The first Congress of the Republic of Texas passed an act creating a General Land Office, which, with supplements, required all empresarios, jefes politico, alcaldes, and other persons to deliver over to the Commissioner of the General Land office, all archives, which were thereby made public property of the Republic. Under this law all archives of the Power and Hewetson Colony, and of the ayuntamiento of Refugio were delivered to the Land Commissioners. Subsequently, the Libro Becerra relating to town lots in the villa of Refugio was returned to the county clerk of Refugio County, in whose office the book is still kept. All empresario contracts were declared terminated as of March 2, 1836, and the several empresarios were given the right to present their claims to the government for adjustment.
To adjudicate the many outstanding claims for land bounties, the republic was divided into Land Districts with Local Boards to pass upon claims for land certificates. Refugio County was placed in Land District 10, which had its situs at Victoria. Later Refugio was made a Land District to itself.
Source: Hobart Huson, Refugio: A Comprehensive History of Refugio County from Aboriginal Times to 1953 (2 vols., Woodsboro, Texas: Rooke Foundation, 1953, 1955.
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