Henry Austin to Stephen F Austin, 11-28-1831

Summary: Terán's visit beneficial. Austin worries too much about "babblers" of little influence; substantial men will take no step in public matters without his approval. Land troubles.

Brazoria 28 Novr. 1831

Col S F Austin

My Dear Sir I have just recd yours pr D[r.] Archer and am sorry to find the disappointment as to the Dearborn vexes you so much—as matters have turned out it was perhaps a fortunate circumstance the cold winter storm for a week past would have rendered the journey dangerous if not impracticable— She [Mrs. Holley] recd your letter stating your intention to go to Anahuac and see her on your return, before I left She therefore determine [d] to remain at Bolivar until my return with my family and then if you were at St Felipe to go up with me on horse back if I could not get a carriage— I have now arranged for one here if wanted on my return

I have been detained here six days by the storm, there is no chance of the Nelson getting in until it be over— we are now informed that Genl Teran has returned to Matamoras, and conclude you will not now leave St Felipe until quite well. However severe your disappointment in not seeing Teran I think it is better than that you should have made the journey for travelling in this bad weather would in all probability have killed you— you have no doubt better information as to his departure than we have If it be true that he has removed the Garrison to Galveston Island and Suspended the collection of duties till April as report says I see no reason to regret his visit or sudden departure, it gives time to observe the moving of the waters I am told Jalisco and two other states have withdrawn from the union, if so there may be a general break up next thaw and Teran will have enough to look after at home— I have seen your letter to John—you ought not to permit these matters to worry you so much The bablers are mostly men of little influence the substantial part of the community are not disposed to take any steps in public matters without your previous approbation—The talkers in the case of Capt Doon were mostly the shopkeepers and whisky drinkers. I arrived here a few days after and defended the conduct of the officer who had done no more than his duty and had shown more lenity than would have been shown in such a ease in any other country

When the case was fairly understood all the reasonable men condemned Capt Doons conduct—

I wish much to have Mrs Holley see the upper country as she is already preparing a work for publication on her return and I wish her to have a fair opportunity to describe the country and to see you long enoug[h] to get your ideas as to the representation best calculated to make such impression on the public mind as will suit your views of policy—

The affair of Hall and Phelps is like to do much mischief— which ever way it goes if Hall gets the land it establishes the principle that an individual may occupy the property of another without the warrant of any public authority or judicial act which might lead to much mischief and great disconfidence in titles generally- If Phelps has vitiated his title no act of Halls can make it good, but it strikes me as very dangerous to permit an individual to appropriate the labor of another to himself before any judicial act of forfeiture is had—if permitted on one pretense now it will soon be resorted to on another. I have already heard men speak of denouncing land on the ground of forfeiture for non settlement, having a league of the Hall family in view on which they say not a tree has been cut— who can foretell the effect of such proceedings upon the public mind here and in the US where the Matter will not be understood and no doubt be much misrepresented— I am very anxious about my family, the cold storm still continues. The moment I get them housed I shall come to St Felipe and visit the upper country if the weather will permit to look out a retreat for the summer I would not keep my family at Bolivar through such a Season as the last for all Texas it would be a certain sacrifice of the lives of some of them-— I think somewhere near Coles or Chrismans will from all accounts be healthiest and safest there being a strong population there and in case I get the Swiss families I have sent for I will place one of them there to commence a vineyardJ W[e]stall has this moment come in with information that the Nelson is off the Bar and my family on shore at Captn Chases all well— It rains hard but I start at once

H. Austin [Rubric]

My fingers and Ideas are froze up

[Addressed:] Col S F Austin St Felipe de Austin