Martin De Leon

By Rachana,Rikita, and Rhea

Texas Map

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Martin de Leon came from a large and very rich family that had many great explorers in their family. He was born in Burgos, Nueva Santander, Mexico in 1765. His parent's names were Joseph Bernardo de Leon y Garcia and Maria Antonia Galvan y de Las Rivas. Martin de Leon came from a rich family and had an opportunity to go to universities to study in Europe and Mexico, but he chose to become a businessman and a rancher. Soon he became a captain in the Spanish military. Then in 1795 Martin married a young women named Patricia de la Garzain in Mexico and they had 10 children. Martin soon moved to Texas with his entire family in 1801. They found land to settle on in the banks of the Arkansas river in 1806. Over there he was a big rancher. With more success and more success as the time went by, he decided to petition the Spanish governer for land in San Antonio. He kept trying to petition for the land but he had been refused to every time. Then he decided to move his family to San Patricio, Texas. 3 years past and because of the Lipan Comanche tribe and the danger of being around them, Martin moved his family again to Presidio La Bahia. Within 1 year, Mexico revolted against Spain and the Presidio of La Bahia withdrew their military forces back to Mexico. Martin decided to move his family back to his birthplace. For the next 6 years Martin worked with his family in ranching. In 1816, Martin owned many heards of cattle. Martin started to travel out to sell his stock. He traveled to New Orleans and sold his stock to make large amounts of profits. On one of his trips to New Orleans, he found land near the Guadalupe river. Then on April 8, 1824 he petitioned the government of San Antonio and got approved. With a deal with a wanted man in Mexico, Martin de Leon settled his colony in Victoria, Texas. He developed more and more in his colony till the settlers were in danger from the Indians and a war on Mexico in 1836 and Martin de Leon had died during this war in 1836.

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Why he wanted to settle in Texas

Martin de Leon had a dream. A dream that was land, but not just any land. Land that was for farming and for grasslands for horses and cattle. He knew that this would be for him and his children and for their children too. Martin de Leon loved hunting, and this land was a paradise for hunters. It was Martin de Leon's desire to create a settlement. In 1807, the spanish governer of San Antonio and petitioned land between the Arkansas River and the Cheltipin Creek.

Identify Problems

The mexican government -

A problem came up when the Coahuila y Tejas government gave an empresario contract to Green DeWitt on April 15, 1825. The new government had not yet received any communication of where De León had established his grant's settlement of Guadalupe Victoria, and included the area in DeWitt's contract. On October 6, 1825, the Coahuila y Tejas government settled knowing that is was in favor of De León. Many other conflicts, continued between De León and Dewitt. Then on October 26, 1826 an incident occured that resulted in De León and his son-in-law Rafael Manchola arresting DeWitt. Resolution required the intervention of Stephen F. Austin.De León was approved by the Coahuila y Tejas government in 1829 to bring an additional 150 families to the colony. DeWitt's contract expired in 1831, and the government didn’t give him an extension.

Economic Conditions - There were not very bad economic conditions other than stock of herds and cattle. Martin was a great rancher and he was known to have the best horses around so he had made a lot of profit through that.

Settlers in the Settlement - The settlers were mostly normal, without any problems. People worked, and lived life in the settlement but not till long. Just then, within a few years, the Mexicans attacked on the settlement and they killed Martin de Leon, and soon they destroyed his entire settlement and family and they were left with nothing.

Complection of their settlement plan - The settlement took a while to build up to a great colony. The plan of the settlement worked out otherwise. His wife contributed $9,800 and cows, horses, and mules at the value of $300 from her father and his side and many changes were made as the settlement grew. Not much of complection was there in the settlement plan.

The Success or Failure of Martin de Leon

Martin de Leon had many difficulties during his settlement efforts. He had moved from Mexico to Texas with a few moves around Texas, and then back to Mexico for safety. With trips to New Orleans, he soon found land in South Texas. He wrote a petition to the San Antonio government about the land. De Leon was one of several emprasarios in Texas who were granted colonisation contracts under the Mexican Government. Others were Stephan F Austin, Green DeWitt, Haden Edwards, David G Barett, Lorenzo De Zavala and Sterling C Robertson. Of these, only De Leon and Austin successfully completely the colonizations. After many refuses and rejections to petitions, he was finally given the land in his favor. Martin De Leon's colony was the only Mexican colony in Texas at that time. After Martin De Leon died, his colony's value was estimated to be about one million dollars. I would call his colony a success.

Identify geographic considerations with location of settlement

The colony was located in Victoria, Texas. Victoria is located on the Coastal Plains of Texas about 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and 20 miles from the nearest bay waters. It lies along and just east of the Guadalupe River. Vegetation in better-drained areas primarily consists of short grasses and post oaks and other small timber and brush. Moist sites can grow tall forests dominated by elm and pecan.I can tell that this is a very easy place to live because, there is plenty of water and vegetation. It is also easier to build houses and buildings because it is flat land.

About life in the Early Settlement

In the early settlement of the colony, life was a little different. As years went by things had changed and more better products were created to supply the colony. Long before, when the settlement was just getting built and people were just moving in, houses were not very established. They were called "jacals" and were built with dirt floors and other low scaled item. The Settlement had started to provide everyone with what they need. There were churches, markets, shops, public squares, and other services like those. Food was not that rich and was not the best food. Farmers grew crops such as corn, beans, and potatoes so they were provided to the settlers. Also food like fresh meat, beef, and pork was provided for the settlers. This was how the settlers lived in those early days. They were not provided with many resources but as time went by more better services opened up for the settlers and the colony was provided with all their needs.


The result of Martin De Leon was that he had a successful settlement. As the colony progressed, Martin De Leon died and the colony still progressed on.