George H. Robb to Stephen F. Austin, 04-24-1824

Summary: Commerce. Transportation. Judiciary.

Col. Stephen F. Austin


I think it my duty to address you as early as possible as the head magistrate and manager of the Colony informing you of my arrival in this river with my family with the intentions of becoming a settler if you should approve of the same have brought with me the most ample testimonial certificates of character etc which will be presented as soon as I have the pleasure of seeing you which will be so soon as possible as I have many Grievences to inform you of which requires your advice and aid without which I am afraid I cannot get along and it will always afford me pleasure to be guided by [you], our mutual worthy friend Dr Sibly informed me of your friendly and beloved character to every honest upright man, in my well assorted cargoe I had a quantity of fine goods fit or more for Spanish people than Americans and in order to dispose of these goods the vessell was cleared out for Rio Grande or els where in my name as owner and master but not knowing navigation I hired a man as mate and sailing-master at $40 pr month who has acted like a deranged man and in conjunction with some deck passengers have suffered much by it we left the southwest pass of the Mississippi on the 1st day of Aprail toward night it began to blow very fresh approatching to a gale I desired him to closs reeff all sails for the night which he refused to do by cursing and swearing that he was sailing master and he would do as he thought proper he therefore carried all sail on the schooner and she deeply loaded running almost under water at the rate of nine miles an hour abcfut the middle of the night it was discovered there was a good deal of water in the hold Instantly the pump and bailing from a hatchway in the cabin was had recourse to and we gained on the water in the meantime this mate of mine in consist with his Irish countrymen and two deck passengers Americans without my knowledge or consent opened my latches and threw a great part of the cargoe all my property overboard what my loss is I cannot at present assertain but is not less 3000 $ at sailing I did not intend to see the Brazos until I had first seen Rio Grande and disposed of my Spanish goods but the above Circumstance brought me in here excuse my imperfect letter as it is wrot in a hurry by a straing gentleman (Mr Mitchell) who has promised to forward it to you This river is a verry fine stream and excellent for steam boat navigation which I shall try to have one on it within two years—not one shilling of my property was insured either on ship or goods but it will be necessary to enter a protest before you as I have been threatened by a deck passenger—I know not for what except it be for the vessel springing a leak a circumstance I could not account for—relying on your attention

Geo. H. Robb

Brazos near Mr. Bell 24th April 18