Anthony Dey Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company records
Scope and Contents
The Records are organized into five series: Correspondence, Agreements, Grants and Proposals, Court Actions, Financial Papers, and Printed Material. Boxes 4-6 contain Oversize material.
Series I, Correspondence (1828-1855), contains letters addressed to either Anthony Dey or the Galveston Bay Company and letters from Dey, as well as a small group of third party correspondence. The series is arranged chronologically. The earliest correspondences date from the time that Lorenzo de Zavala obtained his grant; later letters concern the company's business, including correspondence with agents both in Texas and Europe, sending instructions and receiving news from Texas, Mexico City and various places in Europe. There are also inquiries in response to the Company's advertisements, letters from surveyors, and discussions of the advantages of to the United States if it were to purchase Texas from Mexico. Principal correspondents include John T. Mason, William H. Sumner, Jonathan Turnbull, G. H. Paulsen, and William S. Allen. There is a gap in the correspondence from January 1836 to June 1849. The letters from 1849-1851 are written by William H. Sumner to Anthony Dey and concern a memorial to President James K. Polk that Sumner was preparing. Five folders of correspondence fragments have been placed at the end of the series. One of these, folder number 18, contains correspondence, probably written to John T. Mason, discussing the merits of the United States owning Texas.
Series II, Agreements, Grants, and Proposals (1826-1835) contains documents related to the people and events discussed in the correspondence of Series I. The files include copies of the grants of the empresarios, agreements with agents, letters of attorney for agents to sell scrip, and proposals of surveyors. Series III, Court Actions (1832-1852), contains papers relating to four court cases in which the company or Dey was involved, which are arranged by case. The first, Anthony Dey, impleaded with George Curtis ads. Charles A. Carter concerns a dispute with a land agent over payment for services rendered. The second case, Anthony Dey ads. Peter Reinoudt and Stewart Newell concerns Anthony Dey's dispute with his agents Newell and Reinoudt over the allocation of the grant lands. The case of Galveston Bay Company vs. Federal Government of Mexico consists of Anthony Dey's claims against the government of Mexico for the expenses incurred and premiums not gained due to governmental interference. The case of Stephen Whitney et al. vs. Anthony Dey et al. concerns a complaint brought by Stephen Whitney and others who had been appointed directors of the Galveston Bay Company.
Anthony Dey's personal financial papers are included with Galveston Bay Company papers in Series IV, Financial Papers (1821-1837). A two volume, highly detailed, account book dating from 1821 to 1834 carries both personal and business accounts, from the payment of servants, and purchase of horses and bread to the sale of shares in the Galveston Bay Company. Also present is Anthony Dey's bankbook as trustee of the company, and eight printed scrip, one of which was printed in Germany. Series V, Printed Material, includes newspapers, pamphlets (one published in Germany), broadsides, and other printed ephemera. Several items in this series have been cataloged separately, but remain with the collection.
Oversize contains material from Series II, IV, and V, arranged in box order.
- 1821 - 1855
- Majority of material found within 1830 - 1835
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
5.87 Linear Feet (6 boxes)
Language of Materials
A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog
GALVESTON BAY AND TEXAS LAND COMPANY
The company was the first commercial effort in the United States to emulate Stephen Austin's plans to colonize Texas, and it published some of the earliest accounts of Texas printed in English. The company owned none of the land to be colonized but instead sold scrip which was a permit to settle. The company's American agents included Jose Antonio Mexia and John T. Mason; it also had several agents in Europe soliciting recruits. Once in Texas, the settlers would have to complete the requirements of the Mexican colonization law before they could obtain title to their land. Restrictions imposed by the government of Mexico frustrated the company's efforts, and it became a strong supporter of Texas independence.
In November 1835 the General Council of the provisional government of Texas closed the land office. At that time the company had not received the premium lands (three haciendas and two labors) the Mexican government had promised to empresarios for settling 200 families. When the Republic passed a law in June 1837 that permitted empresarios to institute suit to establish their claims so long as neither aliens nor assignees of aliens should benefit by the law, the company authorized Robert Rose, successor of John T. Mason, to enter a suit. In 1848 the courts ruled that the term aliens applied to assignees of the company and that Rose was not qualified to sue. With the failure of the suit, the company went out of business. Even after this time, however, Anthony Dey continued to pursue his claims against the Mexican government in court, and was sued by other members of the company.
- Account books
- Allen, William S.
- Burnet, David G. (David Gouverneur), 1788-1870
- Case files
- Coahuila and Texas (Mexico) -- Colonization
- Curtis, George, 1799-1884
- Dey, Anthony, 1776-1859
- Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company
- Land companies -- Texas
- Land grants
- Land grants -- Texas
- Mason, John T. (John Thomson), 1787-1850
- Paulsen, G. H.
- Real property -- Texas
- Sumner, William H. (William Hyslop), 1780-1861
- Texas -- Description and travel
- Texas -- Emigration and immigration
- Texas -- History -- To 1846
- Turnbull, Jonathan
- Vehlein, Joseph
- Zavala, Lorenzo de, 1788-1836
- Guide to the Anthony Dey Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company Records
- by Diana M. Smith
- September 1996
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
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New Haven, CT 06511
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