Stephen F. Austin to Josiah H. Bell, 01-08-1824

Summary: Advice about farming land. Shaping settlement for defense against Indians. Judicial procedure. Hawkins dead.

St Felipe Jany 8 '24

Dr Sir,

I wrote you a few lines in a letter to my brother informing you how your building place could be secured if you still wish for the one you first picked out—on the subject you need not apprehend any kind of difficulty as there will be none—

Carter tells me you intend to plough up the Prairie and plant this season—this is a very bad plan tho. you may think yourself a better farmer than I am, and more capable of giving me advice— but should cut down peach land in preferance to planting Prairie 10 acres of peach land will produce more than 20 of Prairie be- sides you can get a dead cane break on the bank of the Bernard 6 or 7 Miles below, the use of which you are welcome to—but I advise you to put in peach land in preference to Prairie- Advise all the new comers who are decent Men to go below I wish to push the Settlement there so as to make it strong enough to defend itself against the Indians—please enquire into the dispute between G Robinson and Lynch and advise me what in justice to both ought to be done If Newman does not go to the Colorado advise him to go below—

S. F. Austin

[Addressed:] Mr J. H. Bell

Compliments to Mrs. Bell and Tong—My good friend J. H. Hawkins is dead. I have met with some things to vex me and fear my best friends will sometimes think my temper a little unruly—-but they must bear with me and in the end they will find that my heart is right—