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Cazneau, Jane Maria Eliza McManus

Jane Cazneau was a journalist, author, and unofficial diplomat. She first became active in Texas in 1832, when she looked into resettling her parents and bringing immigrants to Austin's colonies. Cazneau applied to Austin for coastal land. Jane, her father, her brother Robert, and a company of German settlers set out to take possession of the land, but the plan failed when the German settlers refused to go beyond Matagorda. She returned to New York with her father.

She bought and sold Texas land from 1834 to 1851. When the Texas Revolution started, she contributed money and weapons to the Texas rebels. Her newspaper columns helped swing United States public opinion in favor of the annexation of the Republic of Texas.

In December 1849, Jane married Texas entrepreneur and politician William Leslie Cazneau. She and her new husband lived for two years at Eagle Pass, where he founded a town, opened a trade depot, and investigated mining opportunities. In her writing, she claimed that Mexicans had been kidnapping Texas residents into debt service in Mexico.

Jane was a friend of Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas.

During the Mexican War Jane Cazneau played an important, if unofficial, part in an unsuccessful secret peace mission. During that mission she became the only female war correspondent and the only American journalist to issue reports from behind enemy lines.

She resided for much of the 1850s in the Dominican Republic, where her husband was serving as United States secret agent and commissioner, diplomatic missions that she helped initiate.


Source: Cazneau, Jane Maria Eliza McManus
Copyright © Texas State Historical Association

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