Snider de Pellegrini, promoter of French colonization in Harris County, was born in Trieste, Istria, in 1802. He was a Knight of the Great Cross of the Order of Jerusalem. In 1842 he became the director of a French colonization company that had its central office in Paris and a branch office in Galveston, Texas. As representative of the company, he made a contract with the Harrisburg Town Company in July 1842, under which he was to direct French immigrants to Harris County in return for banking privileges, two leagues of land each, and certain lots in Harrisburg. Planning to establish vineyards and import French goods, Pellegrini built a large warehouse. His commercial house and bank had a capital of at least $50,000 within four months. By 1844 he owned 15,000 acres in Harris County. But he moved to Houston when, because of the difficulty of getting immigrants, his venture failed and he lost his fortune. According to some sources, he had become a partner of philanthropist George Peabody in London by 1847. In 1848, during the Venetian insurrection against Austria, he supplied coal and arms and tried to obtain a loan from English bankers, using Venetian works of art as a guarantee. In 1861 he was in Turin. Pellegrini contributed articles to various European newspapers. He died in New York in 1885.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every penny helps.
Please make your contribution today.
Carland Elaine Crook, "Benjamin Théron and French Designs in Texas during the Civil War," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 68 (April 1965). Adele B. Looscan, "Harris County, 1822–1845," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 18–19 (October 1914-July 1915). Andrew Forest Muir, "Railroad Enterprise in Texas, 1836–1841," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 47 (April 1944).
Founders and Pioneers
Upper Gulf Coast
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Pellegrini, Snider de,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
May 17, 2017
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: