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Ambitious French colonization scheme fizzles

January
12
1841

On this day in 1841, a short-lived bill authorizing the formation of a French-Texan immigration company was introduced in the Texas Congress. The Franco-Texian Bill, proposed by two Frenchmen, Jean Pierre Hippolyte Basterrèche and Pierre François de Lassaulx, called for the introduction of 8,000 immigrant families to occupy three million acres of the Republic of Texas. The managing company was to establish twenty forts in twenty years. It was also to develop mines within its territory and pay the republic 15 percent of the gross returns. The bill passed the House, but was never presented to the Senate because the sponsors saw that it could not pass over the expected veto by acting president David G. Burnet.

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