J E B Austin to Stephen F Austin, 03-18-1829

Summary: Coasting trade. Popular discontent with local government. Popularity of Austin.

Brasoria March 18th. 1829

Dr Brother.

The Eclipse sailed this morning from the mouth of the river and you may expect her by the 20th of next.

The Little Zoe arrived to-day from N. Orleans Dr Gibson came out with the intention of becoming a permanent Settler in the Colony John thinks Mr Williams is mistaken in regard to the Seal necessary for a clearance, the Patente or register—may perhaps require a $6. Seal but the registro or clearance is obliged to be on one—however as he tells me the Consul at Matamoros, informed him that Seldom two clearances were given alike—I anticipate no difficulty on that head—

I came by the Fort Settlement and used my influence to push the Academy forward but I am sorry to say I did not find one advocate for it—Not because they were opposed to [it] altogether but owing to the hands the funds for that purpose will be deposited in. I find the Members of the Ayuntamiento unpopular throughout the Colony. They all appear willing to subscribe for a Jail and Academy provided a committee of responsible men be appointed to receive the subscriptions, but as the Ayuntamiento is a changeable body they are opposed to their having anything to do with it. Again, I find something must be done as regards the admission of Lawyers in the Alcaldy Court the people to a man are opposed to them, they evince no disposition to be violent, or resort to violent measures but they are determined to have them dismissed from the practice, and the measure that they are about adopting is to mildly petition the Alcalde, to dismiss them altogether from the practice of law—

the people think that justice is often very lamely administered by the Alcalde owing to the perplexity he incurs by hearing lengthy and contending arguments, that frequently have no bearing to the case in discussion—Also another grievance they complain of is this— frequently a suit for a small amt is brought before the Alcalde where one or both of the parties reside in another district, the sheriff is sent with a process—and costs are accumulated to an amt that thribble the principal, the question is asked what are the Commissaryos appointed for in the different districts, if these things could be remedied, I think the people would remain quiet for a while—at least untill they had another hobby to stride—Yourself it seems, at present, is the polar Star, and the people look to you, and confide in you to a man, to put matters to rights—I may say with propriety that you are at present the most popular man in the country, and Your opinion will have more weight with the people generally than all the clamour that now goes abroad.

John informs me that Mr Smith the consul at Matamoros, intimated to him that he wished to appoint a Vice Consul for this- Colony and he stated to Mr Smith that perhaps I would accept the appointment—and took the liberty of proposing me to him—I should be willing to accept the appointment, and You will please write to him on the Subject by the first opportunity lest some one else may procure it—as I am informed one or two applications have been already made to him on the subject.

Elisa and the Boy are well and wish to be rememberd

J B Austin [Rubric]