Stephen F Austin to J Mariano Guerra, 07-10-1832

Summary: Review of events in Texas to show that inhabitants are resisting unconstitutional measures. It is not to their interest and they do not want to secede from Mexico.

Colonel Mexia delivered to me your communication of the 7th inst, with a copy of the articles of agreement entered into between yourself and that Officer.

You request me "to acquaint Colonel Mexia with the actual state of the insurrection in the colonies, and to consult with him as to the means of restoreing peace and public order in view of the preservation of the integrity of the Mexican Territory—the most important subject that can claim our attention under the Circumstances"

I must in the first place say to you that I am a Mexican Citizen and will with the most scrupulous fidelity, comply with my duty as such and as Colonel of the Battalion of Civil Militia of the Department of Bexar, and if it becomes necessary will cheerfully sacrifice my life in defence of the constitution and rights of the State and nation, to which I have the honor of belonging. Señor Mexia has officially invited me to accompany him. In compliance to the communication of His late Excellency the Commanding General, Don Manuel de Mier y Teran bearing date 25 the ult, your letter, and Señor Mexia's invitation, I shall accompany that Gentleman to Texas although a sea voyage is very injurious to my health, owing to sea sickness which acts severely on me.

I beg to be allowed to correct a natural error, resulting from an imperfect knowledge of the State of affairs in Texas, and the honorable character of its inhabitants, There is no insurrection of the Colonists against the Constitution and Government, neither do they entertain ideas endangering even remotely the integrity of the territory. No portion of the inhabitants have committed any insults against the Mexican flag, nor will they do so.

It is necessary to take a retrospective view to understand the cause of the evils that originated the disturbances at Anahuac. The arrest of the Commissioner of the State of Coahuila and Texas, Don Francisco Madero by Colonel Davis Bradburn, Commander of Anahuac— The suspension by military orders of the Constitutional Ayuntamiento of Liberty—the creation of the Ayuntamiento of Anahuac by the same power without the authorization or knowledge of the only Government lawfully competent to do so, The State of Coahuila and Texas. The arbitrary arrest and expulsion of several honorable citizens, by Colonel Davis Bradburn—- The arbitrary intervention of that Officer in preventing an organization of a company of militia by the Ayuntamiento of Anahuac, and the arrest of said Officers of said company and finally numberless acts of despotism perpetrated by that military Commander have caused the people on the Trinity to believe with reason that there were no constitution, laws, or guaranty for the protection of person or property in that section, save the law of might.

The Government of the State did not resist Colonel Bradburns bold measures as it should have done, and therefore the unfortunate inhabitants sank into despair, and I suppose pronounced themselves in favor of Santa Ana whose avowed object is the reign of the Government and not that of whim and personal caprice. Consequently if there is an insurrection among the colonists it is for supporting the constitution and the honor of the Mexican flag, and not for attacking them.

It has been said that the Colonists have insulted the Mexican flag; I dare answer that it is false; those who have trampled upon the constitution, Laws, and guaranties under the authority of that honored flag are the ones to bear the reproach of the insult, and not the Mexican citizens who resisted such abuses of power.

All that has been said in regard to dangers for the integrity of the Territory of Texas, is a mere tale, which serves in ruining the progress of that unhappy Territory, by creating prejudice amongst the Mexicans, and disgust among the Colonists, thus disturbing public peace.

No man who is acquainted with Texas will say or think that it ought to secede from Mexico, supposing that it were in its power so to do I am well aware as to what is the true interest of that country, and know the opinion of the people and therefore I say, that were the Government to declare that Texas was fiee to secede or not. The answer of the inhabitants would be, "Let the Constitution of the nation and State be observed, and we will never consent to such a secession."

I beg to insist on this point in order to enable you to make a distinction between a lawful opposition to infractions of the Constitu- tion, and opposition to the Government, dangerous to the integrity of the territory. Then you will no longer entertain the doubts, and erroneous ideas expressed in your above mentioned communication, and the unjust and fatal habit of criminating the Colonists in general, as has been done heretofore will cease. In every population there are idle talkers, drunkards, and fools: is it just or politic on the part of the rulers to denounce the mass because there are some of that kind ? Is it just or politic to irritate the wise portion of the community by insulting treatment, and to attribute to them criminal ideas which they do not nor never did entertain,

I proceed to Texas, not indeed, for preserving the integrity of the territory which is not endangered, but to do every thing in my power to calm the exasperation, which undoubtedly existed on both sides, and that may lead to dangerous extremities, I wish to save Davis Bradburn if he has not already perished and I will also interpose all my personal and official influence to uphold the dignity and constitution of the State of Texas and Coahuila against the attacks of the military power, and against whomsoever has insulted it or should attempt to do so.

On these terms I will act. I have expressed some time since, in writing these sentiments to Colonel Ugartachea and His Excellency the Governor of the State, and hope that a feeling of justice and a desire to throw light on the subject will induce you to transmit a copy of your letter to me, and of this answer to the Supreme Power of the Nation and of the State of Coahuila and Texas, at the same time that you will give your instructions in consequence to the commander at Anahuac. It is, then, understood that we will be guided in our operations by the Constitution and lights of the State, and not by Martial Law that the irritation shall be calmed and the past forgotten, without compelling the Inhabitants to make public declarations in their defence or against any person. Finally let the balsam of harmony be poured on all the wounds.

God and Liberty.

Stephen F. Austin.

Matamoras July 10th 1832