John Iiams to Stephen F. Austin, 09-30-1826

Summary: Misunderstanding concerning survey. Austin's reply.

San Philip September 30th 1826

Dier Sir

I am informed that Mr Hirams has orders for Resurveying my Land and I am of the opinion that it is not necessary—I have left in your office a correct Return of the survey and understood you to be satisfied as Mr Hunter had acknowledged his Error, and as he has never made any Resurvey of any part of my Land and there is writen agreements between myself and him that will cover all the surveying that he has done about my land—The last writen agreement between him and me is to this effect, he agrees to Correct all his field notes on the lines miandering on the waters and Change the variation on the other side of the needle so as to make them agree with a true meridian and to Return the same with the other lines as I had surveyed them, to your office, all which should be done before the filling of my Deed that it might not be damaged by his Errors and I agreed to pay him $37.50 in trade.—Now I hope the writen contracts between Mr Hunter and myself will be respected

But as other surveyors has been allowed to survey their own and by your directions I have surveyed mine and hope it will be Respected I am not willing to pay Mr Hirams for surveying it again. I hope you will not put me to any more cost or give Mr Hunter any unjust advantage over in consequence of my having detected his Error Dier Sir I have not been able to comply with my obligation to you as to time, but I would be willing to spare you some cattle at presint if you are ready to Receive them and the remainder as fast as I am able untill my land is paid for—

But if I am compelld to pay Mr Hunter Contrary to my writen Contract or to pay Mr Hirams to survey on his account I shall not be satisfied and shall personally lay my Complaint before the heads of the department and if I cannot obtain justice I will Publicly Relinquish all pretensions to Citizenship and leave the State altho I have the best Improvement that I have seen in the Colony Mr Hunter has not spoken with me since our last agreement and I know not why he wishes a Resurvey

Dier sir It is my wish to remain at home and by Honest Industry to maintain my little family without those vexatious disputes and I hope you will Condiscend to write me a fiew lines informing me what I shall do in the above case

I am Sir with Respect your friend and humble Servant

John Iams

Col. S. F. Austin

Sept 30 I have this moment returned home unwell and tired and recd the above letter which I return to you because the last page contains very improper reflections—All I have to say on the subject is that you and many others in this colony would save themselves much unnecessary trouble and much useless vexation by ascertaining facts from me in person instead of picking them up from common report which as a general rule in this country is always wrong—Mr Hirams never recd any instructions from me to resurvey your land—neither did I ever say that it [would be neces]sary to resurvey it—neither have [I ever thou]ght that such resurvey was necessary, for Hunter told me that the lines were all corrected to your full satisfaction—- as to relinquishing your citizenship you can do so and abandon the country whenever you please—I know of nothing to prevent—but common good breeding ought to have taught you to have reserved your threats against the Government until injustice had been done you and you had something to complain of—

I have nothing to do with the appointment of surveyors it belongs to the commissioner and I had it in contemplation to recommend you to the commissioner of the Trinity country when one was appointed for the appointment of surveyor for that River, for I had been requested to do so by some of the inhabitants of that river— but the disposition you seem to manifest to complain without cause is a rather bad recommendation, tho I can make great allowances, the slow motions of the Govt sometimes put me out of patience and it is not to be wondered that the patience of the Settlers are sometimes exhausted—all you have to do is pay no regard to common report if you wish to know any fact write to me in person and you shall be informed correctly if in my power to inform you—

I am very hard pressed for the fees, but you and all others know my unwillingness to press the settlers—you must do the best you can

[Addressed:] Mr. John Iiams San Jacinto

[Stephen F. Austin]