Austin recommends a candidate for the post of commissioner over the land holdings of Zavala, Burnet, and VehleinStephen F. Austin and John T. Mason Autograph Letters Signed. An Autograph Letter Signed from Mason (as empresario agent) to Austin with a handwritten reply signed by Austin. A total of 2 pages, front and back, 8.5" x 10.5", in Spanish, Leona Vicario [Mexico], April 30, 1832. Mason's letter comprises about two-thirds of the recto and Austin's reply, also in Spanish, fills the remaining one and one-third of the sheet. Mason writes to Austin seeking advice on two candidates being considered for the position of Commissioner over the land holdings of Zavala, Burnet, and Vehlein. He names Jose Antonio Navarro and Jose Maria Carbajal as the two men being considered.
In his reply to Mason, written directly beneath Mason's letter to him, Austin reviews the qualities of both candidates. In part: "I must say that the aforementioned Carbajal is a native of Bexar, he is twenty-four or twenty-five years of age, understands English very well, and has an excellent education. He has undertaken the job . . . under the commission of Don Francisco Madero and the Secretary of State of the Department of Bexar. He is also well regarded by his friends and associates in Texas. I do not doubt he is adequate for the job. If permitted, I would recommend Sr. Navarro because he is a citizen of the highest quality, of great honesty, industry, and patriotism." Navarro, born in San Antonio de Bexar, was self-taught, practiced law, and was a friend of Stephen Austin. He was a supporter of the Texas Revolution, becoming one of only three Mexican signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. With staining and professional restoration along the left margin, and a few clean tears; this document remains in near fine condition with bold ink and is highly legible. Housed in a blue cloth over board chemise with matching quarter-bound slipcase with titles in gilt on the spine. An important association letter linking two founders of the Republic in an interesting communication regarding land grants and colonization.
John T. Mason left his post as superintendent of Indian Affairs during the Andrew Jackson administration in April 1831 to become the principal agent in Texas for the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company. The company had been organized in 1830 to take over the holdings of empresarios Lorenzo de Zavala, David G. Burnet, and Joseph Vehlein, totaling approximately twenty million acres of land. In 1830 the Mexican government had made it illegal for Americans to colonize in Texas. The Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company ignored the decree and continued to offer land in the holdings of the three empresarios to American, as well as European, colonists.
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