provisional governing junta was named and Odonojú was a part of it. He was also among the more select, five member, regency. Thus, an Irishman was among the early rulers of Mexico. This was short-lived, because by May of 1822, Odonojú was dead of an illness.

................................................................................Odonoju >


Iturbide, impatient and unable to find a Bourbon family member willing to rule Mexico, proclaimed himself Emperor of Mexico.


Another Creole, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, was one of Iturbide's earliest supporters. Something in Santa Anna's nature, however, caused Iturbide to reward Santa Anna with a high office, but one far away from the center of power. He appointed Santa Anna Governor of Yucatán. Santa Anna performed well there. He quelled a revolt and was promoted to Governor of Vera Cruz.

Arthur Goodall Wavell, as noted before was a Scot soliciting to be a Texas empressario. Wavell previously had been in the Spanish Army fighting against Napoleon in the Peninsular Campaign where he rose to the rank of Colonel. He later went to the Chilean Army and rose to the rank of Major General. He was Deputy Commander of the Chilean Army when Chile sent him as a special aide to the new Mexican goverment. Iturbide appointed him as a general in the Mexican Army. He was soon promoted to a Major General. Wavell attempted to secure a $20M loan from British interests for the Iturbide government. There is substantial evidence as presented in the book, The Secret War For Texas, written by Stuart Reid, that Wavell was a British agent whose task was to try and keep Texas from the United States. His empressario grant ran parallel to the US border along the Red River. The plan of Wavell and his British backers was to settle Europeans on his grant so as to form a buffer between the Americans and Mexican Texas and thus attempt to stop the flow into Texas of the Americans. When it became apparent he was not going to be able to produce enough European settlers he formed an alliance with Hunter Dunn and the Cherokees who had reason to be anti-American after being forced from their homes several times to make land avaiable to American expansion. The Cherokees were to fill the gap left by the too few European recruits to come and settle on his Texas land grant.


< A Young Santa Anna

When Iturbide declared himself emperor, Santa Anna objected. He stated it was a violation of the Plan of Iguala. From Vera Cruz, Santa Anna called for a revolt and a republic. Two years later in 1824, a Congress originally organized by Iturbide ironically declared Mexico a Republic and had Iturbide ordered shot. A federal constitution was adopted; nineteen states and four territories made up the new Republic. None of them was named Texas. A conciliation of sorts was made when the name of the State of Coahuila was changed to Coahuila y Texas. A decree dated May 7, 1824, stated, "Texas would be temporarily annexed to Coahuila until its population and resources were large enough to form a separate state."

The flag of Coahuila y Texas, to the left, featured a golden star for each and was adopted in May of 1824.

The Mexicans were deceiving themselves about their concerns for Texas and Texans. If the distance to Mexico City versus Natchitoches, Natchez, and New Orleans worked to keep the Americans in Texas insulated from Spain; the remoteness of Saltillo, the capitol of Coahuila y Texas, and the addition of another bureaucracy between Texas and Mexico City would do the same or worse for Mexico.

During the swiftly moving events between 1821 and 1824, many people were caught 'twixt and 'tween first Spain and Mexico, and then pro and anti-Iturbide groups. One who was not, was Odonojú's chaplain, who began a relationship with those in power in Mexico. Though the politics swayed from liberalism to conservatism during alternating administrations, Father Michael Muldoon was able to enjoy the privileged life along with the politicians. Perhaps this was because he established a relationship with Santa Anna, who was a master politician and survivor. Santa Anna was a liberal or conservative, dependent on what suited his ambition.

Other people caught in the flux of the swiftly moving events were not as fortunate as Muldoon and Santa Anna. Among those trying to figure out who was, or was about to be in power, were: Richard Fields, who was trying to settle Cherokee land claims in Texas; Moses Austin, who was trying to establish a colony in Texas; and Doctor James Long who hoped to liberate Texas from Spain.


