Charles Douglas to Stephen F. Austin, 02-26-1824
Summary: Monroe doctrine. England and the United States. Wants Austin's influence in helping Leftwich obtain colonial grant for Tennessee company. Depression in the United States. Banks.
Much time has passed and many important political changes have
been effected since we parted. I hope they are all for the best and
will eventuate in the establishment of rational liberty in your
Is it rational to suppose that England, possessing such decided commercial advantages over every other nation will consent to sacrifice all her fair prospects of a permanent and profitable market for her commodities, merely for the sake of maintaining a good understanding with those govts whose principles and policy she so much dislikes ? We think not, and therefore conclude she will from interest as well as principle not only agree with us in opinion, but if necessary maintain her decision by a resort to arms. If this opinion is correct you have nothing to fear from the consequences of foreign invasion, for I am certain that the naval power of the two govts united, can effectually prevent them from ever disturbing your repose. I believe if England protests against the allied powers interfering in the political affairs of your country and declares her determination to oppose every such plan that this together with our declaration will be sufficient to prevent them from attempting to make any serious efforts.
Situated as you are it is a great misfortune that the people are
not more united. That there is not more disinterested patriotism
among them; and that your leading men are not more feelingly alive
to the real wants and prosperity of the nation. Action, virtue and
decision of character are now very necessary requisites in the
conduct of your rulers and none ought to be elevated to stations of
power or honor without they possess them. If there is a bourbon
party among you it ought at all events to be destroyed such a party
united with the church might do you a great deal of injury. I hope
your congress will soon frame a good constitution and that the
provinces will not be backwards in adopting it then and not till
then will you be able to effectually suppress insurrection or repel
invasion. I want you to be united in your councils and actions to
cultivate friendship among yourselves and with other nations
especially with those whose forms of govt most resemble your own. I
sincerely wish you well, and consequently take the liberty of giving
a little advice, I hope you will receive it as coming from a friend
who sincerely loves you individually and is warmly interested in
the prosperity of the Nation to which you, at present belong.
I have been in this country ever since
I have not heard a word from you since my arrival in the United States only through the medium of newspapers, although I have written you several letters directed to your friend in New Orleans in which I particularly requested you to write to me and to direct your letters to this place. I hope upon the reception of this you will promptly answer it and let me know all about your present situation and the prospects of your settlers. Do give me a particular description of your country as respects its soil, climate, health etc. It is said by some that there is a great scarcity of timber, that it is badly watered, that the banks of the rivers and small streams are low and at particular times subject to inundation; and that during the croping season you suffer much for the want of rain. These are important items of information for an agriculturist and as you know all about it I want you to be particular in your statements respecting the truth or falsehood of these reports. I want you also to inform me which is the cheapest and best way for families to remove from this to your country. I know you will correctly toll me all about it, I therefore boldly make the request. Everything here remains in Statu quo. Business of every kind is dull and the people are heels over head in debt. Our banking institutions are still playing their old games and the people are such wretched fools as to quietly submit to their abominable impositions
Every species of property is verry low, and although our
legislature has from time to time been trying to relieve the people, yet
Feb 5th [sic] I have just read in a northern paper accounts from
Mexico up to
Do write to me immediately upon the receipt of this and give me all the information I have requested and as much more as you please; it will all be more than acceptable.