Robertson party sets out from Tennessee to explore Leftwich grant

November 21st, 1825

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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Robertson party sets out from Tennessee to explore Leftwich grant

November 21st, 1825

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.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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