John Hawkins to Stephen F. Austin, 04-29-1822

Summary: Misdoings of William Kinchelow, who claims to be your partner, has checked enthusiasm for immigration. One hundred families were ready to move from Alabama. Hardships in Texas. Report on form of government and terms.

Mission Lafoughoa or Lafouha [Refugio]

20 miles south of Labbedee [La Bahia] Aprill the 29th 1822

Sr. On the 24th Instant I met with a Mr Whitson at Labbedee who Came with Kinchelow from Orleans In a Sloop Kinchelow purchased, together with six or seven other families Mr Kinchelow undertook to land them at the Mouth of Colorado and kept the people three months on bord the Vessel sounding and Trying to find the Mouth of Colorado hailing the Vessel over shoals and so fatigued the men and worn them out, some wanted to land at Galveston others at the Mouth of the Brasses but he would not suffer them to Do so, for some Considerable time at Last they got out in some way and at some place after Keeping them on bord until all their provisions ware spoiled and the people suffering very much Each family made his way Back to the United States again or was Trying to Do so— Mr Whitson Told me that Mr Kinshalow told the people he was a partner of yours in the grant you had obtained from the Spanish government which Done you More harm than he Ever will have in his power to Repare again in his whole life, they found him to be a man so far from being a man of Truth and honour they are Determ[in]ed to have Nothing to Do with you nor your Claim believing him to be partner of yours in the Grant I Done what I could to get Mr Whits[on] to stay until you would Return but he stated He had been kept on Bord so long that his provisions ware all spoiled and he had Nothing to subsist on and would Try to take his family towards Natchitotches, your Schooner [the Lively] was in company with Mr Kinchelow also was in the same way, provisions all spoiled goods much damaged your schooner Came on last winter and stayed about the Brasses until pretty well eat out their provisions and went back again to Orleans with their cargo and Colo Hawkins fitted them Out again with fresh supplies and they came on with Kinchelow and have acted in the same way until their provisions are all spoiled Mr Whitson Could not tell me whether th[e]y would Land or go back we heard as we Came by the Colorado they had Landed and left the cargo the first time but there was no truth in it— what I tell you I believe is True Mr Whitson appears to be [a] very steady Genteel man such as I would take for a man of Truth he told me there would not [have] been less than 100 families on next fall had It not been for the conduct of Kinchelow from the Alabama people of property, If government decides favourable to the Emigration to this Country It will be well for you Emediately to advertise In the Different states again as Bad News has sirculated every where almost as Respects the government Especially advertise in Mississippi and Allabama states as Kinchelow has made the people believe as much as he Could that he was Intrested with you and the people who have had some Trial of him and Dealings are so Disgusted with him believing him to have some Controle over the settlement that they will not have anything to do with it on acct of him I asserted to Mr Whitson that Kinchelow had no Intrest in the Claime only as a settler Under you the same as other settlers from what I had understood Except I understood he had a privilege of settling 20 families It is not my wish Nor intention to Do the man any harm, but I wish to notify you in such a way that he may Do you No [more] hearm than he has already done which I am afraid he has Done you many thousand dollars Dammage the man Is a stranger to me I never saw him in my life to my Knowledge but for the good will I have for you and your Brother I feel myself Bound to Let you Know in what way he has Injured you and I hope you will have no Confidence in what he may tell you from Character In the Boons Lick country from whence he Came I hope you will Not Let him Disceave you, I have heard a great Deal said about him Last fall when I was In that Country I Do not wish you to Expose him only take Care to have No Confidence— Now sr I wish to tell you something of my business I Came a long way to see you and the Country together I have seen a Tollarable shear of the Country but had Not the happiness of seeing you as I am very anxious to Do But fortune seems to forbid, Mr Bruffey and my self Came Down here with a hope of giting into some business until you Might return But our Expectations have failed Now we are under necessity of making homewards as fast as we Can—

Times are hard No provisions to be had or we would wait your return to Know the Determination of [the government]—Mr Bruffey and myself are well pleased with the country with some Exceptions that of the scarcity of Timber and some as to springs upon the whole we both intend Moving to the Country. If we are pleased with the government Much will Depend on the Report we make and the government when we return, when I left home the whole Country almost Talked of Coming we was Detained one Month beyond the Sabbean waiting for grass to grow or Else we would have been here before you put off, we arrived at St Antonio on the 15th Instant. Came with my surveyin[g] Instruments thinking I might get into Business In that way perhaps I am Disappointed in all views but the sight of the Country that is a satisfaction To me that I have seen so Desireable a Country and Climate I wish you to write me as soon as the nature of times will admit and give me a true statement of the government If Times are settled to your wishes or Expectations and there should be [a] good Job of surveying to be had more than you have already promised be good Enough to Try to procure a place for me and let me know what time will be best to Come I would not be worth while to Come for less than a Job of five or six hundred dollars I also wish you to Try to suit ftie in a situation of Land such a one as you think will suit, on Conditions the Tearms of the government will suit- John Jones give his Compliments to you and told me to Inform you he Recd a Letter from you which gave pleasure and put him In mind of old times when you all put in your time in splendor About Mine a burton, But the most of the young men and Ladies that was grown when you left there, Is married and scattered off from that place— If there should be any profitable place to fill in your section of Country which is Not Disposed of If you think John Jones Could fill I should be glad to have It offered to him I am somewhat afraid I shall Not Get Him to Come Along with me He is doing very well in mine a-burton he is clerk of the Circuit Court and recorder and post Master and is doing a very good business in Keeping Publick House, Augustis Jones was Red hot for Coming when I left Home but Many accounts may have Reached that since I left home we scarcely ever could hear the Truth as we came on to this Country I have not time nor Room at present to say much More so I will Conclude by subsubscribing my self your sinceare friend and humble servt

John Hawkins

[Addressed:] Mr Stephen F. Austin To the care of James B. Austin St Antonio