By David A. Williams
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Additional info for Bricks without straw: a comprehensive history of African Americans in Texas
Within two years of the founding of the Republic of Texas the Ashworths had established themselves a place in the community, for in 1838 William Ashworth obtained from the Jefferson County Board of Roads and Revenues a franchise to operate a ferry across Lake Sabine and up the Neches River to Beaumont. The esteem in which their neighbors held them placed them in good stead a short while later. In 1840, the Texas Congress ordered all free African Americans within the Republic to remove themselves from the national limits within two years, upon pain of being sold into slavery.
Increased Migrations Anglo-American settlement in 1820 brought a big influx of people of color. Many were slaves of the Anglo planters. The Texas economy was plantation-based with cotton, sugar cane, and other crops raised by slave labor. At the same time, many free African Americans from the United States flocked to Texas, where there were opportunities to acquire free land. Moses Austin In 1820, Moses Austin rode into San Antonio with all of the Page 6 Moses Austin received a Spanish land grant and permission to bring colonists to Texas.
The Baron, whose real name was Philip Henrick Nering Boegel, was Dutch. He brought three men of color as servants with him and established his residence in San Antonio. " Bastrop and Stephen F. Austin convinced Martinez, the Mexican governor, that the colonization plan was a good idea. Martinez agreed to recommend to the Mexican government that Austin's plan be approved. Louisiana Purchase When the United States bought Louisiana in 1803, the Spanish declared any slave who escaped across the Sabine River into Texas automatically free.