Nathaniel Cox to Stephen F. Austin, 08-08-1824

Summary: Report in New Orleans of rebellion in Austin's colony. Mexican character—unfit for self-government.

New Orleans 8 Aug 1824

Dear Sir

A report has been in circulation here for some days, brought I believe by a Steam Boat from Natchitoches that all your settlers, have raised the standard of Rebellion; and refuse obedience to law or any authority whatever—As the province must now be the only resort to which Mrs Hawkins can look for support for herself and helpless family the report of course excites considerable Interest and I hope it is not true—If you should receive this in any reasonable time after its date you would greatly oblige me by forwarding such information as would put the subject beyond doubt, one way or the other—I am the more anxious on this subject from a paragraph which on reperusing your last letter strikes, me with much force, since hearing the foregoing report—you say "I have many things to explain relative to events recently transpired here but have not time now" I much fear these events are the rebellion of your settlers, and that it will be a scene of confusion and disaster, retarding your final opperations for years to come.

I shall not make any communication on this all import Subject to Mrs Hawkins or Mr Sanders until I am better informed myself, but be assured I shall feel great anxiety until I know more on the subject.

I have no doubt but your late Emperor Iterbide is by this time relanded at Vera Cruse—he sailed from London in May with the declared intention of his again assuming Kingly Authority in Mexico, and he further states that his voyage is undertaken at the Instance of a large number of the first characters of the Province—it is to be hoped however that his views will not be reallized but that on his landing he may be caught and hung—there is little doubt but Saint Anna is no better than Iterbide and while such Arch Traitors hold offices of trust and honour in the country there can be no guarantee for the lives or property of the Citizens—In short I fear there is not yet sufficient learning and virtue in the people of that country to make a staple form of Government and then suppert it. They may make and adopt constitutions every year and still find persons to violate them, and when the penalty is called for, the criminal concentrates his party and puts down the whole System—This has been the case for fifteen years, and still there is no fixed and solid foundation for them to sustain—and I fear wont be until the present generation passes away and another organized on different principals raises up, who from more Experience will be able to frame a constitution suitable to the manners and customs of the people it is intended for—

Nath: Cox

I intended to send you the letter of Iterbide which he addresses to a friend in London before sailing, but cant lay my hand on it at present—


Col. Stephen F. Austin Province of Texas.