C. B. Penrose to Stephen F. Austin, 07-01-1827

Summary: Application to Government for privileges in connection with establishment of a distillery.

San Felipe De Austin July 1st 1827

Dear sir

With this you will receive my petition, to the General Government, and if you should deem any alterations necessary, I beg that you will make them.—if you think it essential to redraft the petition, I wish you to consider yourself fully authorised to sign for Jos: B Wilkinson and myself.

I have, as you will perceive by reference to the petition asked for— Five leagues of Land—with permission to locate in a body or sepe- rately—My reasons for asking this privilege I hope you will find satisfactory; The lands on the Brassos are, I believe very generally occupied by prior claims,—so that if I were forced to locate the concession in an entire body it would be too remote from the Distillery— to derive any advantages from it. The Distillery and Sugar House (if we establish one) will consume a large quantity of wood annually and if we are forced to bring it from any distance, it would subject us to great inconvenience, and still greater expence. I think the advantages which will result to the country from the proposed Establishment, fully authorise me in believing that my petition is perfectly reasonable, if you think otherwise however, drop this subject, and urge nothing but the first clause—viz—the privilege of importing me] asses Free of Duty.

In addition to the information, I have already requested, I would enquire, whether, there are not, now in your colony, several carpenters and Masons and if so, could they be employed by the month, and at what price ? Could I not, get at San Antonio or elsewhere in the Interior, a number of Spaniards as day laborers at low wages? if I can, can I rely upon them, and what price would I have to pay? I am particularly anxious to obtain some knowledge of the Mexican markets—The names—situations population, and resources of the various Seaport Towns, and those in the Interior, accessible to trade, the means of transportation from the nearest ports, and the expence attending such transportation

In the prosecution of my design, I would require correspondents wherever I found a market, and if you could furnish me with the names and standing of merchants in such places as you would designate, from whom I could obtain the desired information, I would address them upon my return to the U. S. — In the meantime, I would most thankful [ly] avail myself of your general and extensive knowledge of the Country. With the Mercantile usages of the country, the susceptibility of particular places — for a particular branch of trade — and the minutia of business I presume you are unacquainted—but, upon the general resources of the country—- its commercial advantages—its agricultural and monied wealth— the geographical advantages of particular ports, as regards their proximity to thickly settled and wealthy districts, in short, upon every subject, interesting to a stranger, I would apply to you, with a perfect confidence of clear and satisfactory answers—

I am aware My Dear Sir—that—I am drawing largely upon your promise of information, and trespassing upon your time, but when I remind you of the importance of the business in which I am about to engage and that my entire ruin might be the result of a careless investigation of the capabilities of the Country—you will I am per- suaded pardon my anxiety for obtaining information from the only correct source within my power—I therefore again repeat, that I shall esteem it, a flattering evidence of your friendship, and an important obligation, if you will address me, upon all subjects of general information, which may suggest themselves to you, and which your convenience and leisure may permit you to speak of.

My anxiety to return to the U. S. in order to make arrangements for the support of our petition in the Capital induces me, again to mention the subject of my little invoice of Liquors, they stand me in something like $2.50 if you can settle them for that—I wish you would do so of course to be delivered here—at all events make the best arrangement you can for me—

C. B. Penrose

Col S. F. Austin

[Addressed:] Col Stephen F Austin San Antonio.