Description[Mercer Colony]. Texas Association Unengrossed Certificate for the Mercer Colony. One page, 11" x 6.75", [n.p.], [n.d.]. Lithographed stock certificate commencing: "Texas Association 8,000 Square Miles on the Trinity River . . ." At the top is a large Texas star and at the bottom a Native American and buffalo; ornate scrollwork on either side, the whole surrounded by decorative border. Lithographed by Hart, Mapother & Co. of Louisville, Kentucky. This is an unrecorded and unengrossed stock certificate for the Texas Association, otherwise known as the Mercer Colony, located roughly between the Brazos and Sabine Rivers. Left margin slightly irregular, a hint of toning at margins, else quite clean and crisp.
The Texas Association was formed in early 1844 by Charles Fenton Mercer, a former agent for the Peters' Colony, which had obtained a large impresario grant to settle North Texas. Following a controversy between British and American stockholders in which the latter seized control of the project and reorganized it as the Texas Emigration and Land Company, Mercer sold his interest in the enterprise to Louisville-based investors. He then obtained a new and separate contract from the Republic of Texas. This agreement, made by President Sam Houston on January 29, 1844, granted Mercer and the stockholders of the Texas Association eight thousand square miles on the Trinity River. In a colonization prospectus which he issued in September 1844 under the title of Texas Colonization (see Streeter 1520), Mercer offered, on payment of a surveying fee of eight dollars, up to half a section of land for every family settling on the grant before March 20, 1845. Mercer financed his contract by dividing into one hundred shares.
Despite Mercer spending more than $15,000 on his project, by September 1847 plans had not progressed smoothly. Faced with mounting losses in 1852, Mercer assigned his interests in the colony to a group of Louisville investors in exchange for an annuity of $2,000. Under the leadership of George Hancock, who had become chief agent, the Association was reorganized. In September 1858 the new secretary, Claudius Duval, called in Mercer's original one hundred certificates and issued new shares to sell for one hundred dollars each. The present certificate is from this issue of 1858.
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