Cotland was the name given to Thomas Stuart McFarland
By Jonnie Miller
Cotland was the name given to Thomas Stuart McFarland's home in Newton County. McFarland was a soldier, state official, surveyor, and farmer. He lived from 1810 to 1880 and most of this time in Texas. He laid out San Augustine, Belgrade, Mondelphia, and Pendleton. As a soldier he fought in the Texas War for Independence as did his father, William McFarland. He also served in the Texas Senate in Austin and in Houston. In 1837 he and his father surveyed Belgrade, on the west bank of the Sabine River in what is now Newton County. He and his wife, Elizabeth Wills Eubank, had ten children. Cotland was the name of their plantation near San Augustine. When he died in Bleakwood he was buried there. He kept a handwritten journal from January 1, 1837 until June, 1840. This journal is a detailed record of McFarland's activities, thoughts, and life in the land along the Sabine River in the beginning of the Texas Republic..
The original is in the custody of the Special Collections Department of the Ralph Steen Library at Stephen F. Austin University. The journal was saved by McFarland's daughter, Catherine McFarland Russell. The journal is significant by showing the development, trials, successes, and progress made by settlers along the river front, an important entry point of Texas Copies of the journal can be bought at the Newton County History Center in Newton.