Benjamin W. Edwards to Stephen F. Austin, 10-01-1825
Summary: Answering Austin's of September 15. Plans for colonizing his brother's grant. Austin's difficulties clue to ignorance of human nature.
I recd in due time, your very friendly letter [of September 15], and have been compelled to defer replying to it thus long, in consequence of my continued indisposition, with which I have been persecuted since I left town, until a few days past— Indeed I am now barely able to grasp my pen; and such is the feble state of my body and mind both, that I am denied the gratification of writing you a long and sentimental letter as you request, and as I should have been pleased to have done.
In replying to your remarks respecting the claim of Mr Harrison, I can say nothing more than I have already said to you in person. I am sensible of the difficulties that present themselves in this case and being unacquainted with the laws and policy of this country feel myself incompetent to point out any way to you by which his claim could be obtained, that you could derive any instruction from. I myself can think of no other policy now, than that of your representing the peculiarity of the case to the Government, the merit of the individual, the justice of his claim, and the probability of its adding to the colony a worthy and useful family— Could it be obtained in this way, it would be much more agreeable to the feelings of his family as well as to my own— I hope you will not give yourself any inquietude upon the subject in the mean time from any apprehension of censure from his family— I feel confident they will be satisfied with whatever disposition you may choose to make of this matter-
In your letter, you are lengthy upon the subject of your difficulties
in settleing this Colony. I have long since been sensible of the
causes of your difficulties, and find that you have very correctly
pointed them out. They are I hope now principally over, and with
a proper degree of forbearance and perseverance, I have no doubt,
that they will all shortly vanish, and leave you to the enjoyment of
those advantages, that you have in the commencement anticipated,
and which must inevitably follow. As it respects this affair of
Kinney, I have barely heard the subject mentioned once or twice
since my return to this quarter; and of late it appears entirely
forgotten— You must expect censure and abuse so long as you remain
in your present station, whether you act right or wrong. Suppress
your feelings on such occasions and even, if necessary, humor the
prejudices of the people you have to deal with. Your principal
business is with the Government, and your greatest danger is from
I have not yet recd a line from him, and am of course in possession
of no particulars respecting him and his movements. I hope to set
out on my journey in
I am much impressed with the importance of a friendly understanding and a free and open communication between all the contractors these grantsof , and as it respects my brother I feel no hesitation in saying that it will both comport with his feelings and policy.
In looking over the C —— law, I find you have overlooked an essential part of its provisions. I discover that each family, who moves into
those grants at their
own expence are entitled to two Labors instead
of one, which being proclaimed might make in favor of the settlement of the country. The law seems to contemplate that the contractors will in the main bring in the families at their expence, being
ignorant of the American character altogether.
You wish to know my ideas upon the subject of the Waco war. I feel some delicacy in giving an opinion, as I may not know enough about the situation and policy of the country to give a correct opinion—But since you have desired my views upon the subject, I must remark, that I am of the opinion I have always been; and which perhaps I ventured to express to you when I was down; and that is "that it should be the last and only alternative"—some of my reasons I think I then gave you. I have no room to say more upon the subject.
I shall in a