Andrew Montgomery Never Received a Land Grant From Stephen F. Austin

Montgomery: Naming Questions

 

by Kameron K. Searle

   Andrew Montgomery never received a Mexican land grant from Empresario Stephen F. Austin in any of Austin's Colonies! He was in fact a colonist in another colony, Robertson's Colony.

   The section below between the two grey dividing lines was accessed from http://www.texascenterforregionalstudies.net/montgomery.html on September 9, 2020 and was from the webpage titled Montgomery: Naming Questions which included an article titled Stephen F. Austin's Primary Judge Jesse Grimes: neighbors of Montgomery. The webpage this information was accessed from indicated that it was submitted by Robin Navarro Montgomery and Joy Renee Montgomery. It is reproduced here almost exactly as it appeared on September 9, 2020. The only change made was to remove the grey background.

 

Information between the grey lines below was submitted by Robin Montgomery and Joy Montgomery

Byline on the webpage Montgomery: Naming Questions.


Stephen F. Austin's Primary Judge Jesse Grimes: neighbors of Montgomery

Stephen F. Austin had a land grant placed beside Jesse Grimes in 1830- in what became Montgomery County...who else did he personally place there (without a reference certificate to show prior friendship/knowledge of him?) Andrew Montgomery the descendant of Andrew Ewing, founder of Nashville.

Notice in the below map who all is placed in the same area as Austin as appears on the list of early settlers of Montgomery County. 

Note the land to the east of William Montgomery's survey was also a part of his original land grant in 1831. 

Picture
William is listed as a widower as his wife was deceased and all but one of his children would have been considered grown- thus one dependent.

Andrew Montgomery entitled to land in 1830 - Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families.  Stephen F. Austin placed Andrew Montgomery personally not only next to the primary judge of the Municipality of Austin, Jesse Grimes, but also next to his personal land- as seen in the map below.

Yellow: Austin, Grimes, and Andrew Montgomery
Green: Greenwood Families (Married Montgomery girls) Montgomery Clan
Blue/Purple: Shannon and Pierson -Montgomery Clan
Red: Montgomery family (William, Andrew, Edley, and John) Montgomery Clan


   It's Kameron Searle again-

 

Andrew Montgomery Never Received a Land Grant from Stephen F. Austin

   If you're like me, the impression it would seem one is supposed to get after reading the information above is that Andrew Montgomery arrived in Austin's Colony in 1830 and received the land grant with the yellow circle around it from Empresario Stephen F. Austin. Alas, this is not so! He did not receive this land grant or any other land grant from Stephen F. Austin. Andrew Montgomery registered with Stephen F. Austin in 1830, but for whatever reason, NEVER received a single land grant from him.

Note that this is not an 1830's map or a Stephen F. Austin Colony Map. Robin and Joy Montgomery used an 1858 Map of Grimes County for this illustration. Texas had been a State for 12 years when this map was created.

Andrew Montgomery did not receive the land circled in yellow from Stephen F. Austin

   As the original primary source documents in the Texas General Land Office clearly show, Andrew Montgomery received a military bounty for 320 acres of land for his service in the Texas Army during the Texas Revolution. It is important to note that the land circled in yellow on the map above shows "A. Montgomery, B-24.ptd. The abbreviation B-24. refers to Bounty File #24 which you can can see for yourself if you just click on the links to the Texas General Land Office file from either the map directly above or the map directly below."

 

Enlargement of A. Montgomery, B-24.ptd.

Click here to see that Andrew Montgomery did not receive this land from Stephen F. Austin and was not living here in 1830

Andrew Montgomery, Bounty Grant #24

   The bounty grant (Land Certificate #2105) for the land circled in yellow was signed in 1838 and entitled Andrew Montgomery to 320 acres of land somewhere in the Republic of Texas. But, the land was not patented to Andrew Montgomery until 1841. A patent is the legal instrument transferring land from the public domain to private ownership. Click on the image above and look at the Texas General Land Office records very closely. Now, whether Andrew Montgomery actually received this land in 1838, which the records clearly suggest he did not, or if he received the land in 1841 after paying his taxes, which the records clearly suggest he did, he did not receive this tract of land from Stephen F. Austin. Andrew Montgomery was not a colonist in any of Austin's Colonies/Empresario Grants. Andrew Montgomery was in fact a colonist up in Sterling C. Robertson's Colony. Andrew Montgomery received his Mexican Land Grants on February 2, 1835 and July 30, 1835 in Sterling C. Robertson's Colony (in present day Falls County) about 100 miles from the location of the tract of land circled in yellow on the map.

