Stephen F Austin to Emily M Perry, 07-24-1828
Summary: Business settlement with Anthony Butler. Progress of his colony, nearly 3,000 inhabitants.
I am likely to have a serious difficulty with Col. [Anthony] Butler relative to the old business at the Mines— I fear that he is an unprincipled man— I wish you to get all the Lead and account Books of mine, for the year I worked the mines in partnership with Butler, it was the last year I had his negros—we had them three years in all, two years on hire and one year him and myself worked the mines in partnership—there was nothing made of consequence that year and I sent a full statement of the business of that season to Butler, he has not produced it and seems to wish that I should pay him five or six thousand dollars. I wish you to get the Lead Book of that year and send [it] to me by Mr. Honey should he come out next fall and all the other Books of that years business— I suppose they are with the other Books of Father— The Lead Book is principally or all in Ballards hand writing—
I hope John Austin paid you a visit and gave you an account of the state of things here and some idea of the labor and difficulties I have struggled through in settling this wilderness I have nothing particular to write you— Brother and his wife are well, they are down the Brazos River at this time near the coast. I saw them a few days ago but we did not at that time know that Morrison would start so soon which [is] the reason he did not write you— The people here are generally healthy tho we have a severe drought, the crops however are abundantly sufficient— We have general peace and tranquility all over the country and the settlements are progressing slowly but surely When I came here there was not one civilized being within two hundred miles of this colony and now I have near three thousand in it, and there are many large farms and valuable improvements—but I am myself still poor as to disposable means—my object has been to settle the country more than to speculate and the expenses I have had to undergo have more than equalled what I have recd besides I have had some old debts to pay off the amount of the new Madrid claims which I bought in St Louis was over nine thousand dollars— I gave my notes for them and let Bryan have them all—I never received any thing from them and am still struggling along to pay for them also the balance due Butler for the hire of his negros all fall on me and I am working through that as fast as I can—
S. F. Austin [Rubric]
Send the enclosed to Mr Carr without delay
Write me how political parties stand as regards Benton and Barton which of them stands highest, and which of them is supported