Jane Long, wife of Doctor James Long, is known as the "Mother of Texas." She was born in Maryland in 1798. She has a Celtic connection. Her father was Captain William Mackall Wilkinson, a relative of General James Wilkinson. Her mother was Barbara Mackall, who was a descendant of James Mackall of Scotland. Jane's story is interesting because like Philip Nolan, she lived for a time in the house of General James Wilkinson in Natchez. That was in 1813, after the death of her widowed mother. General Wilkinson became the young lady's guardian. General Wilkinson was very much into Natchez society, and therefore, so was his new ward. Jane Wilkinson was one of the belles of the South. When Jane was seventeen, she met and fell in love with Doctor James Long who served as a surgeon in Carroll's Brigade in the War of 1812. General Andrew Jackson personally cited James Long for valor during the Battle of New Orleans. He was given a hero's treatment by Natchez society. When he met Jane Wilkinson, there was an immediate strong feeling on all sides: Doctor Long's, Jane's and the Wilkinsons. The Wilkinsons were concerned for their ward. Doctor Long was five years older than Jane, and he was allied with Andrew Jackson, a military rival of General Wilkinson. The Wilkinson's disapproved of the relationship, but were unable to stop it. Mississippi law, at the time, allowed a seventeen year old to choose their own guardian. She did; she chose James Long. Not long after, May 14, 1815, she chose him to be her husband as well.


In 1819, the United States pushed Spain into the Onis Treaty, which resulted in Spain ceding Florida. In the treaty, the U.S. recognized the Sabine River as Louisiana's western boundary and gave up formally the idea of acquiring Texas.

This did not stop the American public and many American leaders from their belief in a "manifest destiny", a term coined later by Celt writer Jane McManus but attributed to her editor, an Irishman, John L. O'Sullivan, meaning an eventual U. S. republic that stretched from sea to shining sea. An example is found in an unpublished letter of Thomas Jefferson which he sent to another nephew. Though the subject is the same, the study of Spanish, his reasons are a little more boldly stated than the advice he gave to another nephew earlier. This letter was sent to the young student who was studying abroad which may account for why its existence is not widely known in this country. The letter was written in 1820 long after the Louisiana Purchase and not long after the Onis Treaty. Jefferson wrote, "One word of advice I cannot urge too strongly upon you is that you should pay most particular attention to the study of Spanish. This tongue is spoken on our continent through a vast and rich area which the Anglo-American race is destined to occupy within a quarter of a century." If you think he is talking about California, Arizona, or New Mexico; another a letter from Jefferson to President Monroe dated May 4, 1820, clarifies his interest:

"...the Province of Texas will be the richest State in our Union, without any exception."

The official position of the United States, however, was to recognize Spanish sovereignty over Texas and to honor its pledge not to interfere with it. This caused much tumult on the frontier. Natchez, the principal stop on the Natchez Trace for the many families who wished to go into Texas, was particularly demonstrative against the terms of the treaty in which the United States gave up its claims to Texas. Feeling ran high to mount an expedition into Texas and to take it for the U.S.. Doctor James Long was caught up in this fervor and was elected the movement's leader when General John Adair, the group's first choice, declined the position.


Jane Long sewed a flag for the expedition, it was on white silk with red stripes and a red fringe. In the upper left corner was a red square with a white, five pointed star. It was the first flag of Texas to feature a five pointed star.

In June, 1819, the Long Expedition left Natchez with a force of 80 to attack Nacogdoches. They stopped at Natchitoches where they were hosted by the fort's commander, James Biddle Wilkinson, son of General James Wilkinson. While at Natchitoches, the expedition grew in size as volunteers attached themselves to the expedition. From Natchitoches the Long Expedition headed for Nacogdoches. When they arrived at Nacogdoches, Long's forces were 300 strong. They met no resistance. The city was still sparsely populated because of Arredondo's actions of five years earlier. A convention was held; Texas was declared a republic. A constitution was adopted which established the Republic of Texas. There is some evidence General James Wilkinson wrote a portion of the document and gave it to Long before he left Natchez. Long was elected President of the new Republic of Texas. Among the members of this expedition were many of the survivors of the Army of the Republic of the North from the Magee - Gutiérrez expedition. One of whom was Gutiérrez himself.

