Texas General Land Office, Archives & Records

A Guide to the DeWitt's Colony Records, 1825-1872


Creator: DeWitt, Green, 1737-1835
Creator: Navarro, Jose Antonio, 1795-1871
Title: DeWitt's Colony Records
Dates: 1825-1835; 1841; 1845; 1872
Abstract: DeWitt's Colony was founded by Green DeWitt (1787-1835) as a result of his empresario contract of April 15, 1825 to settle 400 families. The colony was located south of the San Antonio Road in the area between the Lavaca River and the divide of the Guadalupe River and the San Antonio River. The records of DeWitt’s Colony consist of 3 linear feet of contract records, correspondence, land titles, appointments, and survey field notes dated 1825-1834.
Identification: AR.87.DW
Quantity: 6.0 Linear feet, (15 document boxes, 4 bound volumes)
Location: File Vault
Language: Materials written predominantly in Spanish. Some materials written in English.
Repository: Texas General Land Office, Archives & Records

Historical Note

Green DeWitt (1787-1835) and James Kerr founded DeWitt’s Colony in 1825 in the Mexican state of Coahuila and Texas. Under the Mexican federal colonization law of 1824 and with the influence of Stephen F. Austin and the Baron de Bastrop, DeWitt procured a contract to bring 400 families to land adjacent to and southwest of Austin’s Colony.

The Colony was located south of the San Antonio Road in the area between the Lavaca River and the divide of the Guadalupe River and the San Antonio River. The area allotted for the colony also took in land that was occupied by DeLeon's Colony, resulting in a conflict between the two colonies. In addition to boundary disputes and illegal trade controversies, the colony suffered from attacks of Native Americans on Gonzales. With James Kerr as Surveyor General, DeWitt established the town of Gonzales in 1825 three miles from the present Gonzales. Jose Antonio Navarro was appointed land commissioner for DeWitt's Colony and issued 180 titles in 1831 and 1832. While DeWitt and the settlers supported Mexico, Gonzales became the site of the first battle of the Texas Revolution.

For more information, see:

1. DeWitt's Colony at the Handbook of Texas Online.

2. Rather, Ethel Zivley. DeWitt's Colony, Book, 1905; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth41255/ : accessed October 09, 2013), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas.

Scope and Contents of the Records

DeWitt’s Colony Records consist of 6 linear feet of contract records, correspondence, land titles, appointments, and survey field notes (1825-1834).

The Records also contain 3 volumes of transcribed translations of titles (1845 and 1872) and 1 surname index volume (undated).


DeWitt's Colony Records are small in quantity and are arranged chronologically at the file level.
Because the Records are physically part of the Spanish Collection, the contract records and correspondence are mixed in with material from other collections which accounts for the addition of 9 document boxes while only adding 2.875 linear inches of material to the collection.


Access Restrictions

Access to the index of titles in DeWitt's Colony in the volume "Index to Titles, 1832-1835" is restricted due to the poor condition of the volume. The index has been superceded by many other indexes including the online database.

Unrestricted access for the rest of the collection.

Use Restrictions

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Index Terms

Aldrete, José Miguel
Arciniega, Miguel, Commissioner
Arizpe, José Ignacio de, Governor
Austin, Stephen F., (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836
Bradburn, Juan Davis, 1787-1842
Burns, Arthur
Campos, Juan Vicente
Carvajal, José M. J.
Eca y Múzquiz, Rafael, Governor
Elozúa, Antonio, ca. 1783-1833
Flood, Laurence
Gonzales, Rafael, Governor
Kerr, James
Letona, José María de, Governor, 1799–1832
León, Martin de, 1765-1833
Looney, J. K.
Manchola, Rafael A.
McCoy, John
Mier y Terán, Manuel de, 1789-1832
Músquiz, Ramón
Oliver, John
Piedras, José de las, -1839
Porter, Fielding
Ruiz, José Francisco, 1783–1840
Salinas, José María,
Saucedo, José Antonio
Valle, Santiago del
Veramendi, Juan Martín de, 1778-1833
Viesca, José María
Ximénez, Manuel
Coahuila and Texas (Mexico)--History--Sources
DeWitt's Colony (Tex.)
Emigration and immigration--Texas
Land titles--Texas
Public records--Texas
Spanish Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Short title of Document], [Date: Day-Month-Year]. Box [#], Folder [#], p. [#]. DeWitt's Colony Records (AR.87.DW). Archives and Records Program, Texas General Land Office, Austin.

Digital Copies

Materials have been digitized. See the Texas General Land Office Land Grant Database and input the surname of the individual grantee.

Detailed Description of the Collection

DeWitt's Colony Records, 1825-1835

Contract records and correspondence, 1825-1833
SC 30-33 Land titles, 1831-1832
SC Aisle Transcribed copies of DeWitt's Colony land titles, "Record of Spanish Titles, Volume I, p. 83-512, October 7, 1845
Translation of titles of DeWitt's Colony in "Translation of titles issued under the second contract [500 families] of Stephen F. Austin with the government of Coahuila & Texas, Austin, 1840", Vol. 3, p. 370-387, 1872
"Record of translations of titles in DeWitt's Colony", Vol. 4, 1872
Index to titles in DeWitt's Colony, Index to Titles, 1832-1835, [fragile and in poor condition], undated
SC 34 Testimonios of land titles, 1831-1834
Box Folder
SC 119 1-22 Special grants issues by José Antonio Navarro, 1831, 1835
SC Aisle Survey field notes and plats of connected surveys, Byrd and Charles Lockhart, surveyors, Volume EFN Lockhart, 1831-1834