Stephen F. Austin to Federal Congress, 06-10-1824
Summary: Law under which the colony was established recognized slavery; slaves necessary to furnish labor to improve the country; not intended for trade.
Stephen F Austin, Jared E. Groce James Cummings and Jno
P Coles a Committe Unanimously appointed at a general meeting
held on the
These Inhabitants respectfully represent to your sovereignty that the Slaves introduced into this establishment by the emigrants were not brought here for the purpose of Trade or speculation neither are they Africans but are the family servants of the emigrants and raised by them as such from their infancy and were intended to aid in clearing the Land and establishing their farms which these Colonists Could not have effected without them for this Province is entirely uninhabited and great Labor required in Opening farms and as the Law sanctioned the introduction of slaves into the Country the emigrants felt entirely safe in bringing them.
These Inhabitants therefore respectfully solicit that your
sovereignty will take into Consideration the right of property they have
to their slaves that they brought them here As a necessary part of
the Capital required by the desert State of the Country to establish
their farms and Ranches and if freed the loss of their value added
These Inhabitants therefore respectfully pray that your sovereignty may take their Case into Consideration and declare that the slaves and their descendents of the 300 families who emigrate to the Establishment formed by the Emprasario Stephen F Austin in this province shall be slaves for Life and that the emancipation Law which we have been informed has lately passed shall not apply to the slaves of the said 300 families except so far as prohibits all trade or trafic of them and should this solicitation be incompatible with the intentions of your sovereignty these Inhabitants pray that the necessary time may be allowed them to remove their slaves back to the United States
San Felipe de Austin
[To Federal Congress or Executive.]