Jane Long left Natchez to be with her husband. She travelled to Texas with her four year old daughter Ann, two weeks old Rebecca, and a twelve year old personal slave girl, known as Kian.

The new Republic of Texas proclaimed Texas' public lands available for sale to settlers. To strengthen their hold on Texas, Doctor Long sent his army south to meet the Spanish. He went alone to negotiate an alliance with Lafitte and his men at Galveston (Campeache). Long was unable to convince Lafitte to join him and returned to Nacogdoches, where he learned his army had been defeated by the Spanish under Colonel Ignacio Pérez. Taking his family with him, Long returned to Natchez to organize a second, larger expedition.

The second expedition was better financed and had a new Mexican Republican in its camp, Don José Felix Trespalacios. This time the invaders moved to an isolated point on the Texas coast. In the spring of 1820, a small mud fort was built, complete with a small cannon. Tents were pitched and provisions and materials stacked. The location of this marshaling spot was Bolivar Point on the Bolivar Peninsular. While Long's group were camped on Bolivar Point, a French sloop ran aground at Galveston near the camp of some Karankawa Indians. The Indians attacked the ship and slaughtered all on board. Long and his men observed this massacre and set out in boats that night to attack the indians. Part of the cargo on the sloop was wine and the Indians were making great use of it when Long's party of thirty men attacked. After a fierce hand to hand fight, 32 Indians and three of Long's men lay dead. Long and his men then returned to Bolivar Point.

Many of the wives joined their men at Boliver Point. Jane was there with daughter Ann and the servant Kian. Rebecca, the infant, died during the previous harsh winter. At one point, the Longs received an invitation to dine with Jean Lafitte. The dinner was pleasant with Lafitte evading all efforts to recruit his support. He did send over to Point Bolivar, lumber and other supplies and provisions to make the camp more pleasant.

In the summer of 1820, Doctor Long, now called General Long, left to attack La Bahía by land while Trespalacios left by sea for Mexico to spread the revolution. One of the men in the Long expedition was Peter Samuel Davenport, who was Magee's Quartermaster. Another was a second generation Welshman, Benjamin Rush Milam. Milam served in the War of 1812 and later went to fight in South America. He was for a time an empresario in Texas. He became engaged to Annie McKinney, the daughter of Indian fighter Collin McKinney. Another man in the Long expedition was John McHenry.

McHenry was born in County Antrim, Ireland. He was with Lafitte's men and fought in a battle against the Karankawas when Lafitte's men established themselves on Galveston Island. McHenry was in New Orleans working on Lafitte's boat, Pride, when he was recruited to join the Long expedition. He was with Long and his men in the recent attack against the Karakawas who killed the Frenchmen. McHenry lived through many adventures, including the Mina Expedition, the Battle of New Orleans, the Long Expeditions, South American Revolutions for Simon Bolivar and the Texas Revolution- to be a Mayor of Victoria, Texas. Other Celtic men with Long are shown in Appendix V.

Long and his men left for Matagorda Bay. They went through McHenry's Bayou, where John McHenry lived, into the Bay of Espíritu Santo and marched for La Bahía. They attacked and captured La Bahía, but were soon surrounded by a superior Spanish force again commanded by Ignacio Pérez. After several futile attacks on the fort, Pérez, who was a Royalist, asked for a parley. He invited Long and his staff to his camp. Colonel Perez told Long there had been a misunderstanding. Perez said he and his men were Republicans too; they attacked because he was told Long and his men were Royalists pledged to keep Mexico and Texas in the grip of Spain. Thinking themselves safe, Long and his men put down their arms and were immediately captured. Long was taken to Mexico City. Jane Long knew none of this. She waited at Bolivar Point for word from her husband.


On Boliver Point, provisions began to be depleted. What was worse, the winter turned harsh. All the others in the remote camp began to get restless when the isolation of Bolivar Point became even more desolate with winter's stripping of green from tree and ground. When the others talked of pulling back to Nacogdoches or Natchitoches, Jane Long announced she would keep her vigil. Her husband left her and their daughter there, and it was there he would return to find them. Those who left quoted her as saying, "He will either find me here to welcome him or he will find my bones."

