William Harris to Stephen F. Austin, 05-22-1826

Summary: Judicial procedure. Economic conditions.

District of Victoria May 22d 1826

Benjamin Fowler came to me and made the following statement; That Isaac Hughs had been indebted to him three cow and calves and thirty two dollars on an account; that this amount had been due something like fifteen months and that the said Hughs had offered him three cows and calves third rate cattle, in place of the same number of first rate cows and calves which the note caled for, and he the said Fowler further stated that he refused to receive them unless the said Hughs—would pay him the difference between these cattle and first rate cattle which the said Hughs refused to do, and the—said Fowler further stated that he offered the said Hughs the privilege of choseing—two men himself to say what diference there was between these cattle and first rate cattle and abide by their judgement which—proposition the said Hughs refused to comply with. Fowler further says that the said Hughs told him that he was about to leave the country and should not pay him unless he was compeled to do so or words to that effect.

On the above statement of Fowler, I issued a forthwith summons for Isaac Hughs which summons he refused to obey—I did not conceive it a proper way of doing business to give judgement on a forthwith unless the defendant was present. There was no judgment entered nor any attachment issued nor any thing of the kind

As to the cattle above mentioned which you order me to vallue Mr. Hughs sold them to Mr. Bailey about the time the above transaction took place for thirteen dollars in trade I understood a head

As the cattle alluded to in Mr. Hughs petition were sold by him I did not vallue them as you ordered me, as I supposed it was not necessary

As to the judgement and attachment alluded to in Mr. Hughs' petition I do assure you there is no such thing the business—ended when the summons was returned without being obeyed

I do certify this to be a true statement of proceedings had before me in the above case

William Harris Alcalde

To Stephen F. Austin Judge