French Immigration In Texas

By: Soumil Chopra

The Map Of Origin

The main reason that French immigrants came to Texas was because of Napoleon rising. Most of the French immigrants had seen what was going to happen and wanted to quickly leave from France which was going to be overruled by political stability. Also they wanted a more free type of government. That is the main reason they left France.

Texas Map and Pull Factors

Most French immigrants moved into Henri Castro's colony in Texas, because Texas had political stability and also was very strong since it had goten annexed to America. A little information about Henri Castro is that, he was the main colonizer and there was a lot of resources in Texas. Also the French had already colonized in Texas and it would very easy to adapt to the Texas terrain and also the climate. About Henri Castro's colony; He settled near San Antonio. He lived near a river that is now known as the Medina River. This was a good choice for him, because of how great the agricultural business was doing at that time. He had the biggest growing colony. He was by far the most successful colonizer of the French immigrants. He had settled 485 families in his colony.

French Culture

Most of the French people were Roman Catholic, and this was the country religion, until after the 1789 revolution. Though Roman Catholicism is not the country religion it is the most common religion in France there are smaller religions that are not as dominant as the Roman Catholic religion. Since the main religion in France is Roman Catholicism, they celebrate some holidays that we know like Christmas, Easter, and also Labor Day. Something interesting I found was that on Christmas Eve that they all had a very big feast, like we do on Thanksgiving. The most popular sport in France is football. France also is known for how rich their culture. They have many famous museums filled with old artifacts and also art. Some famous museums like the Louvre that has the most famous painting in the world that is known as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Also some other museums hold the most famous paintings by Claude Monet. Something interesting I found was that 52% of the people in France owned pets. While in America 68% of people now have pets. I brought this up to show how fast France has advanced in everything.

Important Individuals

  • Henri Castro was probably the main reason that most French immigrants came to Texas. He also helped Texas by settling 485 families after annexation to the United States Of America. This also would help America in the long run, because Henri Castro had settled his colony near the Medina River, which was perfect for agriculture and also that would help the government get more money from this colony.
  • John James Audubon was an important person in Texas who brought a lot of culture not just to Texas, but also to the whole United States. When he was born he had a certain talent of drawing birds. At 18 he came to Texas and at age 20 he became bankrupt, that is what made him start painting birds. he visited Galveston and also Houston for more inspiration for drawing birds and plants. One of his most famous books is Birds of America. His pictures still to this day inspire many and pleasure many.
  • Father Claude Jaillet was a priest who came to Texas in 1866. He was a famous priest who conducted Baptisms, and Weddings. He became well known around South Texas, because he was the only Priest who traveled on horse back around south Texas and conducted Baptisms and Weddings.

Did You Know?

  1. Did you know that the most visited place in France isn't the Eiffel tower, but it is Disney land.
  2. Another fun fact is that France has the most Ski resorts in the world.
  3. The French actually invented the metric system.
  4. French is actually the most taught language after English.
  5. Something I found very interesting is that the Eiffel Tower is repainted every 7 years.


The French actually made a huge difference in Texas and not only that, but also America. Something that the French brought to America that is less noticed is actually culture. one of the most important person to to do this was John James. He actually was born after Texas was annexed and came to Texas at the age of 18, but by the age of 20 he had went bankrupt. Though a few years later he started painting birds. Then later he went to Galveston and Houston for inspiration to paint birds and also plants. Most of his paintings are still very Famous and still pleasure many people to this day. Also another person who helped in America actually settled 485 families. This man was named Henri Castro. He was by far the most successful French immigrant. He settled near the Medina River that is very close to San Antonio. This river was a big pull factor to settle into Henri Castro's colony. This river was so important, because of how easy it made it to produce crops, and also this really was good opportunity since agriculture was doing greatly in the economy. This also was a great thing for not only Texas, but also the American government.

Did They Make a Difference?

I believe that the French people did make a difference and one of the most important individuals was Henri Castro who's colony produced lots of money and also brought so many people to Texas. this was important because after the Mexican War and Texas Revolution many people had left so that they wouldn't have to deal with all the wars going on in Texas. John James was the main person in France who brought culture and the French art.

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles are actually one of the most well known French foods. They were first made by N.Petruccelli in Chambéry in December of 1895. There are now three types of main truffles, Swiss, American, and European. The American Truffle is half of an egg shape. It is usually a mixture of Dark Chocolate and also Milk Chocolate.


Donald Morrison, "The Death of French Culture", Time, Wednesday Nov. 21, 2007. {,9171,1686532,00.html}

Le marché des aliments pour chiens et chats en Belgique. Mission Economique de Bruxelles, 2006. Read this document (in French) PDF

Jonathan Fenby: On the Brink; the Trouble with France Warner Books London, 1998