Richard R Royall to Stephen F Austin, 08-23-1825

Summary: His report of Texas has caused great excitement and men of character and large estates are considering emigration. Asks particularly about status of slavery and religious freedom. False reports circulating about conditions in Texas.

United States of America

Town of Tuscumbia. State of Alabama.

Augt 23rd 1825

Hon. Sir

After a slow and tedious travel of two months I arrived at home on the 19th July haveing been unwell on the Road my Return and report of the country caused considerable excitement for emigration which has renewed vigourously since the arrival of Majr Morgan A Heard who passed lately and remained about a week with me and in the neighbourhood many gentlemen possessing Large Estates and of high character speak with much interest of Texas, and several have determined to visit your Colony before spring I think probably the Hon. E. Ellis, and my Father-in-Law- will be of the latter number a letter from you to me (as frequent inquiries are made of me about the country) relative to a few particulars that make the most important objections to the country with the public, would I have no doubt tend much to their removal as many of them exist only in name and others arise from false Rumour—It is the natural disposition of human nature to strive to appear wise and when persons return from a distant country have seen a little and acquired but an imperfect knowledge of the country, as there is no person commonly to contradict; they undertake to explain every enquiry that is made of them which lead to many errors and false rumours relative to the country; as I passed through Arkansas I saw the report of a travellor through Texas (published in a Paper printed at Little Rock) which stated that the Colorado had overflowed its Banks totally this last spring and the corn on that River being all lost and game very scarce the settlers must leave the country or continue as formerly to resort to the disagreeable necessity of living on the flesh of wild horses. The most Interesting subjects to the people here appear to be that of Slavery and Religion the latter being a constitutional matter I have no expectation of as early a change But would like to know what is the present state or prospect relative to the admission of slavery and If any law has been passed on the subject would thank you to favor me with an extract and for myself I would be glad to hear if the fall season has been healthy, has the drought done any Injury this fall to crops, has there been any change in the colonization sistem, what parts of the country are granted or contracted for, has any permission been given within the ten leagues of the coast of the Gulf and twenty of the U States as prohibited in the law of congress, is there any Cotton gins erected in the Colony, has any arrangement been made at Orleans for a draw Back for Cotton reshipped from that place, and has there been much increase of emigration and what in your opinion the good lands of the colony can be bought second handed for in money down and the price of corn this season as many fears exist here about provisions in settling that country.

In my route home I passed through Arkansas and arrested the four negroes sold by Col. Pettus to Boatright and they are now pending in law at little Rock and I expect there in the hands of the sheriff In doing this I acted more from motives of duty than Interest as I never expected to be fully paid for all the trouble and expense I have been and must necessarily be at in the matter I have assured Judge Ellis of the security and certainty of the mules contracted for and the land and negroes as is recorded in your office he appeared somewhat disapointed but satisfied with the compromise he said he had no disposition to consume Col. Pettus though he has suffered very much and as for myself I would be more than glad to know that he will meet the contract an[d] afterwards do well as he treated me with gentlemanly hospitality while at his house I should be glad to hear from you as soon as possible relative to my various enquiries and name also the Col. Pettus' prospects of meeting his contract and If any thing has taken place that may in any wise effect my land Claims in Texas I would like to lift one or both and locate them anew but I expect I would not be suffered. I will see you in the course of the next year I hope before summer and have no other calculations but to reside in your Colony or on the Banks or Chicholite River offer my respects to Mr. Saml. Williams your Brother and tend my thanks to Capt Gray for his friendly disposition to me while in the country I would like to write to Capt Gray but have nothing to write of much interest. I hope the horse I let him have is doing well, I left one of mine on the Route and the other died since my arrival at home tell him I would be more than glad to hear from him and as the route is long and uncertain please answer this immediately and then I will think long of the time before it can Reach me, on the great length of time I was from home I wrote many times yet only two letters Reached my family crops of Cotton here are short Haveing suffered very much from Drought and the Rust, the price is said to have fallen a little yet it bears a fine price. Many families here would join a company to go to that country but the higher class of men generally prefer to go and act for themselves as the cost of the travel is no object to them and the fatigue bears no comparative weight to the certainty of Being suited.

R. R. Royall. [Rubric]

[Addressed:] Hon. Stephen F. Austin. Department of Texas of The United Mexican States