Thomas Powell to Stephen F. Austin, 10-24-1827

Summary: Protesting against order issued by Saucedo for the settlement on the Lavaca to be evacuated. Commerce.

La Baca Station 24th Octo. 1827

Colo Stephen F. Austin

Dr. sir, I presume that you will recollect of my addressing you last spring from New Orleans by General Fullerton on the subject of my missfortune in this cuntry about twelve months since—I have again arrived in the cuntry with a view of making it my future residence, I arrived in the Bay in July last, and with much difficulty I compleated the transportation of my property to this station about the 15th August, and have a second time reported myself a settler of the cuntry, and I did expect on my arrival here that I should have been in Saltillo before this time but since I have been in the Cuntry I have been unable to attend to any business whatever, two days after my arrival at this place a rising commenced in my right hand and I presume that I have had the worst hand that you ever saw, for three months entirely deprived of the use of it, and at this time very sore and scarcely can use it at all. I shall endeavor to be in Saltillo as soon as I possibly can, but there appears to be every obsticle thrown in my way to prevent my seeking any kind of satisfaction or the recovery of any part of my property that I was robbed of last year on my arrival in the cuntry, on the 13th August last I addressed a note to his Excellency the political chief at San Antonio, by whose order I am informed my property was seized last year, that I should visit San Antonio very soon to make a demand of my property seized by his order, which I presume somewhat irritated him, and in a few days after this his Excellency issued an order to Green Dewitt Empresario of the Colony to have this place evacuated and all the colonists removed to Gonzales within thirty days from the receipt of the Order, which order was received here on the 10th of September, at a time when the crops of the Inhabitants were all standing in the Fields and myself at least 20 waggon Loads of property stored here, and not a waggon and team in the place to take away a single article, as all the waggons belonging to the place were then on a trip to San Antonio with a parcel of goods brought by some Gentlemen that came in the same vessel with me and the waggons could not possibly get back untill the time had nearly expired. I hired a man and Horse and sent him over to the Colorado to procure me all the waggons he could possibly get, I also sent to the Brasses and all the Teams that I could procure was three small waggons that could take only about 1000 lbs each, and has made one trip to San Antone and returned yesterday, and one of them has taken a Load back, and God only knows when I shall get my property away, a few days after the reception of the Order Issued by his Excellency Mr James Kerr arrived from the Brasses, and the people finding it impossible to remove their property and to evacuate by the time stipulated, and to leave their corn standing in the Fields that starvation must be the result, the people were called together, and a peti[ti]on drawn up and signed by the same and myself, begging for longer indulgence to remove their effects and I myself drew up one individually and beged farther indulgence to remove my property, and Mr Kerr dispatched immediately to San Antone with the papers, and was detained there much longer than necessary and returned only a few days before the time expired, and did succeed in geting the time lenghtened untill the first day of December, at which time we are Ordered to evacuate the place, and unless that I can procure waggons I find that it will be impossible for me to remove my property by that time, Consequently it must be at their mercy and will to consume it as they please, as we are threatened in case we do not evacuate the place that we shall be moved by force—it appears that there is nothing but oppression in this part of the Cuntry and every thing appears to be clone to impede me in the progress of my business and in order to dispute the people so that I may not obtain any proof of my treatment last year, and to drive the Americans from the cuntry, after their invitation to them to colonise the same, this Order of his Excellency Ordering the Inhabitants to evacuate the place immediately I think a most unjustifiable thing and breaths nothing but oppression, the people have made considerable improvements at the place, and I myself have a warehouse built for the reception of property coming to the Cuntry, and now without even having assertained that they are on the reserved Lands as there has never been any line run to assertain that fact, they are Ordered to evacuate the same—It will be a very hard case indeed that the colonists should loose their improvments, as they were entered into with the Empresario of the Government, if the Empresario has erred it is not just that individuals should suffer, as the Law guarantees the contracts made by their Empresarios, consequently they should be payed for their improvments— By the Colonisation Laws if I have any understanding at all this station is not within six Leages of the reserved Lands—in the unsettled state of affairs at this time I have determined that I will remove to San Antone for the present and so soon as I may effect my removal I shall proceed immediately to Saltillo to make some demand for my property taken from me last year unjustifyably—I emigrated to the cuntry being invited by the Laws of the Land to settle myself for life in a climate more congenial to my constitution than that of my native cuntry, and brought with me my property and including freight, Insurance, Waggonage and other contingent expences, will amount to between $7000 & 8000 at cost, the whole of which has been taken from me by the officers of the Government, except $141—which I received in the Bay for a few articles sold and not only my property taken from me but I was actually driven from the cuntry by an armed force—I expected that I should have been admited into the cuntry as other Emigrants, and agreable to the Laws, and on my arrival in the Bay I immediately reported myself to Green Dewitt Empresario of the Colony,,and stated my intention of becoming an inhabitant of the cuntry, and obtained his permission to Land my property and select any Lands the Colony, and under the Colonisation Laws I presumed that myself and property was perfectly safe, but I was wofulfy deceived—I have been kept out of my property now twelve months and in a state of sufferance during that time not knowing what to do—I have every document to prove my claim but am afraid to send them on for fear that they should get lost, but I shall bring them myself when I come, I ask of the Government full payment for my property with damages and all expences that has accrued on the same—I should be pleased to have some report on this business before I start for Saltillo, in case any thing should be wanting in order that I may procure any document that may be wanting, and as to my character I have as good references as any man that ever came to the cuntry—I should be pleased to get to Saltillo before you,leave that place, but I am afraid that it will be impossible—you will please do me the singular favor of having this translated and Laid before the Government, and whatever expence you may be at shall be repaid to you on sight I wish the Government distinctly to understand that I came to the cuntry as a gentleman and an honest man, and not as an imposture or swindler, and to respect the Laws of the cuntry as far as I can understand them if I have or should deviate from them, it will be through ignorance and the wrong information of others, let me beg your attention to this business—

Thomas Powell [Rubric]