Stephen F. Austin to Governor of Coahuila and Texas, 02-04-1825

Summary: Has filled contract for 300 families. Many others entering Texas, but, as he has no authority to grant them land in his colony, they settle on the Trinity and the Neches. No municipal organization there, and this enables a few criminals and turbulent characters to cause great trouble. Suggests organization of local government there as the settlers request, and asks for permit to settle 300 additional families in his colony. Sends map of Galveston Bay.

Most Excellent Sir :

As soon as I became advised of the organization of our Honorable Congress, and the creation of the respectable authorities of the State, I had the honor to address your Eccellency officially, presenting the respects of myself and the new colonists, in manifesting our obedience to the law, and whatever may tend to the general weal; representing to your Excellency at the same time, the actual state of these colonies, and requesting such orders might be communicated to me, as deemed necessary, in order to enable me to put them into immediate execution. The liberal protection which our government extends to foreigners, who are desirous to establish themselves under our Federal Government; and the fertility of this soil are Such, that new and respectable families are continually arriving here, to enjoy the privileges granted to settlers; but as the number of three hundred, which I engage to Settle, is already completed, I cannot permit them to locate without the permission of your Excellency, nor can I distribute lands to them, in consequence of which the greater part of them have remained on the Rivers Trinity and Neches, beyond the limits of my boundaries. These families being farmers, and of most industrious habits, have no leisure to encourage vice, but dedicate their whole time to the maintenance of themselves, the accumulation of wealth, and the observance of the laws; but they are without any municipal regulations, and consequently suffer considerable inconvenience from the perverseness of turbulent persons, who emigrate from the neighboring nation; and also from our own; and who, although few in number remain there and occupy lands because there is no local authority to punish or restrain their iniquities; the evil effects of such a community, has some influence, even in this colony.

The deep interest I take in the prosperity of the State, seeing that the families above-mentioned are wealthy and possess adequate means; that lands have not been apportioned to them; that they will be under the necessity (unless promptly attended to) of returning to Louisiana; in which event, we shall lose these valuable and useful members of society. All this, I say, compels me to submit to the high consideration of your Excellency, the situation of the inhabitants of the Trinity and Neches; and to inform your Excellency of the continual applications they are making to be organized. Your Excellency will, notwithstanding, determine in the matter, that which may be most suitable. Your Excellency is well aware that the Savage Indians infesting Texas are numerous; that they will use every exertion to prevent themselves from being streightened, or brought under subjection to the laws, by the settlers, and doubtless, we shall feel the effects of this disposition on their part; and as the number of families is only three hundred, we are scarcely able to defend ourselves against them, without attempting offensive operations of warfare; but if your Excellency will grant me permission to settle three hundred families more in the same manner as those already settled I will locate them on the upper Brazos and Colorado, on the San Antonio Road; thereby augmenting our physical force, and by being in communication with the colonists already bettled, will at the same time prevent the incursions of the Tehuacanos, and the great depredations which they commit on those roads, and even at San Antonio. Should your Excellency be pleased to accede to the establishment of this new settlement, I guarantee, that, it shall be effected forthwith; and the evils which we are now suffering, will be remedied; I reiterate to your Excellency, that, the only motive which animates me, is the desire to contribute as a true Citizen, to the happiness and prosperity of the Mexican nation to which I have the glory to belong.

I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency, a small map of the Island and Bay of Galveston, a highly interesting Sea-Port and the best in the State, as is evident to your Excellency. The map is not as perfect as I could wish, for the want of proper instruments, but I shall very shortly be able to send you another more correct, and on a larger scale; for the present, I only beg of you to condescend to receive this as an indication of my best wishes.

God and Liberty,

San Felipe de Austin, 4th February 1825.

Most Excellent Sir,

Stephen F. Austin.

To His Excellency the Governor, of the State of Coahuila and Texas.