Peters Colony was comprised of 23 North Texas counties, or
parts thereof, in the fourth and final colonization contract signed in 1843.
Actual settlement of Peters Colony had begun in 1841 with a contact to '...
"introduce or cause to be introduced" into Texas a colony of six hundred
families within three years.'  At least 200 of these families were to be
introduced into the colony within the first year, and 400 within two years.
Families received 640 acres and single men over seventeen received 320 acres. The
grantees obtained full title to the land after building a cabin upon it and
cultivating at least 15 acres. Each individual settlement was allotted a
section of land for "... the erection of buildings for religious public
The first contact, however, did not provide for sufficient
land to accommodate the terms, so a second contract was crafted on November
9, 1841, which expanded the boundaries of the first and provided for an
additional 66 families. Not long afterward, Henry J. Peters, Samuel
Browning, and Phineas J. Johnson were elected as trustees. Difficulties soon
arose in attracting settlers and in surveying the area. When it became
evident that the settlement of this many families could not be accomplished
within the required time limits, a third contract was entered into on July
26, 1842. While this contract did not extend the final three year limit, it
did extend the time in which the first wave of settlement was to be
effected. On September, 1842 the total number of emigrants was only 54
Modifications leading to the fourth contract began on
January 16, 1843, when both houses of the Republic of Texas congress passed
a fantastical resolution that gave Peters Colony an additional five years to
complete the colonization with any number of families (as deemed appropriate
by Sam Houston) not to exceed 10,000, and added more than 10 million acres
of land. Certain other provisions provided a gateway for the contractors to
enrich themselves in what is today considered more than questionable land
practices, which also served to reduce the amount of land given to the
settlers. This fourth contract became the permanent foundation of Peters
Colony. Lists and biographies of some of the colonists may be found in
 and .