Moses Austin to Stephen Austin, 12-16-1804

Summary: Advice as to education, associates, etc.

St Geneive Decr. 16th., 1804

My Dear Boy

Your letter Dated 26th of Septr. came to hand in Due time and be assurd It gave inexpressable pleasure to your Dear Mother and Sister as well as to all your friends. Your troubles on your Journey will learn you a little of what you are to expect to meet with in life. I am sorry for the situation of Mr Phelps and hope he may yet Recover his health and property— I am greatly pleased that you are placed under the care of so good a friend as Mrs Penniman I am confident she will take as good care of you as myself. I hope and pray you will improve Every moment of time to the utmost advantage and that I shall have the sattisf action of seeing that my expectations are not Disappointed, remember my Dear Son that the present is the moment to lay the foundation for your future greatness in life that much money must be expended before your Education is finished and that time lost can never be recalled, therefore be studious and attentive to obtain full information of all matters given to you to learn— I have forwarded by post a letter to Mr. Penneman and before I became acquainted at what place you was to be placed I forwarded to Mr Timothy Phelps 50$ Dollars for your use I shall shortly forward you 50$ more to the Care of Mr Penniman who will pay it away as you may want— I have given Orders that you be furnished with Clothing suited to the Situation you are in and as to Expense money what Mr and Mm Penniman may think proper you shall have I do not expect you will expend money unwisely Yet I do not wish you to render yourself Disagreeable to your young friends to avoid expending a few Dollars when it appears necessary for you to forme company pay readely your part of all expenses that may arise but Never lett yourself be imposed on by an improper Demand and If you finde a Disposition in any of your young friends to do such an Act, I charge you, have nothing more to Do with them, Keep not there Company and promptly tell them the Cause, that is, that you will never keep Companey with a Boy disposed to impose on you, nor allow yourself to make an improper Demand on your friends to save a Dollar these are things many suppose of Small moment, but I do not. its small things that stamp the disposition and temper of a man and many times, Boys lessen there greatness in life by small things which at the moment they think of little or no Consequence, you ask me to point out to you the improper things in your letter If any. I am pleased with your letter Generally but some things you have Omitted you did not tell me how you was recd by your friends in New Haven that is by the family of Elijah Austin, by Mrs. Archd Austin, etc. you said nothing about your uncle Elliots family how you was receivd by them you said nothing how you liked the Country and the manners of the people whether things appear agreeable to you or not, of these things you must speek in your Next and remember I charged you to write Every month and state your situation [your advancement in] learning, you made three Black [marks at the] close of your letter and put your name [on the left] hand side of the paper, this is wrong, always [put] your name as near the right side of the paper as you can with convenience, I have under gon a Distressing Spel of Sickness since you left us— from Sept, until a few Days past I have been confined to the House and for six weeks it remained Doubtfull whether I should recover or not, I am now greatly mended but not fully recoverd and I hope to God I shall be spared until I see you arrive at an age to give protection to your Dear Mother and Sister and little Brother Elijah Brown, remember that to you they will look for protection should it so happen that my life should be shortened keep in minde that this may happen. Your Dear Mother [and] Sister Emily send you their Blessing as also Mrs. James Austin and family I have heard that Doct. Elliot is on the Ohio and I Daly Expect him and family You will make my best respects to Mr and Mrs. Penniman and may the Blessing of your God be always with you

Moses Austin. [Rubric]

[Addressed:] Mr. Stephen Fuller Austin Colchester, Connecticut.