Daniel Dunklin to Stephen F. Austin, 12-25-1821
Summary: Wants information concerning form and stability of government, productions, attitude of people toward Americans, etc.
Mine a Burton [Missouri]
This day, from its celebrity as a Holy-day, in the Christian Religion, as also the inclemency of the weather, has become a leisure day with me, in my usual avocations, and have concluded to employ it in part in an address [to] you, which I hope you find as convenient to answer as me to ask.
The subject proposed is the "Province of Texas" It has become a subject of considerable interest in this section of Missouri. All those who once experienced the gratuity of the Spanish Government (a thing I never have done) speaks, generally, in favour of it with a few exceptions of social inconveniences such as Soil, Climate, its thin Population etc.
I wish to be informed, first of the principles of the Government,
I should be glad (should it not be too voluminous) to have a complete
copy of its Constitution; Second the Tranquility of the Public Mind,
and probability of the continuation of the present form of
Government ; Thirdly the liberty of the Spanish Functionaries where they
have confidence in the subject; Fourthly their credulity in the fidelity
of the Americans, generally, who emigrate to that country; Fifthly
advantages and disadvantages generally Its commercial situation -
the Depth of the water at the entrance into the Bay at the most
favourable point and where that point is situated, - The Staple of the
country, both at present and what it may be likely to be hereafter -, in a
word any, and everything that could, in anywise, tend to an
elucidation of such objects as would naturally induce emigrants to that
country. And Sixth and lastly your opinion what advantages I
could derive if I was to go there; I believe I could bring fifty,
perhaps more, families with me from here and Kentucky. I don't mean
a participation of the advantages you expect to derive from the Grant,
which you have succeeded to; as I suppose you will have no
difficulty in affecting your purposes so far as relates to emigrants.
Major Hawkins is to be the bearer of this and will also be the
bearer of your answer; from the safety of the conveyance I have
asked your opinion on one point to which you, perhaps, may have some
hesitation in answering, to wit, the second proposition, and should
you not deem the safety of the conveyance sufficient guard, you have
cypher which we once learned to gather which will elude any
I presume your prospects are very flattering, and that you are very much pleased with the country, and under such circumstances men are very apt to exagerate on their ideas, but I presume it is hardly necessary to remark this to one who so well understands the Phylosophy of the Human Mind.
It is unnecessary to undertake to give you any details of affairs in your old Stamping-ground, as you will receive them in a more satisfactory way by the bearer.
[Addressed:] Stephen F. Austin Esqr Province of Texas Colorado Politeness of Majr Jn° Hawkins