerk Professional
Germans 69/42/32 92/16/3 49/27/21 33/14/26 9/6/4
Irish 14/3/5 94/10/6 9/4/10 5/8/3 2/0/0
English 5/4/5 7/4/1 7/4/0 4/3/1 3/1/0
French 10/4/7 1/4/0 9/1/10 0/0/4 3/1/0

The above information comes from a study of manuscript returns of Schedule No.1 of the 1860 Census of free inhabitants of the United States by Ralph A. Wooster as presented in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly article "Foreigners In The Principal Towns Of Ante-Bellum Texas."

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