1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
David Burket-Index


David Burket Historical Marker

DeWitt Colony

Land Grant



Full text of a typical land grant title issued in the DeWitt Colony by Land Commissioner Jose Antonio Navarro from the Texas State Land Archives, Spanish Division. The specific title is for the labor granted to the author's 3rd great grandfather David Burket in the Burket-Zumwalt-DeWitt cluster of labors on the Guadalupe River on the southern border of the Gonzales town tract. The summary transcript below is translated from the Spanish in the original document.

The Texas Highway Historical marker is 2 mi east of Gonzales on Hwy 90 on Kerr Creek. The Texas Historical Commission approved marker is in error in that it refers to the  Burket league grant the original document describing the grant on the current Gonzales-LavacaCo border.  The marker sits on what was the labor on Kerr Creek near the original Gonzales townsite.  The land grant paperwork consisted of a petition to Land Commissioner Navarro signed by the colonist, a charge to Empresario DeWitt by Commissioner Navarro for verification of the petition, signed verification by DeWitt that the petition is legitimate, declaration of issuance of title signed by Navarro, decree for title and description of the tract of land signed by Navarro and witnesses. The foregoing sections were handwritten in Spanish on a form with the printed heading consisting of the third seal of the State of Coahuila y Texas established for the biennium 1832 and 1833. The actual certificate of title was a printed form filled in with names and dates and signed by DeWitt.

Land Grant Form

Honorable Commissioner:
I, David Burget, a native of the United States of the North, the formalities of the law permitting, appear before you and say: That having been admitted by Empresario Green DeWitt to settle the tracts of his Colony as the law of Colonization of the state proscribes, and as appears from the Certificate which I duly enclose, being as I am married and having four children, including two boys, and until the present time not having the title of possession of the tract which corresponds to me as a settler, by the present petition I beg you, please, to issue to me the title of one labor in separate form, which is entirely vacant on the northeast margin of the Guadalupe River, immediate to the Common of this Town, reserving for myself the corresponding right as a stock raiser to solicit from you in the same manner the twenty-four million varas which shall be lacking to complete the league, and which I have chosen on the waters of Peach Creek and the Lavaca about 25 miles from this Town; wherein you will accord justice to me. Gonzales, 20th of November of 1831.

Town of Gonzales, 21st of November of 1831.
To Empresario Green de Witt in order that in continuation he may report to me in writing whether the applicant is the true owner of the certificate which he encloses, whether all he states in his petition is legitimate and true, especially whether the tract he claims is entirely vacant and included in the limits of his Colony, and lastly, whether he considers the applicant capable of cultivating it.

Although his full signature is illustrated here, Land Commissioner Navarro usually signed this section of the titles with only his surname-WLM


Gonzales, 23rd of November of 1831
Honorable Commissioner:
Pursuant to your foregoing decree I say that the applicant is one of the Colonists Introduced by virtue of my contract and according to the law, and he is a farmer and stock raiser, I do not think there is any obstacle to granting his the separate labor which he requests, since the tract is vacant and one of those which are unoccupied from possession to possession in the Colony; it is as much as occurs to me say to you in regard to the matter.
Signature of Empresario Green DeWitt. DeWitt used the elaborate underscore script which was a tradition among military and political officials of the young Mexican Republic. The underscore graphic was said to be sometimes used without the name to spare officials embarrassment who could not write their name -WLM


Issue the title of ownership that by means thereof he may possess and enjoy it according to the laws. By this decree I thus resolve, order, and sign in this said Town of Gonzales on the 25th day of the month of November of 1831 which I certify.
Signature of Land Commissioner Navarro



In the aforesaid Town of Gonzales on the 26th day of the same month and year,
I, Jose Antonio Navarro, Special Commissioner of the Supreme Government of the state of Coahuila and Texas for the distribution and possession of vacant lands in this Colony contracted by Empresario Citizen Green DeWitt with said Supreme Government, consequent to the preceding decree and whereas David Burget has been received as a colonist in the above-mentioned Colonization Enterprise, as appears from the foregoing report of the Empresario, the said David Burget having proved that he is married, as well as finding in his person the requisites prescribed by the colonization law of the state of the 24th of March of 1825, in conformity with said Law, the contract, the instructions which govern as dated the 4th of September of 1827, and the commission conferred upon so by His Excellency, the Governor of the state by order of the 29th of January of the present year of 1831, is the name of the same state I concede to, confer upon, and put the aforesaid David Burget in real, actual, virtual and corporal possession of one labor of arable land; said labor having been surveyed by the Scientific Surveyor Lockhart, previously appointed in legal form resulted with the following situation and boundaries:

Burket's Labor MapSituated on the northeast margin of the Guadalupe River, immediately below the Commons of the Town of Gonzales, beginning at a stake set on the north boundary of Labor No. 7, from which a pecan 10 inches in diameter bears west 36 varas distant; thence it continues south 60 degrees west 172 varas which reach Kerr Creek at a point within it, and thence south 59 degrees west 1,100 varas to the east boundary of Number 5 where a stake was set form which an elm 10 inches in diameter bears north 32 degrees east one link distant and another of 6 inches in diameter bears south 6 varas distant; thence it runs north 20 degrees west 900 varas to the Town Tract, on the boundary of which a stake was set, and from this north 70 degrees east 1,035 varas to the northeast corner, from which stake an oak 20 inches in diameter bears south 40 degrees east 6 varas distant, and another 9 inches in diameter bears north 84 degrees west 11 varas distant, and thence south 20 degrees east 440 varas to a set stake from which a pecan 10 inches in diameter bears north 70 degrees west 8 varas distant, immediately running north 70 degrees east 240 varas to another driven stake from which an oak 12 inches in diameter bears south 46 degrees west 3 varas distant, and from this to the point where it began south 20 degrees east 24 0 varas they complete the limits of this labor of arable land, as appears from the field notes which exist in the original;

which serves as classification for the price which, by way of acknowledgement, he shall pay the state, which is that of two pesos and four reales, payable in the manner expressed by Article 22 of the aforesaid Law of Colonization, and under the penalties therein established, of which he is well informed, likewise that within the term of one year he shall construct permanent landmarks at each corner of the tract and that he shall settle and cultivate it in conformity with the provisions of the aforesaid law. Therefore, exercising the powers vested in as by the same Law and consequent instructions, I issue the present instrument and order the testimony taken from it and delivered to the interested party in order that he may possess and enjoy said tract; he his children, heirs, and successors, or whoever from his or from them shall have cause or right, which I sign with two of my attendant witnesses according to the law this day of the date.

Attendant Witness: Jose Ramon Bedford
Land Commissioner Jose Antonio Navarro
Attendant Witness: Thomas R. Miller

Certificate of Title

Burket Land Certificate

No. 151
Citizen GREEN DE WITT, Empresario to introduce Foreign Emigrants in the Colony which the Supreme Government of the state of Coahuila and Texas has assigned to him by the contract made between said Government and the same DeWitt, to the effect:

I CERTIFY that David Burget is one of the Colonists whom I have introduced by virtue of my above-mentioned contract; that he arrived in this Colony an the 1st day of June of the year of 1830; that he is married, and his family consists of six persons, according to the declaration under his own signature which he has presented to me; and I have proof that he has taken, before the Alcalde the oath prescribed by the third article of the Law of Colonization of the state.

I give this certificate to hold David Burget to present to the Honorable Commissioner appointed by the Government to distribute lands and issue titles, as evidence that he enters in my aforesaid contract. This document shall be null if it should appear that said declaration made by the interested party is false in any part or if the same leaves this Colony, before receiving his title of possession, to establish himself in another place.

1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
David Burket-Index