Stephen F Austin to N A Ware, 07-24-1831

Summary: Advantages offered by Texas for establishment of cotton mill. Production now 1,000 pounds a year, and will increase. Government will foster colonies already established.

San Felepe de Austin, Texas, July 24. 1831

Mr. Nat. A Ware,

Dr Sir, A few days before my departure from Saltillo I received a letter from Cap. Henry Austin informing me of your wish to establish a Cotton Manfactury in this colony. I should have written to you immediately but was on the eve of departing for this place, and concluded that it would be best to defer writing untill I arrived here,

On my arrival at home I found Cap. Henry Austin quite sick, which has caused a delay up to this time.

With respect to the probable success and profits of a Cotton Manufactory, I have no hesitation in saying that I believe there is no mode in which capital can be employed to greater advantage.

This colony, and Texas in general is in a state of secure and progressive improvement. The natural resources, and capacities of this country to become populous and wealthy, are superior to any portion of north America which I have seen or have any knowledge of. It affords all the elements necessary for the establishment and support of extensive manufacturies, except one, hands, which at first must be introduced from other countries. It no doubt is the settled policy of the government to encourage manufactories of cotton, and I think that the large capital which has been invested in this branch, by the Government itself, affords a very secure guarantee that the present policy will not be departed from. This being the case, it needs no other assurance to insure great profits from the business

The stock of cotton now raised in this colony may be rated at one thousand bales of 400 pounds, This amount will increase of course every year, so that there is no scarcity of the raw material. Provisions are getting very abundant and cheap, and will also increase in quantity at a rapid ratio, with the exception of wheat flour, which is not yet produced in the country, but will become a secure and profitable staple, from the interior parts of Texas high up on the Brazos and Colorado rivers.

This colony affords many eligible situations for cotton factories, but I should recommend the Steam power, in preference to water- as to the location of the factory, I think it ought to be a matter for your detirmination after examining the country, which I presume you would do before you made an investment of so much importance.

The forks of Buffalo bayou at the head of tide water navigation six miles above Harrisburgh, where John Austin has offered a tract—or at this place—or on the Colorado river west of this-—or a point on Galveston bay—or at the town of Brazoria—are all eligible situations, and there are many others. I think that land can be procured by means of a direct grant from govt, but if it cannot capital will easily procure as much as could be desired

I will give every aid in my power in this respect, and in every other particular. I advise you to visit this colony this fall or as soon as you can, and examine the country and judge for yourself if however your mind is fully satisfied as to the advantages of the business, you would save time by bringing out the machinery at once. Cap Henry Austin will settle himself for the present about 15 miles above Brazoria on tide water navigation of the Brazos river. If you should come into this river which is the best place to land be particular to get a vessel that does not draw more than five feet water or 5% at most—on account of the bar off the mouth of the river

The policy of the mexican govt, as to the colonies which have been legally established, is clearly developed and frankly manifested which is to foster and protect them by every possible means. My colony in particular has uniformly recd the fullest support and protection of the Govt, and I have the most substantial reasons for believing that they will prosper during the next year more than at any former period.

Those who have acted in good faith in their colonizing opperations in Texas, and who have adherd to the law and to their contracts, have uniformly been protected and there is no cause nor the shadow of just cause to distrust the good faith of this govt. I should and do consider property as secure in this colony as in the U. S. or any where else.

I shall be happy to give you any information in my power at any time. I expect to leave here in Dec 1 for Saltillo and shall necessarily be absent six or seven months indeed it is rather probable I shall visit the city of Mexico in which event my absence will be longer.

Step F. Austin

If you visit this country do not fail to get a passport from the Mexican consul.