Arthur G. Wavell to Stephen F. Austin, 02-17-1823
Summary: Business conditions in England. Mosquito Coast speculations. Plans for Texan speculations dependent on confirmation of grant.
Although I have repeatedly written to you your first letter dated
reached me ONLY on the 15th of this month having
been sent it appears to the Havannahand since it contains matter of a vast sacrifice of interestsince in order to procure 50 or 100,000 Dollarswe must give up land which selling at the rate that of Poyais far inferior in every respect then brought in the market worth at least fouror fivepossibly ten twenty or thirty times a few months or if you were careful in writing possibly onlydays— I ought to state that Poyais is on the Mosquito Shore near Portobello a tract granted to an Englishman and I understand has sold in part for more than I Dollar per acre the very same merchants and Banker who arranged his business have called on and offered me their aid and agency— Under these circumstances you would doubtless have deemed me worse than mad had I not suspended the execution of the scheme we had framed when at Mexico and my determination in consequence was such as will I am convinced merit the approbation of yourself and every one and prove the feeling which I was resolved should actuate my conduct in whatever proposal I might make you—Calculating that 300,000 acres of the best land would produce the same number of Dollars 1/3 of which I proposed lodging in your name 1/3 in my own and with the other 1/3 sending out all the goods you require which together with all the remaining land (in order that you might be enabled to provide for your family in which laudable effort I shall ever join you) I intended making over to you to be divided amongst your brother brother in law sister and other relatives as you might deem proper reserving only 1/6 so that if you chose your mother might have -1/6 your brother sister - Brother in law - yourself and myself 1/6 each—With regard to the distribution of whatever sum we might raise by Timber sold in this country which as I have so often stated if you can cut it down float it to the coast at little expense and ship ships lye there during the summer will produce an immensesum of money I should be equally liberal having no one member of my family to provide for nor wishing for any more than independent small portune for myself—I intended at the same time to request that a friend a merchant should be named agent for the concern since the greater part of the produce doubtless will be sold in this country—In all the schemes I have entered into relative to Mining &c you as I informed you at Mexico have an equal share with myself unless very unfortunate they will produce fortunes for us but I have not on that account neglected the land in Texas since it is well for us to have two strings to our bow—I ought to have mentioned that never man had so awkward a game to play as I had since first the Pirates plundered me of all my cash cloathes and nearly all my papers then no one of my correspondents notwithstanding all I had urged on the subject forwarding to me intelligence relative to the state of Mexico I was unable as I otherwise would have done wholly to discredit the reports which [eame] from the Havannah and N: America Papers so that when I offered the Valencianaspec- "what are your latest advices? accounts from N: Ama: state that a revolution is inevitable indeed has already commenced in Santander"and with regard to your grant in Texas every rich man to whom I had applied asked the same question adding your documents state that the claim was under the consideration of the Congress and not ratified that Congress has it appears by the Havannah and N: American Newspapers been dissolved by Iturbide—If therefore any time has been lost you must attribute it to the cause be it what it may which has prevented my receiving an account of the confirmation of your claim which you must recollect you was to send me immediately and by every conveyance in order to enable me to make a contract—Had I not been robbed, and disappointed for which I had reason to expect, those articles which you want for your self I should have sent out as soon as I arrived—If however as you state in your letter you can procure money in the United States on advantageous terms and time is so very important on the following terms I shall in order to meet your wishes have no objection to provided the best land be reserved to be sold in this country and the proceeds divided between us and reserve for me a share in the whole concern of one-sixth (1/6) — This offer I make you in order to meet your wishes since— remember that the Bank has resumed cash payments money here procures scarcely 4 pr cent: Capital was never so abundant as it now is in London consequently. . .[illegible] Mr Exter has removed to No. 109 Fenchurch London therefore address me there do not inclose more or thicker paper in your letters than absolutely necessary since it renders the postage very expensive and when possible as I always do to you write only a single sheet without enclosing it which doubles the postage—[If] you remove the obstacles above mentioned I have no doubt everything will succeed beyond your most sanguine expectations— Remember that in our agreement no time is specified had any given period been mentioned even in conversation I should of course have said so many weeks after the receipt by me in England of the sanction of the Congress my interest are as much concerned as yours consequently I will not lose a single moment indeed have already taken an expensive journey in order to meet a gentlemen who I expected might have advanced some cash but did not meet him at home—With patience all will go well or if in a very great hurry procure cash as I have before stated on the terms there mentioned in the United States The Bills Barry drew in favor of the Minr of finance have been I am informed protested—Write and most fully relative to Timber etc., etc. Believe me most truly yours
To be forwarded immediately. Pr. Jessie.
I most anxiously expect your answer and those from the Mexn Govt to the letters which I dispatched 2 1/2 months ago—France is about to attack Spain—England is also about to recognize the independence of the Amas. Spain is in a terrible state of confusion and civil war. I have recd Gl. Bustamantes letter promises me to do every thing in his power to aid and protect you—The house you I hope found as I did a most excellent one—