   I must stress, so that no one is left with any mistaken impressions, Andrew Montgomery did not receive the land circled in yellow on this map from Stephen F. Austin and Andrew Montgomery did not receive the land circled in yellow on this map from the Republic of Texas until after the town of Montgomery had already been founded! And, of course, Andrew Montgomery did not own this land prior the creation Montgomery County! The town was founded in July of 1837. The county was created in December 1837. This land was not the source of the name of the town or the county!

 

Montgomery Brothers Were Latecomers

Enlargement of E. Montgomery, B-25.ptd.

Edley Montgomery Bounty Grant #25

Edley Montgomery, Bounty Grant #25

 

Enlargement of John Montgomery, B-26.ptd.

John Montgomery Bounty Grant #26

John Montgomery, Bounty Grant #26

   From the larger map above, please see the enlargement of the red circled tract of land underneath William Montgomery's land grant that reads "E. Montgomery, B-25.ptd." Also see the enlargement of the red circled tract of land under Joel Greenwood's land grant that reads "John Montgomery, B-26.ptd."

   Andrew, Edley and John Montgomery had gone to Sterling C. Robertson's Colony (originally Robert Leftwich's Colony) during the Mexican Colonial period. They lived there and received Mexican land grants there in 1835. E. Montgomery, B-25.ptd and John Montgomery, B-26.ptd., like A. Montgomery, B-24.ptd, are not Austin Colony land grants.

   These bounty grants were for military service to the Republic of Texas. Andrew, Edley and John did not own these tracts of land in 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834, 1835, 1836 (during the Mexican Colonial period), or in 1836, 1837 (during the Republic of Texas period). It certainly appears that they did not even own these tracts of land until 1841, when they paid their taxes. The town of Montgomery was founded in July of 1837. The County of Montgomery was created in December of 1837. Whether they received these tracts in 1838 or 1841, they did not own them until after the town was founded and the county had been created. The Montgomery brothers were latecomers to the area, and as such, could not possibly have been the source of the name of the town or the county.

Click these links to see Edley Montgomery's and John Montgomery's Mexican land grants in Robertson's Colony in 1835 (located in Falls County today).

 

Some Incorrect Statements

   Let's look at a couple of statements that were made in the section titled Stephen F. Austin's Primary Judge Jesse Grimes: neighbors of Montgomery on the webpage Montgomery: Naming Questions. Let's start with the first sentence in the section:

Stephen F. Austin had a land grant placed beside Jesse Grimes in 1830- in what became Montgomery County...who else did he personally place there (without a reference certificate to show prior friendship/knowledge of him?) Andrew Montgomery the descendant of Andrew Ewing, founder of Nashville. 

   All grammar issues aside, let's look at what this sentence appears to be trying to say and/or ask. The first part states that "Stephen F. Austin had a land grant placed beside Jesse Grimes in 1830." A quick look at the map will show that this statement is incorrect. The Jesse Grimes tract which is the one with the yellow square drawn around it shows that Jesse Grimes received his land grant on April 6, 1831, not in 1830.

   Also, if anyone got the impression from the article that Stephen F. Austin lived on his land grant shown on the map, he didn't. Austin owned many huge land grants all over his various colonies that he had received from Mexico for his services as Empresario. See The Texas General Land Office online Land Grant Search. Fill out the "Original Grantee" field. The name must follow this format: Austin, Stephen. Your search will return 125 results for that name. Many of these tracts are for leagues of land (4,428.4 acres each). Also, read any biography of Stephen F. Austin to see that he lived in San Felipe de Austin during his time in Texas.

   In the middle of the sentence, it appears to turn into a question, "...who else did he [Stephen F. Austin] personally place there...? The answer to the question that is given is, Andrew Montgomery. As we saw above, Stephen F. Austin did not "personally place" Andrew Montgomery anywhere. Andrew Montgomery never received a land grant from Stephen F. Austin in 1830 or at any other time. Let's look at another sentence from the article:

Notice in the below map who all is placed in the same area as Austin as appears on the list of early settlers of Montgomery County. . 

   This sentence gives the reader the impression that Austin "placed" everyone whose property is circled or outlined in color on the map. This is not correct. Andrew, Edley and John Montgomery were not placed by Stephen F. Austin as they did not receive grants from him. See the article, Montgomery Brothers Were Latecomers above. Let's look at one more section of the article:

Picture
William is listed as a widower as his wife was deceased and all but one of his children would have been considered grown- thus one dependent.

Andrew Montgomery entitled to land in 1830 - Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families.  Stephen F. Austin placed Andrew Montgomery personally not only next to the primary judge of the Municipality of Austin, Jesse Grimes, but also next to his personal land- as seen in the map below.

