Stephen F Austin to Mary Austin Holley, 01-04-1832

Summary: Trouble at Brazoria carried him beyond himself. Texas must remain united with Mexico as a State with right to legislate for itself.

Austin, January 4, 1832

Dear Cousin,

We are always more or less influenced by the state of the atmosphere. While at Brazoria every thing around me was greatly above fever heat, and its influence could not but reach me. The rumour of difficulties has set in motion all the violent passions of the body politic, and there will not be wanting persons who will catch at straws to attack and injure me if they can, and some of those I have most served will be foremost to raise a clamour against me. How little they know me!

The true interest of this country requires that it should remain united to Mexico as a State that can legislate for itself in all local and internal matters. I must go to the interior by February. It will be a fatiguing journey, and [at] tended, perhaps, with difficulties and dangers. My situation is unpleasant and unnatural. I long for retirement and quiet, and I much fear that, in spite of myself, I shall be borne along on the current of events into a stormy and troubled sea. Such is life!— a speck between two eternities, as has been aptly said. A speck—and yet how much of troubles and perplexities! But it is our all. The past is but a picture, a shadow of various hues. The future—we know not what. Theological and mythological contradictions and inconsistensies make it everything, anything, nothing. The mind is lost that seeks for a clear and absolute demonstration of doctrinal or sectarian aphorisms, unless it rests with confidence upon the throne of one, only just and omnipotant God;—the God of the eternity past—the speck—and the eternity to come—uncreated, and undeformed by mythological fancies, or theological investments—the self existing, consistent, and bountiful Father of Worlds, of time and of Eternity. From such a throne the jargon and choas of religious strife may be calmly viewed and understood. Yet it is sickening to see the wickedness that is practised under the most sacred of names, and beneath the garb of religion.

I reached home night before last after riding forty seven miles that day, and found sister Emily at a ball, dancing away in fine spirits. She enjoyed the party, and I joined her, caught the excitement, remembered your injunction to " laugh away care," and soon forgot my forty seven miles ride. Sister is quite delighted with the prospect of your removal here. I write without study or disguise, confident that you will be an indulgent and candid critic. The weather has been beautiful and I hope you are this day in New Orleans.

Adiós, amiga mia.


Your brother Henry is authorized to chuse a situation for you out of my " Peach Point" survey of premium land—say two hundred acres. I expect to be back soon enough to designate it myself before it will be necessary to begin building, and should prefer doing so, but if I am detained too long he can make a selection. Farewell.