Stephen F. Austin to Alcalde, 05-24-1824
Summary: Transmitting civil and criminal code approved by political chief. Judicial procedure. Indian policy.
I enclose to you the temporary and provisional regulations approved by the Political Chief of this Province which are to govern for the present and untill we receive copies of the laws-—You will post them up in a secure place in your House where all may read them, and in all cases that may occur be regulated by them
It should be your particular attention to try in all cases to effect a compromise between parties and to discourage litigation as much as possible and endeavor by gentle and persuasive means to preserve harmony between the inhabitants of your District, and reconcile any little neighborhood difficulties without lawrsuits—The common good of us all most imperiously requires that we should establish a general character for sobriety, industry and Harmony, And it is the duty of the Alcalde, and of every good man to discountenance every thing that tends to breed disorder or to interrupt the harmony of a neighborhood.
You will appoint a Constable for your district and take a bond with securities from him as is directed by the I Article of the Civil regulations and make a return thereof to me—Should any thing remarkable occur you will give me information thereof.— Be attentive to cultivate the most friendly understanding with the Coshatta and Choctaw Indians in your neighborhood and inform them that the americans consider them as their friends and Brothers—It should be the particular care of every one to treat all the Spaniards who behave properly with attention and respect, avoiding as Much as possible all difficulties or disputes with them, to effect this much caution is necessary in trading with them particularly for Horses and Mules and the safest rule is not to purchace from them at all unless the Horse or mule in counter-branded for otherwise the purchacer runs the risk of loosing him.