[About February 1, 1821.]
Sir—In compliance to your
Excellency's orders, I translate and
transmit to you the portions interesting to the Government, of a
letter I have received from Moses Austin, Agent of the families of
Louisiana who come to settle in this Province.
January 16th.—I met on the Sabine River two Citizens of Arkansas who
told me that through the intervention of Russia the " Cortes " have confirmed
the treaty of Peace with the U. S. that, the Sabine is the boundary between
the Territories of both Governments, that the American Congress have passed
a Law punishing, with a fine of $1000, emprisonment for one year and
forfeiture of property, any person who shall trade with the Indians in the
Spanish Domain; that the treaty for exchange of Lands entered into with the
Indians who lived on the Tennessee River, on the East bank of the Mississippi,
for other lands on the Head waters of the Arkansas River, interferes with a
great many families of Louisiana who have to abandon their lands by
disposition of Congress, at the end of May next. They might be very available
if they could [be] allowed to settle in the Province of Texas, however, there
are also several families concerned, who will neither wait, nor apply for an
authorization, but will settle on their own authority. The Government ought
to be on its guard against them; they may prove to be dangerous.
President has sent to the Gulf two armed Frigates against Laffitte
and other Pirates; the so called General Long is on the Continent, near
Galveston ; his circumstances are rather bad.
" Trusting that my petition shall be favourably acted upon, I go to
to prepare the emigration of my family, and others who have applied to remove
to the Province of Texas. It would be proper to allow these families to
introduce their property by the Colorado River, with understanding that they shall
pay such duties as the Government may impose; for myself I ask for
permission to introduce by that route some agricultural implements and other goods,
for which I offer to pay ordinary duties."
Baron De Bastrop.
Eugene Barker, ed.,
Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1919: The Austin Papers, (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1924), 3 vols., Vol 1, Part 1, pp. 380-381