Randall Jones to Stephen F. Austin, 03-05-1824

Summary: Concerning Mrs. Long. Judicial system. Economics.

Fort Settlement

5th March 1824

Col Stephen F. Austin


I received your note including the copy of an account of Mrs. Jane H. Long widow of Genl James Long and having a tolerable long story to communicate have thought proper to do it in this way that you might think over it at your lesiure I became acquainted with the relations of Mrs. Long in the year 1820 near Ale[x]andria Louisiana and in the fall of that year I traveled with her to her husband then in Nacogdoches I received the thanks of Genl Long for my attention to his Lady on the road. On my return from the trip in exploring the Colerado I understood that Long had gone on to Labahia and had left his wife at Galveston without provision or friends to suffer. Some time in the month of May Mrs Long arrived near the mouth of the river Hyacinth and was living with a family by the name of Smith the old man was taken in a short time with the fever and died. Mrs. Long about that time had a difference with some of the female part of the family and left the house and hired a negro to build her a palmetto camp where she was exposed to the sun and rain and without any provision except a small quantity of milk and some times a little venison. I calld on her and she very frankly told me her situation stated that she had written to her friends but had received no answers that she and her family must certainly suffer that she had no provission but a very scanty supply that she drew from the family she livd near. I told her that if she would move up to the Tuscoseto crossing of the river I would do every thing in my power to prevent her and family from suffering to which she agreed. About the same time I purchasd goods from her to the amount of fifty Dollars not to be paid in money but a horse. Before I movd her I built her a vary comfortable cabin I then went down carried a negro with me and hired two others and movd her up to the house I had built for her some time previous I had purchased some corn meal pork, and salt my Brother and myself hunted and found her and family in plenty of moat I movd her up early in the month of July. During the time she was there she wishd very much to go on to St. Antonia I persuaided her to go first to her friends and then if she found it necessary she could be better prepard to go on to the Spanish country. About the middle of August a negro arrivd from Alexandria with a horse and mule for her service he also brought letters leaving it entirely with herself whether she should return to her friends or go on to see the Governor but rather recommended her to go on if she thought the prospect of getting anything from the government was flattering. She immediately consulted my Brother and myself on the subject we persuiaded her not to think of setting out on so long a Journey with her small children but she was determind to go. She proposd that we should go with her she told us that she would make us ample satisfaction when she should arrive at San Antonia for all our services We finally agreed to go with her if she would bear our expenses and pay us when we arrived at San Antonia there was no price namd but her word was complete satisfaction for our services We also furnishd her horses to carry part of her Baggage and family and walked ourselves the greatest part of the way. We left the Hyacinth the last of August and arrivd in San Antonia some time in October some of the Party being footmen

When we arrived in San Antonia I waited on the Baron de Bastrop to whom I had a letter of introduction and stated to him the arrival of Mrs. Long and family in town he walkd with myself and Brother to the government house and introduced us to the Governor who treated us with attention. After being in Town four or five days I informed Mrs. Long our wish to return she then told me for the first time that it was impossible for her to settle with us at that time that she had been so short a time there that she disliked asking the governor for any thing. I then told her I was in want of a horse to return on that I had walkd nearly all the way there and could not think of walking back she then told me to take a grey horse which she rode out which I expected to return to her when she settled with me for my services I had also carried her Rifle I told her if I left the Province I would leave the gun at Mr. Rankins with other property she had there but if I remaind I would keep it until she calld for it. She stated that the gun was not hers and wishd me not to part with it. The gun I never contracted for in no way and am ready to deliver it and when she settles with me for my services will deliver the horse and pay her for the bridle. I consider that Mrs. Long is considerably in my debt and wish the thing settled immediately my treatment to Mrs. Long and family is well known and I can prove the most of what I have here related

R[andall] Jones