Stephen F Austin to Samuel M Williams, 04-16-1831
Summary: Government attempting to close Texan ports. Territorial organization could be obtained for Texas. Slavery. Colonization law. Law concerning retail trade. Muldoon. Terán.
[From Williams Papers, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Tex.]
Lea Veo [Leona Vicario],
Dr Sir. I refer you to my letter to the Ayto. and its enclosure, where you will find as huge a monster as ever appeared in any Legislative Hall on earth. I have endeavored to do all.I could for Madero, but nothing can be done with the present Govr. I will attend to this matter at Matamoros [with Terán] where more can be effected than here. I wish you to write to Madero or get Arciniega to do so and inform him of this.
I have a letter dated
wide open to receive us as a territory,
(but no basis is stated with the absolute precision which I think
necessary) agreeing in genl terms to the plan of Arkansas or
something like it etc. The question of Slavery with the reasons which
I presented (some of which you have seen in my letter to Johnson
My health is not very good, this atmosphere does not agree with
me. I wish for a long life, for if these devils
jalapize me, I have
a desire to live long enough to Texize them with full interest.
I have prepared a bill to amend the colonization law in the
article which prohibits sales untill cultivated in totalidad, but I found
there was a desire that I should move the subject so as to destroy
the whole law and do all the harm possible. Jesus Grande is at
the head of all the mischief—his brother Mariano made a
handsome fortune out [of] the
Salary he recd in a few months as vista
of the Aduana of Matamoros, and now no doubt would find it to
I could have obtained anything and all I would have asked by joining in this retail law—but better nothing than everything on such terms. Push the titles as fast as possible.
Remember me very particularly to Father Muldoon—I have no
objection to his seeing all my letters to Johnson, particularly that
S. F. Austin [Rubric]
My colleague [Manuel] Musquis is in favor of excluding those who are merely foreigners in transit. I would not have opposed that, if the legislature had power to legislate on the subject, but I think that the 50 Article of the national constitution gives that power exclusively to the national congress. Musquis is a man of sound principles and unshaken integrity, he has made a host of bitter enemies here by his vote on the 1 Article and I fear will have an unpleasant time in the permanent deputation.
I think nothing ought to be said in the paper at present relative to this law—or if anything is said, don't fail to compliment Musquis on his vote against the 1 Article—on reflection I see no harm that can arise from publishing the dictamen of the committee, and the names of those who voted for and against—tho do as may be thought best. It would be a very good opportunity to make some energetic but respectful remarks on the danger of violating the constitution, and on the sacredness of that instrument etc—mention the thing to Wil- liamson and Luke. I have sent a copy of the law to Alaman, and to Teran so that they may not attribute the results which may happen from its publication in Texas, to any but to the true cause.