Haden Edwards to Stephen F. Austin, 2-28-1826

Summary: Explanation of friction with inhabitants of east Texas.

Colonl Austin

Having heard of your expedition to the Isleland, I made every exertion in my power to join you there but failed in procuring a conveyance untill I heard of your return. I then went to the bay by land a very unpleasant trip owing to the weather and rottenness of the perarys [prairies], there again heard you was to leave Mr Scotts on the day of my arrival there for home. Returning to the trinety I heard again that you was to attend a meeting at the Santa Jacinta on the fourth of March ordered by yourself in order to present a memorial against me to the Government for asking my colonists more than the Government tax on the lands propigated here in my absence by Mr Rankin. This I placed no confidence in not believing that Colo. Austin could be capable of using any measures to the injury of the other Empresarios after having set the example himself and reaped the fruits thereof, not only that; the people who are to be the memorialists have already obtained their lands from yourself therefore can have no interest in the disposition of my lands and I have never seen more than two or three of them all of whom I informed might rest contented that there would be no difficulty about their titles never calculating there would arise any between us on the subject. As to my conditions I feel myself perfectly justified by that article of the law securing contracts made between the settlers and Empresarios which article was inserted in consequence of complaints made against yourself for selling the lands and I feel myself more than doubly justified in asking what I do for the good of the colony and of the government in general, as you must admit as a candid man that one colonist who is willing and able to pay for the lands as offered is worth fifty of those indolent Iddlers who barely live to exist and have no ambition or enterprise further. If you would do me the pleasure of coming to see me I will show you that my families are already engaged at my prices and are unwilling that I should permit others to settle upon less terms being satisfied of the disadvantages arising to the Country from such a coarse. The honest industrious already in the country are of the same opinion and have complied with the terms already.

I am constantly told by those worthless Iddlers that Judge Austin gives lands at Congress prices and says we have no right to ask or receive more. I have never payed any attention to their assertions believing them to be fabrications only replying to them to get lands of you. I have no doubt but there are hundreds of lies told you perhaps in the same way in order as I have understood they have said if the[y] could get the Empresarios at variance they would be able to reap a benefit. I hope you will give me the earliest information of your discoveries to our advantage in your trip to isleland and should you be disturbed at any part of my conduct that you will be candid enough to state your objections to me before taking any measures unfriendly I expect to meet Colo. Leftwitch on my return to Nacogdoches and should feel very happy [if] we could all have a meeting to promote the best interests of the country.

Haden Edwards [Rubric]

Mr Munsons Trinety February 28th 1826