Stephen F. Austin to Unknown, 05-01-1824
Summary: Austin to the settlers. Congratulations on adoption of federal system. His responsibility to the settlers. Attitude toward Indians.
Fellow Citizens,—With the most heartfelt and sincere
congratulations I now have the pleasure of announcing to you officially the
form of Government which the Mexican Congress have adopted, and
which you are now called on to swear to And this I do with the
more satisfaction as I am convinced that there is not a breast
amongst you that will not palpitate with exultation and delight at
the prospects of Freedom, Happiness, and Prosperity which the
Federal Republican System of Govenmment presents to your View.
Words cannot express to you the Satisfaction I feel from the reflection that those whose fortunes I shall be instrumental in promoting in this Country can now enjoy them without the alloy, which the fear of a despotic Government would have thrown into their future hopes. The great Mexican Nation is free—rational liberty with all its concomitant blessings has opened to the view of the world, a Nation which Despotism had hitherto enveloped in intellectual night—The Federal Republican System that last and glorious hope of persecuted freedom, first established by the great fathers of North American Independence on the ruins of British Colonial oppression, and which soon raised a new born nation to a degree of prosperity and happiness unequaled in the history of the world—Now Spreads its fostering arms over the vast dominions of Mexico—The hitherto enslaved Spanish Provinces are now free and independent States.
This Province forms a State in conjunction with Cohahuila and
New León the two adjoining ones— The convention is to meet at
the City of Monterrey early in the
I am responsible to
you—to the world, to my own honor and to My God that no
difficulty or embarrassment can or ever will arise unless produced by
your own impatience or imprudence.
The task I have had before me has been a laborious and
perplexing one, I have however never shrunk from the hardships,
exposures or the responsibilities which it imposed upon me, nor never
shall,—I have endeavored to make the fortunes of every one who
It has been my Study to treat all with equal justice and impartiality and if I have failed to do so it must be attributed to the imperfections of my judgement and not to those of my heart, and with almost unlimited Authority in My hands I think you must say that I have governed you with mildness—
It is our true interest to keep peace with the Indians as long as we can do so consistent with our rights, but Should a war be unavoidable you will not find me backward in prosecuting it. I trust however that you will all have too much prudence to commit any act that would prematurely bring on hostilities.
I hope fellow citizens you will attend to the words of the Political Chief of this Province and in future disregard those vague rumors that are only put in circulation by the enemies of good order for the sole purpose of creating confusion and discontent, and that you will repose with confidence under the Authority that governs, being assured that the Government will always cherish and protect you, and that every thing in my feeble power to do for your benefit will be cheerfully done, for as I before observed, the greatest consolation I ever expect to derive from My labors in the wilderness of this Province will arise from the conviction that I have benefited many of my fellow beings, and laid the foundation for the settlement of one of the finest countries in the world—
Your fellow Citizens,
Stephen F. Austin [Rubric]