Stephen F Austin to Jose Antonio Navarro, 12-24-1829

Summary: Thinks Navarro's income as collector of customhouse at Galveston will be small. Future depends on policy of the Government. Late decree concerning slavery retards development. Commerce in the colony.

24th of December [1829]

My esteemed friend :—

I received your letter of the 29th of last month and I give you my sincere thanks for the just reflections that you make relative to the loss by early death of my brother. The mail arrived very late and is now leaving and I have not time to write much.

In regard to the employment that the Government has given to you as administrator [of the port] of Galveston I believe like you that for some time it will not produce sufficient to live upon. If it shall or shall not be productive in the future depends entirely on the progress of Texas, and it appears that this is doubtful on account of the last decrees sent out by the legislature extraordinary and unknown in the Constitution which has been established in Mexico. I think if the country was well established the office would be of sufficient consideration.

The father-in-law of Don Samuel lives on San Jacinto, and has a boat suitable for going from the landing on that river to the island of Galveston. If you think of making a visit you can do so in this way without difficulty. The Island is depopulated and I am of the opinion that now the custom House should be at Brazoria on the Brazos.

The 75 lbs. of Coffee are in Brazoria and as soon as Soe comes I will see that he takes it if he can do so.

I cannot say positively when the vessel will leave for Orleans. The interest which my brother had in her has been sold—I will write to Brazoria upon this particular and will advise you.

I shall be much pleased to see you here. I live with Don Samuel and you must come direct to our jacal it is one mile from the villeta.

I shall not speak of the last letters, because I have no time to answer them by this mail. I shall rest in the confidence and wisdom of the authorities there. The memorial of our worthy chief of department is most helpful, and can not fail to carry much influence.

By the next mail I shall write to you about your estimate concerning lands and shall only say now that if I can get the money I shall return the estimate.

In regard to the decrees I shall only say that in not more than one or two months at most notices of them will be spread through the Gazetas of Orleans for from there they will receive notices every day from Vera Cruz, Tampico and Matamoras. I doubt not that there are some in Nacogdoches whom, I shall see and speak to of this matter with pleasure.

Give my respects to your brothers and to Mr. Ruiz and to your father.

Your friend E. F. Austin.

(P. S.) I forgot to say that you can come with mules and horses, I think the first you can sell for money although this is an article which is very scarce, and there is no certain market for anything in money.

E. F. A.

Addressed to Jose Antonio Navarro Bejar.