Jane, baby Ann, Kian, and a dog named "Galveston" lived in a tent pitched inside the small fort. The winter turned out to be as bitter or worse as 1818's. The hard winter helped them in one way. They were able to survive on fish and ducks trapped by the ice. To make matters worse, Jane Long was very pregnant and about to deliver. Four days before Christmas, 1820, she delivered another daughter, Mary Jane Long. In doing so, she became known as the first American (non-Hispanic, non-Indian) to give birth to a child in Texas; and thus, she is called the "Mother of Texas." Indisputably, this is more legend than fact. There were many non-Indian, non-Hispanic families in Texas years before Jane Long first arrived.


In fact there were Africans in Texas in the seventeenth century. The Spanish discovered, in 1674, a tribe of black Indians they called Mulatos. This tribe was located as ranging from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to Coahuila. The Spanish believed the tribe was dark-skinned because of the wreck of an African slave ship years, perhaps a generation, earlier. The slaves reportedly took control of the ship and sailed it to the Texas coast, or came to the coast by shipwreck. Either way or both, the Africans then killed the slavers and set out to live on the new land, eventually taking Indian wives.

The first non-Hispanic European origin child was probably of French or Irish origin, or both. There is a good case to be made for the Irish. In the last chapter you read of Irishmen in Texas as early as 1767. Mr. and Mrs. Quinelty were in Nacogdoches before 1800; we know they had four sons. Mr. and Mrs. Quinn, and other families, were in East Texas in 1805. Anna Callahan was there in 1806, and we know Davenport at Nacogdoches took a sixteen year old French wife at the time of Magee's invasion.


These revelations take nothing away from Jane Long. She was a remarkable woman who stood her ground against the umbrage of man and nature to await the return of her husband. She was twenty two years old. Only six years earlier, she was the delicate and beautiful belle of the balls of Natchez, sponsored by one of the most powerful and influential men in the U.S. military. Now she was showing her grit, which was just as dazzling, as she kept her cold, long, and lonely vigil for her husband. During the many months alone, she scared away Indians who approached the fort from the land and sea by firing her cannon. On another occasion, she thwarted an approach by Indians by raising a red petticoat. Jane Long hoped to make the Indians think it was a flag and give the impression the fort was manned.

Through it all, she staved off the predators and endured the weather to keep her little group surviving. She was at Bolivar for a total of two years. In the summer of 1821, two of General Long's men came to tell her what happened to her husband.

When the captured General Long was brought to Mexico City, it was right at the time of the transition of power from Spain to Mexico. Iturbide did not know what to do with Long. Iturbide had Long released to the custody of the Governor of Texas who happened to be in Mexico City at the time. Trespalacios was now Governor of Texas and it would seem Long would be declared a hero of the Revolution. Instead, Long was assassinated by a man hired by Trespalacios. Trespalacios was apparently insecure in his role as Texas' leader with Long alive. Long's men, among them Ben Milam, knew Long was murdered by order of Trespalacios. They, and other men of the Long Expedition, remained in Mexico waiting for the moment to exact some revenge on Trespalacios. They were betrayed and sent to Mexican jails. Only through the intercession of the United States Consul were they able to get free.

Texas Filibusters: Magee, Nolan and Long

Jane Long traveled to Mexico to seek justice but was politely ignored. She returned to Texas, not yet 23, as a widow with two children. For a time she ran a boarding house in Brazoria, then moved to Richmond and opened another. Many men courted Jane Long including Ben Milam and Mirabeau Lamar. Lamar wrote her a poem entitled "Bonnie Jane", but she never remarried. She paid off her husband's debts by running the boarding house. Through the years, she was helped by her daughters and when they married, by their husbands and children. Her daughter Ann, married Joseph S. Sullivan. In time, the Sullivans were as much a part of the boarding house as was Jane. Also on hand and helping was Kian and her children and their children. Jane Long kept the boarding house until her death at 92 years of age. ......Jane Long....... >


The Austin colony and its development is another part of Texas history caught in the fluid events of 1819-1822. Moses Austin, originally from Connecticut, moved toVirginia and then on to what is now Missouri. Then it was known as Spanish Louisiana. Moses Austin became an established, prominent citizen of Spanish Louisiana in 1797. He was allowed to settle 30 families to begin a settlement that became St. Genevieve. In 1818, he was financially ruined when the bank in which he was a principal collapsed. In an effort to start again, he received a stake from his son, Stephen F. Austin and approached Spanish authorities with a plan to settle parts of Texas. At first he was not well received, General Arredondo was still a powerful man in the hierarchy. The Governor of Texas, Martinez, only recently received orders from Arredondo restating his desire to keep Norteamericanos out of Texas. Austin was then fortunate enough to team with Baron de Bastrop who happened to be in Mexico City at the time Austin was making his proposal.

<Moses Austin

The Baron de Bastrop was a self appointed Baron. His real name when he was born in Dutch Guiana was Felipe Enrique Neringing Bogel. He came to North America, presenting himself as the Baron de Bastrop. He was successful and founded towns in Spanish Louisiana. He came to Texas when Louisiana changed hands so he could remain in Spanish territory. This loyalty coupled with Austin's own excellent regard when he was a Spanish subject, allowed them a hearing before the Texas Governor and his Council. Austin and Bastrop pointed out the need to create a buffer between the Béxar and the Indians, and the Norteamericanos. The Spanish and Mexicans showed, by their own settlement patterns, an unwillingness to settle in the areas north of Béxar. Baron de Bastrop was able to point to the problems of settling Santísma Trinidad de Salcedo with Béxar residents and the success of the Louisiana immigration plan to successfully place American colonists between the centers of the Louisiana settlements and the frontier. In fact it was these same Louisiana settlers who eventually settled Santísma de Trinidad de Salcedo when Louisiana ceased to be Spanish territory. Texas could be protected from incursions by Indians or revolutionaries if the "right kind" of colonists, loyal to Spain and the land, were given generous land grants as was done in Louisiana.

Austin and the Baron Bastrop asked to settle 297 families within two years. The actual land grants to the individual settlers were to be one labor (177 acres) for each farming family, and one sitio (4,428 acres) for each ranching family. Austin was to receive title to 22 sitios if successful, as was the Baron (almost 100,000 acres).

Arredondo embraced the idea for military reasons and forwarded it up the chain of command. Moses Austin left to return to his home. On his way home he passed through Texas and stayed at the home of Hugh McGuffin. His health was failing, so he stayed a while before continuing home to await the result. Assisting the McGuffin's in nursing Moses Austin was a self ordained preacher by the name of Joseph Bays. Preacher Bays was of Irish and Scotch parents. Besides the McGuffin's, Bays was also a friend of Daniel Boone.

Moses Austin received his grant, the last from Spanish authorities. He was unable, personally, to act on it. His health continued to decline after he returned to Missouri. He died. His son, Stephen F. Austin, elected to carry on the project. Stephen F. Austin was a very able young man. He served six years in the Missouri Legislature, he was an Adjutant in the militia, and also served as a District Judge in Arkansas. At the time of his father's death, Stephen F. Austin was an assistant editor of a New Orleans newspaper. Stephen Austin's success allowed him to bankroll his father's venture in Texas.

....................................................Stehen F. Austin>


Young Austin was accepted by the Spanish officials as entitled to proceed with the colony. One of the commissioners sent to decide the matter was Juan de Veramendi. I mention him because his household will cross the path of two Celts in the story ahead. Word spread of Austin's grant, and word spread too, of the troubles in the capital of New Spain and the emergence of the Mexican Republic. Americans began to immigrate into Texas almost immediately, taking advantage of the transition in power and Austin's grant.

The Austin's were not known to be of Irish descent. There is evidence they were Celtic in that the family came from Hampshire, England an area of earlier Celtic control. One can still see Celtic crosses in the Hampshire countryside today. Stephen F. Austin's mother was a Brown, a name shared by many Irish. Austin's greatgrandmother was an Adams, said to be related to President Adams. There is a evidence the Adams, both John, and John Quincy Adams have Irish Boyles in their line. There is also strong evidence the Austin family originally came from Wales. There is a known Irish connection to Stephen F. Austin. His mother was raised in the home of a wealthy first generation Irish American, Benjamin Fuller. His influence was great enough that it is represented in Stephen F. Austin's middle name, Fuller.

