Stephen F Austin to Samuel M Williams, 04-28-1832
Summary: New colonization law passed. Texans must be mere spectators in national politics. Nothing io fear If all are patient and quiet.
[From Williams Papers, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Tex.]
The legislature's labors closed
The new colonization law has passed—it had progressed considerably before my arrival and is as favorable as could be obtained or expected at present. A law has passed reducing the Alcabala one half in the departments of Bejar and Monclova—another stating that the military in service have not, and never have had, any right to vote at elections, except the presidial companies in the towns where they belong—another establishing the municipality of Brazoria. Three years more have been granted to Powers, Cameron, Beales, Viehlien and Burnet to settle their colonies.
Upon the whole this legislature have done no harm except the retail law, and some good.
The States of Jalisco and Zacatecas have formally
dismissal of the ministers. Tamaulipas is all at sixes and sevens—
the Legislature have annulled the decree of the junta Legislativa
It is impossible to form any definite opinion as to how this matter
will end, but I think the most probable conjecture is that the ministers
will retire soon, and that a general amisty will follow and a total
cessacion of all hostility. I must confess that I doubt very much
whether the nation will gain anything by a change of ministers—our
Congresito, very wisely I think, have adopted the turtle sistem,
So much for general matters—now for
home affairs. The removal
of Fisher, and the establishment of a custom house office at Brazoria
I presume has satisfied everybody, and of course you have peace and
harmony in the colony. The prospect of getting the law of piratical conduct as the Boston Packet,—No more
speeches. How silly and imprudent the best of us will talk and act
sometimes when under excitement. Those who were abusing me at
Brazoria and in San Felipe because I insisted that Teran and Brad-
burn were not the enemies of the colony [as] some charged them to be,
and who even ridiculed me for believing that Fisher would be
removed and an officer of the custom house sent to Brazoria, ought now
to be convinced that I knew more of the subject than they did. I can
assure the whole colony and all Texas that nothing but the outragious
imprudence of the people themselves will bring trouble on that
country. If the whole of the Settlers will adopt my motto Fidelity to
Mexico—and act and talk in conformity they will flourish beyond
their own expectations, and every favor will be granted to them, they
could expect in reason. The legislature of the State are favorably
disposed towards colonization, as the new law will shew. The
Governor is also friendly, and if a dead calm has been, and can be
preserved, all will end well—very well. I rely on the old standards, the
first settlers. They have known me for years. They now know that
their destiny was almost entirely in my hands—nay I might say
completely in my hands for several years, for my legal authority over
them was very nearly absolute. They can now look back and see
that I have taken them safely through all difficulties, and that so
long as their affairs were exclusively under my own control, they
progressed in peace and harmony with the Govt. These things ought
to give them full confidence in me, and I say to them, as I have often
said, that they have more to fear from the imprudence of drunkards
and talking demagogues amongst themselves, than from the Govt.
I recommend my motto to them, and those who have any influence
ought to exert it to have that motto used as a popular toast in the
place of some others that I have been told were drank.
It would be a good thing for the people of Brazoria to make a
present to the new custom house office of the
two guns. If they will
do so and the expense is any obstacle, I will pay for them myself.
Shew this to Cap. John Austin and any others you please and tell
John that the assesor and judges say that if he has had a court at
Brazoria it is illegal and his acts void and himself liable to
punishment. Many papers have been, or will be sent into Texas from
Tampico and Vera Cruz and perhaps some agents of that party,
if so, treat them all politely. That is read the papers—and feed
and lodge the agents while they stay—but nothing more. No matter
which party gains, it would ruin the people of the colony to take
any part in any way. They must be mere spectators, and silent
ones, hear and see everything they can, but without taking any part
or expressing any opinion. Try and get them to adopt this idea all
over the colony and especially at Brazoria.
I think I shall go to Monterry, and perhaps to Victoria. Genl
Mason wishes to see Genl Teran, and so do I. I do not see any
necessity for my immediate return to the colony, and am as yet
The session of
Reservado: Tell John Austin not to dispose of any lots in the new part of Brazoria untill my return, not one to any person nor on any account. I particularly request and charge you to attend to this—I mean the lots that were bid in by him for me, which includes the most that were sold. If he is not in San Felipe write to him immediately.
You need not send any letters to me untill farther orders, for I do not know where I shall be during the summer.
Genl Mason wishes you to keep his letters and papers, if any should come for him untill he arrives en esa