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VEHLEIN, JOSEPH (?–?). Joseph Vehlein, a German merchant of Mexico City, received three empresario contracts to bring settlers to Texas under the Coahuila and Texas colonization law of March 24, 1825. With John Lucius Woodbury he received a contract on November 14, 1826, to settle 200 families, but although the contract date was extended to 1834, there is no evidence of any families located under the grant. A second contract of December 21, 1826, gave Vehlein permission to settle 300 families in the area between the Old San Antonio Road on the north, the coastal reserve on the south, the San Jacinto River on the west, and the border reserve on the east. The third contract, November 17, 1828, gave Vehlein the right to settle 100 families in the area south of his 1826 grant. Finding that he did not have sufficient capital to undertake colonization Vehlein combined his grants with those of David G. Burnet and Lorenzo de Zavala. On October 16, 1830, the three empresarios transferred their holdings to the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company.


Mary Virginia Henderson, "Minor Empresario Contracts for the Colonization of Texas, 1825–1834," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 31, 32 (April, July 1928). Mary Virginia Henderson, Minor Empresario Grants in Texas, 1825–1834 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1926). Kate Mason Rowland, "General John Thompson Mason," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 11 (January 1908).


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"VEHLEIN, JOSEPH," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 13, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.