Alamo Defenders[Alamo Defenders]. José Antonio Navarro and Thomas R. Miller Land Transfer Signed with accompanying testimonial summarizing the content of the transfer. Four and one half integral pages, 8.25" x 12.25", in Spanish, "Villa de Gonzales," June 10, 1832. Navarro, acting as land commissioner for DeWitt's Colony, has signed his name to transfer land in Gonzales from empresario Green DeWitt to Joshua Kent. The document reads, in part:
"Having been admitted by the land agent Green deWitt to populate the land of their colony according to the laws of colonization of the State and part of the certificate that is included seeing that I [Joshua Kent] am a bachelor and I will find myself on this day without the title of possession of the land as it corresponds to me as a colonist, I ask of you that in use of your faculties that you convey to me the possession of one-quarter sitio on the flank of the arroyo de Guadalupe above the arroyo Guajalote which is fifteen miles distance from the Paso de Anasasia - Gonzales 4th of June, 1832 - Joseph Kent - Villas de Gonzales to the 5th of June, 1832 - to the land agent Green deWitt for the continuation they inform me in writing that the present is the rightful owner of the certificate that includes this as legitimate, true, particularly if the said land is included in the boundaries of the colony with whatever else is offered - Navarro - Gonzales to the 5th of June 1832...in attention to the aforementioned decree, that the present is one of the colonists introduced in virtue of my contract according to the law, I have the motive to consider him accredited and upon being the proper owner of this certificate that is included in his regard, is valid and of those of my colony of the said land - Green deWitt - free to give title of the property that by their means he can possess the land and enjoy it according to the law: by this Act I am mandating and signing on this date in Villa de Gonzales at the 6th day of the month of June of the same year of 1832, I have certified - José Antonio Navarro - in the referenced municipality of Gonzales at the 7th day of the same year; I José Antonio Navarro, commissioned particularly for the Supreme Government of the State of Coahuila and Texas for the distribution and possession of the lands validated in this contracted colony by the land agent Green deWitt with said Supreme Government: in accordance to the aforementioned Act and having received Joseph Kent as colonist in the above mentioned business of colonization, according to the above information of the business as the said Joseph Kent has justified that he is a bachelor as found in his person the requirements within the law of colonization of the State of the 24th of March, 1825..."
Countersigned by Thomas R. Miller and José Ramon Bedford as assistants. The edges of all pages are heavily chipped with light waterstaining to the right edge. Folds are weak with some separation, especially along the main vertical fold which has some loss of paper. Small holes in places, though not affecting the text. Remnants of wax seal. Uneven toning. Ink bleed-through on all pages.
Thomas R. Miller (1795-1836) immigrated to Texas from Virginia in 1830, settling in DeWitt's Colony, where he owned a general store and the only hotel in Gonzales. He also served as the town's sindico procurador. He was one of the "Old Eighteen" who refused to give up to Mexican authorities the only cannon in Gonzales, leading to the Battle of Gonzales and the beginning of the Revolution. He joined the Gonzales Rangers, attached to the command of Colonel William B. Travis of the Provisional Republican Army, and entered the Alamo as part of the Gonzales Alamo Relief Force. He perished with the other defenders of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
José Antonio Navarro (1795-1871), a native of San Antonio and early proponent of Texan independence, became friends with Stephen F. Austin and other empresarios during the 1820s. Becoming a land commissioner himself, he was employed first in DeWitt's Colony and later in the District of Bexar. During the Revolution, he was one of the three Mexican signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. A member of the Texas Congress, he was influential in the framing of the Texas Constitution and supported U. S. annexation. He retired from politics in 1849 and concentrated on writing short histories of Texas and San Antonio for San Antonio's local paper.
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