Stephen F Austin to James F Perry, 03-28-1830

Summary: Urging him to hasten to Texas. Rapid immigration of excellent character.

San Filipe de Austin March 28 1830

My Dear Brother and Sister,

I wrote you many letters during the months of Decr, and Jany. they were in substance all of the same tenor. I informed you that it was my advise and my wish that you should remove here as soon as possible with all your family and property and that I had petitioned the Governor of the state to grant you Eleven Leagues of land. I now have the pleasure to inform you that I yesterday received the grant from the Governor, he has had the goodness to grant to James F. Perry and to his wife Emily Margarita Austin Eleven Leagues of land to be selected on any vacant lands in Austin's colony and he has issued all the necessary orders to the General land Commissioner to give a patent in due form as the colonization law requires. The grant is however subject to the condition that you remove and settle here with your family within two years from the first day of last January. In eleven Mexican leagues there is within a fraction of forty eight thousand eight hundred and thirty acres english measure. Under the present law as it now stands you cannot sell any of this land, untill after several years, but I did not ask for it with an expectation that you wished to sell any of it now. My object was to secure a fortune for your children and this was the reason why I asked for it in both of your names, by the laws of this country the husband and wife can hold property separately. This grant as it now stands belongs to both of you, one half to each, so that my sisters children by Bryan, as her heirs will be entitled to their full share.

I have now done all that I can do. You have got the highest grant that can be given by the laws of this country to any one which is eleven Leagues as you will see by examining the 12th article of the national colonization law of August 18 1824 in the translations which I sent you. It is what very few people can get, and it will be trifling with fortune not to accept it.

You are allowed two years to remove, but I most earnestly advise you to remove immediately. I shall expect to eat my next Christmas dinner with you all. do not disappoint me. The object is of too much importance to be neglected. You have no idea at all of this country, nor of the great emigration that is daily coming to it, nor of the character of the emigrants We are getting the best men, the best kind of settlers, pay no attention to rumors and silly reports but push on as fast as possible. We have nothing to fear from this Govt, nor from any other quarter except from the United States of the North. If that govt, should get hold of us and introduce its land system etc etc thousands who are now on the move and who have not yet secured their titles, would be totally ruined, The greatest misfortune that could befall Texas at this moment would be a sudden change by which many of the emigrants would be thrown upon the liberality of the Congress of the United States of the norththeirs would he a most forlorn hope. I have no idea of any change unless it be effected by arbitrary force, and I have too much confidence in the magninimity of my native country to suppose that its govt, would resort to that mode of extending its already unweildy frame over the territory of its friend and neighbor and sister republic. All the families you bring with you shall be received by me so far as my authority and my duty will permit. You will of course bring non nor suffer none to come in company with you who are not good honest citizens, and above all, you will exclude drunkards. I have been heretofore so much troubled with that beastly portion of the human race, that my dislike to them has grown into a very strong prejudice.

I need not say to you that I am ready to do all that a friend and relation can do consistent with his means and situation, to benefit all my poor relations, or all my rich ones, if any such there be— Where are Horace Austin's children, James Austin's etc, etc. I can advance them nothing in money. I am myself poor as to disposable means and am embarrassed with debts, but I can benifit them in getting land, and the day is not far distant when Texas land will be worth money.

I have raised the name of my family to a respectable standing in this country, and my relations need not be ashamed to own that they are my relations. I hope that my heart is what it always was—too much alive perhaps to sensibility, but never deaf to the calls of justice or of friendship, or of my kindred.

Love to my little nephews I hope soon to see them and I hope to live untill I see them above the reach of poverty. I saw my little boy Stephen a few days ago. he is with his mother at Brazoria, he was near death a month since, but has recovered and is getting hearty. Eliza sends her love to you, and will make your house her home when you get here. I have told her that you would make her welcome. As for me, the whole colony is my home. My business necessarily requires my presence in many parts of it. I have just returned from the woods and in a few days go out again to Galveston Bay to locate and survey your land. When you all get on we will settle down somewhere all together.

Remember me to Judge Carr and tell him I recd the box of fruit seed he had the goodness to send me for which I sincerely thank him. do not fail to bring all kind of fruit seeds and some roots.

Remember me to all the Perry family to my good friend Bruffee and to all others who have any remembrance of their old neighbor.

Young Hinkson has settled here and has selected a good tract of land on tide water of Matagorda Bay. Let me know as soon as possible when you will be here that I may make my calculations.

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

[Addressed:] Mr. James F. Perry Potosi Missouri