Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Robertson party sets out from Tennessee to explore Leftwich grant

November 21st, 1825

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On this day in 1825, thirty-two men under Dr. Felix Robertson set out from Nashville, Tennessee, to explore Robert Leftwich's grant in Texas. Leftwich, a Virginia-born empresario, was a member of the Texas Association, a group of Nashville investors who sought to obtain a colonization grant from Mexico, but had obtained a contract in his own name. Leftwich transferred the contract to the Texas Association in August 1825 on condition that the territory should thereafter be referred to as Leftwich's Grant. Ill health prevented Leftwich from accompanying the Robertson expedition to Texas. The party explored the country along the Brazos, Little, Leon, Lampasas, Salado, and San Gabriel rivers before returning to Tennessee in April 1826. In the spring of 1830, Sterling C. Robertson, who had been part of the expedition, and his partner Alexander Thomson Jr. began recruiting families to come to Texas, but were prevented by the Law of April 6, 1830, from settling them on Leftwich's Grant. Instead, they settled in Stephen F. Austin's colony. In 1831 Austin and Samuel May Williams filed for the land originally granted to Leftwich, though three years later the governor cancelled the Austin and Williams contract and awarded a new contract to Sterling C. Robertson as empresario. Afterward, the area was called Robertson's colony.

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