Samuel Parkman to Stephen F Austin, 08-01-1828

Summary: Contemplates emigrating to Texas; asks Austin many questions about the country.

Petit Saw Bluff Missouri August 1st 1828

Col Austin

Sir A desire which I have for some time entertained to have a knowledge of the distinguishing characteristics of the Province of Texas has been of late much increased by the perusal of some of your letters published in the papers of this country. I write at this [time] to request a minut description of the country but the more particularly of that part of the country in which you are established I am under the impression that you have obtained of the Mexican Government an extensive Country which you are now Colonizing, For the sake of brevity I will condense the subjects of my enquiries into the following questions. How far is your Colony from the Gulf Coast? Is the country Mountainous or level. How Large are the Rivers Colorado and Brasos? Do they in any considerable degree afford facilities for navigation? What proportion do the rich lands bear to the poor or barren lands? I have taken the Idea that lands along the rivers are extremely fertile but that the intermediate hills were dry and barren. Am I right? Is it a timbered Country What is the extent of your grant? Is it Surveyed? Is the country in general explored and Surveyed? What enducements can you hold out to a Surveror who is a complete master of the business in all its branches? Are you in want of a person to assist you in making your map of the Country? Are the unoccupied lands in the hands of the general Government of Mexico as in this Country? What Route would you recommend to emigrants from the States on the Ohio River. What time is required to Sail from your Colony to the port nearest to the City of Mexico. I have now given you some of the leading points uppon which I desire information. There may be others which may occur to you if so I shall be grateful for their insertion. I have an intention of visiting your country if the prospects shall appear favorable. I am a Surveyor and in that business would wish to be employed either in Texas or elsewhere in the Mexican Provinces. I am aware that the number of my enquiries may intrude uppon your leisure but you may rest assured that in giving me the desired information you will confer a verry particular favor and not only on myself but a verry considerable number of my acquaintances who have some Idea of emigrating I must request that you will answer as early as convenient

Samuel Parkman

Con Austin

San Felippe de Austin Texas

P. S. If convenient I would be happy to see a small map of your colony Direct to Petit Saw Bluff La Fayette Co Missouri via St, Louis Missouri