On October 3, 1842, the English investors transferred their interests to three other Englishmen and three Americans who were each scheming for control of the colony: Daniel J. Carroll, Sherman Converse, and Charles Fenton Mercer.   Converse, after persuading the Louisville group to assign their rights to him, obtained a fourth contract with the Republic of Texas on January 20, 1843. It gave a five-year extension, to July 1, 1848, to fulfill the contract and added over ten million acres to the west of the colony. When the promises that Converse had made were not fulfilled, the Louisville group, thinking themselves deceived, found additional investors and reorganized as the Texas Emigration and Land Company on October 15,  1844.Under the leadership of Willis Stewart, an astute Louisville businessman and one of the new investors, the company made good its claim to be the true owners of the Peters colony. The confusion over ownership, however, discouraged immigration to the colony, and by July 1, 1844, according to the company's own agent, Ralph H. Barksdale, there were only 197 families and 184 single men in the colony. The company was further hampered in its attempts to attract settlers by an ordinance passed by the Convention of 1845   that required an investigation of all colony contracts on the assumption that they were unconstitutional. The company increased its problems by employing as its agent in 1845 the London-born Henry O. Hedgcoxe, whose foreign and officious manners irritated the colonists and reinforced a commonly held suspicion that the contractors were mere land speculators. An influx of squatters into the colony also complicated the company's task of administrating the colony.

NEXT--->