J. Child to Stephen F. Austin, 02-01-1824

Summary: Opponents of Austin's colony in United States oppose emigration. Indians in Texas.

NatchezFebruary 1—1824

Col. Steven Austin, Dr. sir—since my return to the U. States from the Province of Texas—I have been kept busy in endeavoring to counteract the unfavorable impressions made here as to the soil and climate of Texas—and the character and prospects of your settlement there.—Some disappointed travellers joined with the large land holders here have used every means in their power to check embarrass and discourage emigration—The character of the country—is however rising here—and the tide of emigration is taking a favorable turn.—I am very glad to learn that you have taken a position on the Brazos—at the Atascosito crossing—In a geographical view this is a central point—and must be the centre of population—It is safe from invasion by sea—It is also remote from the range of all the large tribes of Indians—and it is the very place where a dense settlement should be formed—to be extended above and below within supporting distance of one another—as settlers come in—as you know it is about 100 miles from La Bahia—and moreover it is not more than sixty miles from a navigable point on the Santo Hacinto—which emptying into the Bay of Galveston forms the best harbor on the coast—Besides the navigation—of the Brassos is at all times practicable—with small Boats and although I found 10 feet water over the Bar at the mouth—the entrance is deemed unsafe particularly in a rough sea—Yet is but 16 miles from the mouth of the Brazos—to the west end of Galvezton—where vessels have a safe anchorage with 30 feet water— since my return I have sent out two boats of 30 ton each loaded with flour and fat meat with some whiskey sugar and coffee consigned to Capt. John McFarlane—by bad management of the Pilot as I am inclined to think they were both lost—I intend however seeing you in person this spring or next fall—I have made arrangements with the Coshatees Alabamas and all the Indians on this side the Brassos for their cooperation in any expedition I choose to undertake they are well armed—and ask nothing but to be furnished with powder and lead—which I can easily send to them from Alexandria I shall not bring less than 150 Americans well armed— with six months provisions—and if the safety and security of the settlement requires it—I will sweep every TawokkowniTankowa and KarrankowaIndian from the face of the earth—There is at present a strong prospect of a war—in which France and Spain will combine to subjugate Mexico—in which case Great Britain and the U. States will unite in support of the independence of the Mexican RepublicTexas however cannot be involved in the struggles—or made the scene of military operations—

J. Child