Stephen F. Austin to J. H. Bell, 01-21-1828

Summary: Difficulty in getting capable men to serve as officers of the ayuntamiento.

Jany. 21. 1828

Dr sir,

I recd, your letter stating that you wish to decline serving as one of the Ayuntamiento, and feel somewhat discouraged at your determination—As you personal friend, I should say you did right, but as a friend of this colony, I must say you are doing wrong—It is very important to get good men, and men of business in the Ayúntamto. I feel no individual interest on the subject and as a mere individual I am indifferent who are elected—but in all matters connected with the welfare of this colony I cannot feel or think indifferently—As for myself I shall devote my whole time and attention to the land business and have some idea of taking a trip into the United States in order to try and bring out a large number of families in a body, but I do not wish to leave the colony again, even for a moment, untill I see the local government well organised, and this cannot be done without putting good men in office

I am getting very tired and worn down with the business and were it not my duty to the settlers who are here never to abandon them, I should give up my last contract with the Govt for the settling of the new Colony, and either settle myself down on a Stock farm, or seek some other country where I might hope to find harmony but it is my duty to persevere and for that reason, and that alone, I will go on—

you are wrong to decline serving for I think you can do an important service to the colony as a member of the Ayuntamto but you have a right to do as you please, tho if you are elected the law compels you to serve—

I have heard of no opposition to Ingram and I think he will be unanimously elected I am sorry to say that Kinny has also declined serving, tho, he is excusable for his business I expect will compell him to devote all his time to his private affairs—I have not thoroughly known Kinny untill last winter he is a usefull and valuable man and I wish it was in my power to aid him in his pecuniary difficulties—

My friend we must all be united and harmonious—without this the colony never can flourish—-poor Pettus is broken up—he has been imprudent in the highest degree—and has abused me and every one else—if I had the means of aiding him I would freely do so— he is in misfortune—-let that alone be remembered and all his abuses forgotten—I send you a valuable neighbor (I hope) in Mr. Robison, I have nearly given him a small place merely because I think him a good man

Think better of the matter and say you will serve- My respects to Mrs Bell I can let you have some fig roots next year if the slips I brought from Bexar grow

S F Austin [Rubric]

Mr J. H Bell