Stephen F. Austin to James Bryan, 11-10-1821

Summary: Family finances. Advice concerning emigration. Conditions in Texas.

New Orleans Novr. 10. 1821

Dr Brother

The enclosed notice will inform you of the progress of things as to the Settlement.

Mr. Morgan of the firm of Sexton and Morgan of Alexandria has just called on me relative to the debt you owe them, and says he [expects?] to send it up to Missouri— he says they will take any kind of property or if the debt is secured wate any length of time, I told him I knew nothing about your capacity to pay them, but did not think it could be paid at this time in any way—

If you come or send anything to this country, these debts will distress you, for gods sake keep beyond the reach of this State, for a stranger here may lay in jail twenty years, he can not take the benifit of the insolvent or any other law that would releive him—

The vessel will return in about 60 days and the result of the trip published, and if you could send some corn etc. to go round in her it would be an advantage, but I do not wish you to advance any thing that will imbarass you in any way— you have your family and Mother with you—take care of them I will do the best I can for us all I will write to Mother and Sister by the Dolphin also to Browne—I wrote to Browne to get a certificate of his and my residence under the Spanish Govt, and of his baptism, dont let him neglect this— perhaps Francois Vallé and some others of the old Settlers of upper Louisiana would move, I will see that they are well provided for if they come

Write me directed to the care of Ambroise Sampyrac Nachitoch and pay the postage and let me know what is the State of Fathers business, what is your real Situation— What are your prospects and intentions— I have thought that I had cause to be dissatisfied with you, perhaps I may have been wrong, and perhaps not—be that as it may, let the past be forgotten for ever— Your family shall participate fully in whatever advantage I may be enabled to Secure in Texas. I wrote you that as yet no land was granted to any of us. When I return however I shall lay off a number of Two League tracts and get the titles secured—

I hope you have answered all the letters directed to me at Herculanium. be particular and do this punctually and inform them of the present state of the Settlement etc.

The Emigrants who come from Missouri ought [to] bring one years provisions and go all the way by water—their stock might be taken by land

There is a great opening for commerce if you are in a situation to embrace it—but as I before said risk nothing yet. you have but little, and your family depends on that little for Support—

Will Henry Elliott come on or not ?— I shall write to Mr Bates by the [Captain]

I should like to know the [exact] situation of my Fathers Estate, and of your affairs—

S. F. Austin

[Addressed:] Mr. James Bryan Herculanium Missouri Mail