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Hardships of the Early Natchez Emigrants

Taking the reader with us, to the settlements of the distant Natchez region, he will find that emigrants continued to pour in, upon those fertile hills and alluvial bottoms, from all parts of “his majesty’s Atlantic plantations.” Many were the hardships and perils they encountered, in reaching this remote and comparatively uninhabited region. It is believed that the history of one party of these emigrants will enable the reader to understand what kind of hardships and deprivations all the others were forced to undergo. Major General Phineas Lyman, a native of Durham, a graduate of Yale, a distinguished lawyer, and a member of the legislature of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, became commander of the Connecticut forces in 1755. He served with so much distinction, during the Canadian war, that he was invited, by persons high in office, to visit England. He had formed an association composed of his brothers in arms, called the “Military Adventurers,” whose design was, the colonization of a tract of country upon the Mississippi. He sailed to England, as agent for this company, with the sanguine, yet reasonable hope, that the King would make the grant. Arriving there he found, to his astonishment, that land in a wilderness was refused to those who had fought so valiantly for it, and whose contemplated establishment would have formed a barrier against enemies, who might seek to acquire it. In his own country Lyman had never solicited favor, otherwise than by faithful public services. The coolness which he now experienced deeply mortified him — his spirits sank, and he lost all his former energy. Shocked at the degradation...

Biography of Austin, Moses

For the information of our readers who are not familiar with the early colonial scheme of settling Texas with American colonists when it was a province of Spain, we will give a short sketch of the man in whose brain it originated and the various causes which led to it. Moses Austin was a native of Connecticut, born at the village of Durham in 1767. When a boy he went to Philadelphia, and in 1787 he married Miss Maria Brown. His brother, Stephen, was then at the head of an important house in Philadelphia, and Moses Austin soon after his marriage took charge of a branch house in Richmond, Virginia. In a few years the brothers purchased Chizzel’s lead mines in Wythe County, Virginia, and Moses Austin took charge of the enterprise. At that place on the 3rd of November 1793, Stephen Fuller Austin, the future colonial empresario of Texas, was born. Two other children lived to maturity and came to Texas, James Brown Austin and Emily M. Austin. James died of yellow fever at New Orleans in August 1829. Emily married twice, first James Bryan, and after his death James F. Perry. In a few years the Philadelphia and Richmond house of the Austins failed, which also involved the loss of the lead mines. At this time reports came of rich lead mines in upper Louisiana (now in Missouri), which attracted the attention of Moses Austin. The territory then being under the dominion of Spain, he procured a passport from the Spanish minister to the United States in 1797 and visited that region, and secured from the governor,...

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