Stephen F. Austin to Emily M. Perry, 01-28-1826

Summary: Biographical.

San Felipe January 28 1826

Dr Sister:

I this day received your truly welcome letter dated 12 October and the packet enclosing a shirt for James, Some of my old letters and a lock of each of your childrens hair, and of your own—My beloved Sister could not have sent me a more acceptable present, your sweet children are your greatest comfort in this world—they are dear to their Mother, and equally so to their Uncle—I needed nothing to keep me in mind of them, but, it is, notwithstanding a pleasure to have something that was once theirs—some keepsake, to represent them in their absence. They are a comfort to you now, for they are all innocence, The vices of human nature have not yet shaded their original purity, nor soured their native sweetness, and a fond mother in the ardor of her affection may flatter herself with the hope, the pleasing hope, that they never will, and that they will be the prop and pride of her declining years. Dreams of future happiness of this kind are the most natural, the most pleasing and the most excusable of any others, but my Sister even these some times prove to be only dreams, God grant that they may be realised in this instance by us both, for I have indulged myself in them probably as much as you have, I never expect to marry and in that event should adopt your orpans for my own or a part of them, it must be our duty to watch over them, and fortify them to resist the temptations and vices of this world by instilling into their youthful minds the love of virtue, of morality and truth, and prepare them to be useful and ornamental members of Society by giving them as good an education as our means will permit—with their mother they will receive such impressions as will make them all that either of us could wish—if those impressions are not effaced by the allurements of vice—I hope that it will be in my power to aid in educating them, but at this time the prospect is rather distant, a few years will determine what this country will come to, and in the meantime the children can be educated with their mother, as soon as I can do any thing for them I will write you tho. I flatter myself with the hope that you will ere long remove and settle down by the side of your brothers—I wish Mr Perry to come and pay me a visit, tell him to come next fall and take a good look at the Country, by that time things will have taken such a turn as to decide the future prospects of this Colony—at this time they are as flattering as I could wish—I think if he will come and see me that he would move, but he must not move untill he first looks for himself—I hope it is not necessary for me to say that I will do all in my power to aid him in securing land and getting into business and I think by next fall there will be a very good opening he might make the trip in three months

Brother has commenced below this on the river—I hope to see him married before long, tho, there is no prospect at this time—

I am going to morrow to the coast to make a partial survey of it preparitory to the opening of the port of entry, by next fall the port will be opend, and business will take a new start

I have never recd any news papers from you by any one, but should be happy to get some from Missouri

It is impossible for me to go to Arkansas to attend to the Little Rock business—All I can do is to write to some of my acquaintances there and that I will do, tho I have not much faith in effecting any thing in that way—

remember me to Mr Perry—tell him that I shall look for him here in October next without fail he can spare three months to look at the Country and then can decide for himself

My love to Mrs H. Elliott and her Uncles family and to Mrs John Perry, she was always something of a favorite with me, her lively disposition made her society agreeable and I think she is a warm friend where she is a friend—

farewell my Sister kiss the children for me and tell William and Austin that in one year more I shall expect a letter from them—is Elizabeth to be a beauty who does she resemble—how [large?] is William and Austin—and which of them all appears to learn the fastest and have the most sprightliness—you ought to study their dispositions and shape their future destinies accordingly—

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

[Addressed:] Mrs Emily M. Perry Potosi Missouri