I'm so excited to be a permanent member of Sweethearts of the West, and to be affiliated with such a wonderfully talented group of authors. Thank you!
In relation to my previous post on family and their immigration to the Southwest and Texas, I bring you a post on the phrase, Gone To Texas, and a brief story on my family's beginnings in Texas.
Gone to Texas, often abbreviated GTT, was a phrase used by Americans immigrating to Texas in the mid-1800's. They moved to Texas for many reasons, often to escape debt incurred during the Panic of 1819, to start over again or to begin for the first time, to get land or to look for adventure as well as for new fortunes. Obtaining "land" seemed to be the driving force for most of those who came to Texas. People became so obsessed with the hopes promised and the romance of Texas that "Gone to Texas" or "G.T.T." was often written on the doors of abandoned houses or posted as a sign on fences.
After Davy Crockett was narrowly defeated for re-election in Tennessee, he famously said,
My ancestor, Amon McCommas, was one so obsessed. He came to Peter's Colony in December 1844 from Virginia, stopping for repairs successively in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. Accompanying him in his journey was his wife, Mary, their grown children, James B., John (my g-g-grandfather and a soldier in the Mexican war), Elisha, William M., Amon, Jr., Stephen B. (died a soldier in the city of Mexico, December 24, 1847), Rosa, Armilda, and Mary E.
Also along for the adventure were Amon's two brothers, Stephen B. and John C., and a sister-in-law Mrs. Lavinia McCommas and her children.
Circulars printed for distribution and posted in public places advertising the rich lands of the Red River and Trinity Colony in Texas lured many to this area of North Central Texas. One advertisement stated that the Peters Colony was “peculiarly adapted to the successful growth of cotton and tobacco,” and, “Indian corn, rye, barley, oats, sweet and Irish potatoes, peas, beans, melons, figs, garden vegetables and all the fruits.” Circulars further claimed that “the country abounds in wild game, such as buffalo, deer wild turkies, prairie hens, quails, and grey squirrels, and the forest with wild honey.” With advertisements such as this, it is easy to see why so many families decided to emigrate to Texas.
Every family settling in Texas during this period was to receive 640 acres of land and each single man 320 acres, provided they lived on and work the land for three years.
I'm in awe of so many families, not just my own, starting out with their meager belongings to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles to a complete unknown. When the McCommas' reached their destination, Peter's Colony, they set up camp on the banks of the Trinity River, where Elder Amon McCommas preached the first Sermon.
Amon settled, with his family, five miles northeast of where the city of Dallas now stands. At that time, Dallas contained only five or six families, settled along the banks of the river. He was a Campbellite preacher (Deciples of Christ Minister) and he founded the Christian Church of Dallas in 1845 with twelve members. In 1846, Amon chaired the meeting that formed Dallas County and was later elected as the first Chief Justice of the Dallas County Commissioners Court. He was a farmer who owned the first "tread - mill "(grist mill powered by mules) in Dallas. He served as president of the first county fair, which later became the State Fair of Texas.
This is how the families of my Texas Code Series, the Bennings and McTiernans, came to be in Texas. By the 1850’s, the Peters Land Company was reorganized under the name of the Texas Emigration and Land Company, which offered 320 acres to married men and 160 to single men, plus a "free cabin, seed, and musket balls.”
Ian Benning and Dermot McTiernan came to Texas from Ireland in 1862, received their land, fought with Texas in the Civil War, then went back to Ireland, married and returned to Texas in 1875. These two novellas are works in progress that I hope to have ready in the next couple of months. Above are their covers that I'm excited to share.
In the meantime, my new release, CODE OF HONOR, Texas Code Series, Book One, is available for Kindle and print on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/muln4r9, and on http://createspace.com for print.
Find me on my website: http://carracopelin.com
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