James Gaines to Stephen F Austin, 08-13-1825

Summary: Slave stealing. Outlaws or the eastern frontier. Organization to suppress them.

Department of Texas Sabine Aug 13. 1825

Col. Steven F. Austin

Dr. Sir your favr by Mr. G D Collier came to hand but not by him, when he arive at the naches he found Robt Collier were in the pursuit of him and offered a Reward of a negro for his scalp [He had ?] sent an Indian and a set of cut throats, on the Lower Rout after him, he then Turnd his course up through the Cherokees and passd above and fell in at cantoonment Jessup it is said he applied to Col. Maurice (?) for protection and it was Refusd he passd on safe but Did not apply here for the ballance Robt Collier has threatened my Life because I Did not Let him know G D Collier was Going to the Brassos for them negroes, and has Ever since He has (?) OQuin which you ordered from the Brassos and a number Like him about him to stand against the authority, on the 11th of Inst. I calld a meeting of the people to Establish ways and means for keeping peace, they met nearly unanimously, which amounted to upwards of 40 and formd and assignd the following Resolutions

first to support the Federal and State Constitutions

secondly to obey the Laws of General Government as well as that of the State and aid the mexican authorities to Enforce the same

thirdly [Not to] suffer to Reside nor harbour or be harboured in said District Criminals Vagrants Rogues or Disorderly Characters under the penalty of forfeiting all Right of Ever becoming a Mexican Citizen

I then organized them into a Company of militia Elected militia officers to Enforce the same

while we were ingaged in this George W Collier had come out of curiosity to se our force

Captn A. B. Gill arive here from Rapide and made oath that James Collier and George Colliers (Brothers of R Collier had had in their possession three negro men which had been stolen from him, G W Collier was immediately Taken and confessed Voluntarily that they had them at yocanis East [of] the Sabine and that they should be given up as well as others from Rapide (in my absence those negroes were harbourd at R Colliers by James and G. W. Collier)

they Left here with Collier under a strong Guard for yocanis in pursuit of the negroes,

I am this moment, informd they found no negroes that they are hid and that the Guard Caught another Rogue by the name of Steven Jackson and this morning whipt him and Collier until they told where the negroes were, and that the Guard was again in pursuit, So much for Alabama Rogues, our meeting has Raised their ambition on the other side of Sabine and they have Commenced Runing Rogues

The inclosed will inform you of one stolen negro which has this spring arive on the Brassos which I will be Responsible for all Costs and Damages If I Do not have the Charges substanciated I will inform you from time to Time until I again Conquer the Rogues,

Jas Gaines [Rubric]