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After Moses Austin’s death in 1821, Stephen Austin won recognition of the empresario grant from the newly independent state of Mexico. Austin convinced numerous American settlers to move to Texas, and by 1825 Austin had brought the first 300 American families into the territory.
Some settlers were fleeing debts and sought refuge in the Mexican colony, where they were safe from American creditors. Immigrants to Texas faced isolation and hardship as they established their homesteads and made their living from the land. Land was also granted to settlers by the Republic of Texas.
In fact, Mexico in 1835 was just about as large as the United States at the time. To help develop parts of this vast territory, the Mexican government invited settlers from the United States to take up lands in Texas.
African Americans contributed little to this late 19th century migration. Migration continued from the same southern states in the 20th century albeit at a somewhat reduced rate. Black Louisianans crossing the border into southeast Texas added the only new dimension to the state’s African American population.
Texas 1821-1836. The Mexican government grew alarmed at the immigration threatening to engulf the province. Military troops were moved to the border to enforce the policy. Still there was illegal immigration. Immigrants crossed the border easily and by 1835 there were ten times as many Americans (30,000) as Mexicans.
In 1824, the Mexican government, which owned Texas, began to actively encourage the American colonization of Texas in order to promote trade and development. By 1830, about 7,000 Americans lived in Texas, outnumbering Hispanic settlers two to one.