The Old 300
The old 300 were the 297 grantees, made up of families and some partnerships of unmarried men, who purchased various amounts parcels of land from SFA. Stephen Austin carried out his fathers original plan, and in the summer of 1821 he and a small group of settlers crossed into Texas.
The Original Plan
In January 1821 Austin's father, Moses Austin received a permit from Spain to settle 300 families in Texas. A short time later he passed away from pneumonia, and was unable to realize his plans. His son, Stephen Austin chose to carry out his plan and in 1821 he led a small group to Texas.
The Spanish demanded the settlers be, among other things, loyal to the official government and religion of Spain. Austin's colony was the first legal settlement of north american families. The settlement of Austin's colony from 1821 to 1836 has been called the most successful colonization movement in American history. The area of Austin's Colony included land that is now contained in 19 Texas counties. They had to build homes for themselves, find food, and do their best to find food. Because Austin wanted to avoid problems with his colonists, he generally only accepted those of "better" classes; indeed, only four of the Old Three Hundred grantees were illiterate. Settlers came from all around the world, and did what they could to be in Austin's colony.