Throwback Thursday: Legendary Colony


BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Around the 1820s there was talk of an African colony in what is currently the southmost area in Brownsville called “Las Prietas”.

As an English ship captain came into the Port of Veracruz he was confronted by the Spanish Navy in New Spain. They told him he could not come into this country with these slaves because it is now outlawed. The English captain said he did not know. The Spaniards became hostile and went after the three English ships. The captain took off up the coast with the Spanish Navy giving chase and sunk two of his vessels.

The English captain, with his last ship, some cargo, and some slaves made it all the way to the mouth of the Rio Grande. At that time Spain had the colony of what would become Texas. The captain decided to unload his cargo at the mouth of the river and decided to carry on. The slaves were actually left off at the mouth of the Rio Grande, and the way that evidence has brought it is that they traveled up the mouth into more fertile lands which would probably be where the present-day area of southmost in Brownsville.

That colony existed and flourished for a good while but then a great flood overtook the river and it wiped out the major portion of the colony. Shortly afterward, due to the disenchantment of having lost the major portion of their colony, these inhabitants, actually free people now, made it up the coast of Texas to east Texas. 

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