   Being listed in Stephen F. Austin's Register did not entitle a person to land in Austin's Colony. As we have seen, Andrew Montgomery was not "entitled to land in 1830" or at any other time from Stephen F. Austin. Austin did not place Andrew Montgomery "next to" Jesse Grimes or Austin. The Republic of Texas won its independence, Austin's Colony ceased to exist and Stephen F. Austin died in 1836, years before Andrew Montgomery received his military bounty grant which just happened to be located next to a tract of land that Stephen F. Austin had once owned. Alas, Stephen F. Austin and Andrew Montgomery were never neighbors!

 

Map from Appendix II of Early History of Grimes County by E. L. Blair

Map showing the location of the land grants of the members of Stephen F. Austin's Colony who settled in what is now Grimes County. Andrew Montgomery's bounty grant was, of course, not one of these grants. Please note that in E. L. Blair's book Early History of Grimes County Andrew Montgomery is not a significant historical figure. An "Andy" is only mentioned once on page 132 in a list of William Montgomery's children. An "Andrew Montgomery" is listed as a son of Edley Montgomery on page 133.

 

1922 Map Showing Unincorporated Community of Stoneham in Grimes County, Texas

1922 Grimes County map showing Andrew Montgomery's bounty grant to the west of Stoneham

Andrew Montgomery's 320 acre tract is located west of Stoneham on this map. In both the 1970 census and the 2000 census, unincorporated Stoneham had a population of 12.

 

Just the Place for a Snark!

   There are numerous statements to the effect that Stephen F. Austin placed Andrew Montgomery next to his property in 1830 or 1831 on the webpage titled Montgomery: Naming Questions. Here are several examples. As concerns Andrew Montgomery, none of these statements are true. These are examples of a historical fallacy that Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Hackett Fischer refers to on page 302 of his book Historians' Fallacies: Towards a Logic of Historical Thought (New York: Harper and Row, 1970) as an argument ad nauseam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Fischer describes argument ad nauseam as "a serious error, in which a thesis is sustained by repetition rather than by reasoned proof. This strategy was a favorite of Lewis Carroll's immortal Bellman in The Hunting of the Snark."

 

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried

As he landed his crew with care;

Supporting each man on the top of the tide

By a finger entwined in his hair.

 

"Just the place for a Snark!" I have said it twice:

That alone should encourage the crew.

"Just the place for a Snark!" I have said it thrice:

What I tell you three times is true."

The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll, p.757    

 

   In an effort to put this issue to rest forever, I encourage all readers to prove for themselves that Andrew Montgomery never received a Mexican land grant from Stephen F. Austin in 1830, 1831 or at any other time and that all such statements are simply not true. I will show you how. It's easy. Please go to the Texas General Land Office Land Grant Database: https://s3.glo.texas.gov/glo/history/archives/land-grants/index.cfm. The Texas General Land Office files for the Mexican colonial period and the Republic of Texas period have been digitized and can be accessed online. Fill out the "Original Grantee" field. The name must follow this format: Montgomery, Andrew. Your search will return 21 results for that name. To the right side of each search result, you'll see a link to a PDF to access the scanned file.

   There are only two Mexican land grants indicated in the search results. Andrew Montgomery received these grants while living as a colonist in Robertson's Colony (today Falls County) in 1835. He received both of these land grants in the town of Viesca (Sarahville de Viesca). See search results Falls 42 Title SC 000037:49 and Falls 41 Title SC 000037:50. There are NO OTHER Mexican land grants in the search results. So, there are no Mexican land grants from Stephen F. Austin to Andrew Montgomery! It's just that simple.

   Also see Andrew Montgomery's military bounty grant Grimes 356 Montgomery Bounty 000024 in the search results. The Republic of Texas land certificate (#2105) was issued in 1838, two years after Austin's Colony had ceased to exist. This bounty grant was patented by the Republic of Texas to Andrew Montgomery in 1841, five years after Austin's Colony had ceased to exist. A patent is the legal instrument transferring land from the public domain to private ownership. Also, see the articles Andrew Montgomery Never Received a Land Grant from Stephen F. Austin and Montgomery Brothers Were Latecomers above.

   There were NEVER any Mexican land grants from Stephen F. Austin to Andrew Montgomery EVER. All statements to the effect that Stephen F. Austin granted Andrew Montgomery land next to his or anywhere else in 1830 or at any other time are simply just not true and never will be no matter how often they are repeated!

 

 

History is, among other things, an argument based on sources and evidence that support that argument. Historians are not free to tell a story or make up an argument without supporting evidence. The evidence of the sources is the raw material of history and the historian's most valuable tool. Historians should not argue or narrate beyond what the evidence demonstrates is the truth.

The Historian's Toolbox: A Students' Guide to the Theory and Craft of History

Robert C. Williams (M. E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York, 2007), p. 56

 

 

Kameron Searle

9111 Katy Fwy., Suite 202

Houston, Texas 77024

Telephone: 713-880-4529

ksearle1@pdq.net