The story of the Austins is presented not so much as a claim they were Irish or Celtic, but as a benchmark of Texas history that will affect our story of the Irish in Texas history. The original grants to the 297 families, the group that came to be known as the "Old Three Hundred", were in large part made up of Celtic families. The Celtic connection between Stephen F. Austin and Texas began before he first entered Texas. The night before Austin entered Texas for the first time, he stayed at the McGuffin's home just outside Natchitoches, the same home his father had stayed in on his way home to Missouri from Texas. The next afternoon on the way to Texas, he rode through Camp Riley, a U.S. outpost at Natchitoches. It was July, 1821. Accompanying him on this trip was James Hewetson. Hewetson was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, and was seeking an empresario grant from Mexico.

After briefly scouting his grant, Austin spent the better part of the next year defending his grant before successive Mexican administrations. That he succeeded, is testimony to the man's skills of diplomacy; handling as he did Royalists, Republicans, revolutionists, frontiersman, and farmer with equal deftness. Others did not succeed. Helping Austin during his long stay in Mexico was Major General Arthur Wavell. Who loaned Austin money helped with the political problems and together discussed forming a partnership to colonize Texas.

Encouraged by Austin's success, others applied to be empresarios. General José Antonio Mexia teamed with two Irishmen, William McQueen and Florencio Delaharty, and proposed a colonization scheme to Iturbide allowing 600 families to move from Louisiana to Texas. It was abandoned when Iturbide fell. Former General James Wilkinson, yes him again, was also in Mexico City. He is pictured to the left older than in his previous illustration. He was there in connection with an attempt to collect bills for a Baltimore company who supplied General Xavier Mina in connection with his unsuccessful expedition. Wilkinson while there found favor with Itrubide and his followers. Wilkinson was invited to, and attended, the banquet following Iturbide's "coronation." General Wilkinson wrote a letter of introduction to Iturbide for Stephen F. Austin. General Wilkinson added his name to those wishing to be considered as empresarios. He applied for a land grant in the area of Galveston Bay. Wilkinson was 64 years old, at the time. Wilkinson died in Mexico City pursuing his latest and last scheme.

In 1826, General Arthur G. Wavell, never able to get the partnersip with Stephen F. Austin past the talking stage, recieved a Mexican Grant of his own to settle 400-500 families on the Red River near modern day Texarkana. Ben Milam was his agent. Although some familes were settled on the grant, no titles were ever issued because of a dispute between Mexico and the United States as to who owned the land.

Austin's colony was the only Texas colony granted by a national Mexican Government. Thereafter, they were granted by the State of Coahuila y Texas. Originally the Colonization Act authorizing Austin's colony included, among its restrictions, a law forbidding slavery. The Spanish were on record early regarding the inhumanity of slavery. Negroes and Indians were a part of a structured caste society as discussed in the last chapter, but were considered free men. Austin was able to successfully lobby against the full implementation of the anti-slavery provisions, which he felt would keep good men of property from being a part of his colony. The law was amended to read- colonists could bring their slaves with them, but they could not be bought and sold once in Texas, and the children of slaves were free at age fourteen.

Another restriction that applied only to the Austin colony was the colonists had to be Roman Catholic, the official state religion of Spain. Austin felt this too would restrict his ability to find colonists, and lobbied later for the language which was in the State of Coahuila y Texas colonization laws. The State of Coahuila y Texas laws only called for the colonists to be Christian. Mexico City, however, was rigid on the requirement for Austin's colonists to be Catholic. In 1823, Joseph Bays, who helped nurse Moses Austin in McGuffin's home in 1821, was arrested for attempting to preach Protestant precepts.

Other than the restrictions mentioned, it was made clear to Austin, he and his colony were on their own. They would not be required to pay taxes, import fees, join the military, or other such impositions required by a government. They were unofficially granted autonomy and expected to manage their own economy and defenses outside of the Republic. This was one of the reasons why the colony turned to the United States, the source of its colonists, for trade and assistance. The United States was closer in more ways than one.

