Stephen F Austin to Elias R Wightman, 11-04-1829

Summary: Advice concerning manufacture of salt.

Mr. E R Weightman

Dr Sir,

In regard to the salt lots. I think that if you could lease to Burnham, and give him the previlege for a certain number of years- say three or four or five, on condition that he kept the works agoing, and at the end of the lease the lots to be given up with such improvements and kettles etc as may then be on the place, without binding him to any specific kind or value of improvements—The main object is to start the thing now for the benifit of the place, the lots hereafter will be valuable, and it is better to give the use of the lots for nothing for a certain number of years than to sell- also it is better to give the previlege to Burnham to keep all his kettles when his time is out-— This is my opinion-tho you must do as you think best or proper and either sell or lease as may be thought by you best—

I am ready at any time to give you a full power of attorney as agent of the proprietors, I proposed to League on my return last summer to go immediately down and he promised to do so, but has been in bad health— As soon as it is possible for me to do so I will go down there and make a final arrangement and in the meantime I will agree to any dispositions of lots to actual settlers who im- prove them, that you may make— The time has not quite arrived to push that place—there must be some more settlements and some more wealth round Bay Prairie and on the river and it will not advance the place much to sell lots at this time, for they will get into the hands of persons who will keep them merely for speculation and they had better remain in the hands of the proprietors than in any others. I am in favor of letting lots go to actual settlers who will improve them but think that the lots will be better in the hands of the proprietors than in those of such persons as would be likely to buy at a public sale at this time, tho I am willing to do on my part whatever may be thought best—

I have been greatly disappointed by the long delay of the Commissioner— I do not expect him now for three weeks—and I can do nothing until] he arrives.

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

Nov 4. 1829

[Addressed:] Mr. Elias E. Weightman Matagorda Cap. Burnham