T. [or J.] Reilly to J. H. Hawkins, 04-26-1822
Summary: Trespalacios appointed governor of Texas. He is cool toward Austin, but says he favors the colony. The subject progressing satisfactorily in Congress, but requires vigilant attention. Many other applicants for grants, and the Austin colony has much to fear from their encroachments.
I addressed you from Vera Cruz a hasty Letter dated early in this month, it was not, at that time, in my power to say any thing of Import, on the Subject of the Texas Settlement, for altho' I had conversed with some Persons thereon, their Opinions or Influence was but of little consequence.
Your Letter of Introduction was handed me by Mr Erwin, with whom I have traveled from Vera Cruz to this City, it will always afford me much Pleasure to serve any Person you may recommend - I wish to say Nothing of Mr E------n
General Trespalacios of whom you must know something is appointed Governor over the Province of Texas, his second in command is Mr Mileham [Milam] formerly of Kentucky, now a Colonel in the Mexican Service, he will be also accompanied by a Colonel Burns (English) and a Captain Austin formerly of Newyork - these two last were with General Long who, by an unfortunate accident lost his life in this City a few days since; the Governor sets off in a few days for his Province accompanied (as is said) by some Calvalry -
Having had several Interviews and Conversations with
Trespalacios I did not fail to introduce the Austin Settlement, the
General who is very collected and wary in Discourse, has always
expressed his wish to protect and encourage the Establishment; as I
had heard from those who surround Him some Hints unfavourable
to Mr Austin, and assertions that he had some time past acted a
Part unfriendly to the Revolutionary Party as well as disrespectful
to the General, I felt a desire to elucidate this Matter and in a
subsequent conversation hinted to Him that notwithstanding
views I had found in the City some Persons who were ill disposed
With other Persons high in Publick Esteem I have also entered on this matter, and particularly with Don Leandro Echenique a leading member of this Congress and of the Committee of Colonization, he shewed me a large package of Papers, which He assured me were Documents and Petitions etc. etc. relating to the Austin Grant, and gave me explicitly to understand that all was in a favorable Train, and the Disposition of Congress amicable to the Subject. Notwithstanding all this I believe that great Vigilance, Circumspection and Policy will be required to place the Settlement on a solid foundation—the good will of Trespalacios is very desirable the Favor of the Governor General is also necessary at least until the Grant be confirmed by the General Government here, the Captain General of the four Provinces is now in this City
With this information which I think may be relied on, the patrons of the A. Settlement, should take such measures as will secure their object, the Governor Tresp____s will probably be at San Antonio his Head Quarters, in fifty days from this date.
Three days since the Government received by Express the Intelligence of the acknowledgment by the U S of the Independence of Spanish America, and of the Arrival at Vera Cruz of an American Consul, my Disappointment on this Subject is very slight and my only regret is in having made the Application for an office, which could not fail to embarrass my Commercial Movements —
There is every probability that Mr. Robert Leftwich will receive a Grant of Land — I cannot refrain from expressing my opinion of the whole Transaction that it is a Most singular and extraordinary One. In my Opinion the Austin Grant will have as much to fear from the encroachment of new grantees as from any other cause.
It is not at present in my power to say much on Political Subjects.
The Congress in session here is a respectable body and its
Transactions are conducted with great Decorum and Order The treasury
of the State is empty, its Resources in a deplorable state and withall