Stephen F Austin to Mateo Ahumada, 09-10-1825

Summary: Concerning plan of procedure against Comanches and their allies. Austin's desire to maintain neutrality. Karankawa hostilities resumed.

I received, yesterday, your two communications of the 21st and 26th of August last; the first, instructing me to gather the largest force possible and to march immediately and chastise the Tahuacanos and Tahuiases in their villages; the second countermanding that order in consequence of a report received by you, to the effect that the hostile Commanches were in those villages, and might encounter us in considerable number, were we to attack them at present. I had received a similar report from some hunters, and was also apprized that the Commanches, Tahuacanos, Tahuiases and Cherokees have made a treaty of peace and close alliance. I cannot say whether this last report deserves credit, but it seems to me very probable, considering the antecedents which I have communicated to His Lordship, the Political Chief of the Department.

Some Americans recently arrived from the Tahuacano villages, told me, that the Chiefs of that tribe assured them it was not their intention to be hostile with the Americans, that the last depredations were committed by some Tahuiases of a village situated far up on Red River, that they, (The Tahuacanos) wished to make a treaty of peace with the Americans.

If the proposal I have made to the Political Chief of the Department, in my communication of the 8th Instant, is approved, I expect there will be no difficulty in preserving these settlers from Indian hostilities, if we avail ourselves of the friendly disposition of these Indians towards the Americans. However, in this, as in any other case, we shall remain at the disposal of the government, ready to obey and execute its orders; nothing but the critical circumstances in which we are placed, could induce me to think of a proposal of the kind. I request you to favor me with as early an answer on this subject as is possible, to enable me to take, without loss of time, the necessary steps either for war, or for neutrality with the Indians. It is not possible, at present, to raise a sufficient force to attack the Indian villages, owing to the number of our sick men, and, in October, the Indians will leave their villages to go buffalo hunting; so that if war, or peace is determined upon, it will be necessary to start before the 15th of October.

In consequence of the continuous hostilities of the Carancahuase Indians, and considering the conditions of the treaty of peace we made with them at La Bahia, in September last; which was broken by them without any cause whatever, and one of their parties having lately shown themselves between the Colorado and Brazos, and in the vicinity of some of the settlements making hostile manifestations, I have been compelled in view of the security of our people, to give positive orders to the Lieutenant of Militia in that section, to pursue and kill all those Indians wherever they are found, with the exception of Prudencia's party, provided said Prudencia remains West of Buffalo Bayou, because it would be impossible to make a distinction between his people and the others, if they continue mixed together in our vicinity. Which I communicate to you in order that you may be pleased to approve this measure, or to give me such orders and instructions as you deem proper, and which shall be strictly obeyed.

God and Liberty. Estevan F. Austin.

San Felipe de Austin, September 10th, 1825.