East Texas, particularly Nacogdoches, which was outside Austin's grant, thus returned to its old status as the major trading post between the Texas immigrant and his source of supply. The two areas began to develop, East Texas and Austin's colony. One part of East Texas had enough Irish near it, it became mistakenly known by some as Irish Bayou. The settlement was Ayish Bayou, and residents there in 1825 elected Bailey Anderson their first Alcalde. Other Irish living there and voting that year included:

John McNeal, John Shannon, D. McNeal, Samuel McFadden, P.D. McNeal, J. O'Neal, David Loflin, George McNeal, Thomas Bryan, and Charles Hogan.

The next year brought:

John McFirth, William Reagan, James Burney, Owin Shannon, Q. C. Nugent, William McDonald, John Mc Williams, William Hughes, Thomas F. McKinney, Francis Murphy, Steven Lynch, and many more.

Nacogdoches added more Irish than those already mentioned:

Alexander Calhoun, Samuel McClane, John D. and Peter McNeil, and Captain James Dunn.

In December of 1823, 50 U. S. families were settled at Pecan Point on the Red River. It was located in the area of Boston and Hooks, Texas in present day Bowie County. A growing community was also developing at the location of Henry Jones' ferry. Jones operated a ferry at the location from 1819 - 1821. The location was a poplular crossing for people going into Texas as early as 1814. It became known as Jonesboro after Henry Jones. Today it is near where Clarkesville, Texas is in Red River County.

Austin's colony covered a wide area between the Colorado and Brazos river bottoms from the coast to a line roughly between Nacogdoches and Béxar (San Antonio). It was on the colony's eastern side, at the Brazos River at McFarland's Crossing, Austin established his capital, San Felipe. It was named after the patron saint of Texas by Governor Garcia. Later Austin's colony was extended to a few miles east of the San Jacinto River on a line that ran, roughly, from the coast northwest to the El Camino Real. In 1827 a small grant extension was given Austin above the El Camino Real in the area of Bastrop.

Many of Austin's colonists were Celtic. The first of Austin's colonists arrived in the colony on December 31st, 1821. They had come aboard the ship Lively which docked at Velasco on December 23, 1821. They camped on the banks of the Brazos River near where Washington, Texas is today. The group was known as the Allcorn Party. They followed Elijah Allcorn, of Scottish ancestry, who led them to settle in Austin's Colony. In the party were: Andrew Robinson and his sons; Joseph, Peter, and Robert; Abner Kuykendall with his brothers Peter, Joseph and Robert; Daniel Gilliland, John McNeese, his wife, and their children; and Elijah Allcorn, his wife Nancy and sons: James, William, John, Thomas, Elliot, and daughter Mary Ann.

The first official settler in Austin's Colony was Andrew Robinson, Sr.. He settled on the Brazos River where he raised livestock and farmed. Robinson also built a ferry across the Brazos. Andrew Robinson's ferry drew others to the location. Eventually a town was founded near the ferry, Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Robinson is listed as the first "official" settler, because when the Austin colonists arrived at the Colorado River area, they found two Irish families already there, the Garretts and the Higgins.

Other families shown by Austin's register to be in his colony area before 1824 include: Alexander McCoy, William Fitzgibbons, Margaret Kennedy, John Burk, William Fitzgerald, W.T. Malone, Thomas Norris, and more.

The register was kept by Austin's secretary and assistant, Welshman Samuel May Williams. Fluent in both Spanish and French, Williams was the second most powerful man in the colony, and in the absence of Austin, which was frequent, he ran the colony. Williams served as Austin's lieutenant for twelve years. During that period Williams also served as Secretary of the Ayuntamiento of San Felipe and as its Postmaster. Later Samuel May Williams was a member of the Texas y Coahuila Congress representing the colony.

Another settler found to be in Austin's colony was James Brittain Bailey. If ever the term "old codger" ever fit a man, it was old "Britt" Bailey. He came to Texas in 1818.