Moses Austin to Antoine Soulard, 01-20-1804

Summary: Concerning the arbitrary transactions of Thomas Madden, surveyor.

Mine A. Burton Jany. 20th. 1804.

a few Days past Mr. Maxwell mentioned to me that he held a note of mine and at the same time handed me your letter. Mr Maxwell observed that the intrested had liberty to either make payment or return the Concessions to me the concequences are the same I have not a Dollar at Stake but as I had recd orders from some of the Intrested not to make payment I requested from Mr Maxwell time to learne the Determenation of the Gentlm after which I would Either make the payment or Return the Concessions. I receiv'd from all the Gentlm- for answer that the Concessions Should be returned for reasons- following first that Mr Madden has made a Survey for an Indian boy of Pratts of a peice of Land he was informed two weeks before was intended for Mr Shaw and Mr Treat also after being made acquaint'd Where Mr Stuart wish his Survey made he Survey [ed] a Concession for some of his family or friends a preference being given to an Indian Boy of Pratts After Messr Shaw and Treat had paid one Hundred and Twenty Dollars to some of the settlers of the Mine of burton who have made some improvement on the land they intended to take and which Madden surveyed by the Indian not withstanding being for old Mr Duelle thus treated by a man you promis'd Should execute your orders with out deviation has induced them to suppose that this Conduct of Maddens meet your Approbation under such impressions you are not to be surprised that they have Declaired there dissattisfaction in the highest terms, what confidence is to be given to Madden who the moment he had information Where the Gentlm. in question wish'd there [concessions] Survey'd, immediately made Surveys for Others on the same lands this with Other Considerations which I can communicate to you when an opportunity offers has Determened them all to Return the Concessions As to myself I have but One Observation to make and that is that I cannot sufficiently express my dissattisfaction with my Self, that I have had a part in this business by which I have not onely recd from you a Charge of Conduct of which I always shall Declair myself Blameless and have been Shamefully abus'd by your freind madden I have given Great dissattisfaction to the Gentlm for whome I acted, all of which has been brought about by a man altho your friend is uneversally Detested by the American People on the West Bank of the Mississippia notwithstanding I beleave your intentions have been always to give Sattisfaction to Evry man yet your unbound'd confidance in Madden and his friends has induced you to look on me as a man unworthy of belief—and Capable of many improper thing haveing as you was pleased to express yourself to a friend of yours Clouds before my eyes which you have not been able to remove

M Austin [Rubric]

[Endorsed:] Copy letter Mr. A. Soulard. St. Louis Jany. 20 1804