Stephen F Austin to Ramon Musquiz, 11-15-1832

Summary: Thinks it impolitic to publish Musquiz's address to Ayuntamiento of San Felipe concerning the convention. Thinks convention has done some good in quieting excitement. Outlook for Mexico dark.

San Felipe: November 15th 1832

Most Esteemed Friend. I agree with the sentiments expressed in your appreciable letter of the 8th inst. just received: "He is to be pitied who has the misfortune to be at the head of public affairs, in revolutionary times;" Indeed, be [he] a righteous man, or an angel, he cannot escape the attacks of some party or individuals— A rule we should always follow, is to do our duty, without minding what may be said: I on my part have always wished to follow this rule, and my conscience is at rest: I found myself on several occasions in rather a critical situation, but the polar star that has always guided me, was to promote the true interests of the Nation and Texas, and I can say that as far as I was able, I complied with my duty. With regard to the meeting, it did not originate with me, but I believe some good will result from its action; the public is satisfied, and we have enjoyed more quiet than heretofore.

As to your communication to the Ayuntamiento in relation to the meeting, I believe that it would have been better, not to have written it, "Revolutionary times are not like peaceable times." Colonel Bradburn could with the least prudence, have avoided all these evils: I tell you candidly that in my opinion, it would be very impolitic to translate, and print your communication, I shall not do so. The Ayuntamiento may do as they please: In times like the present, any measure is bad, that tends to irritate, and produce excitement,—any measure is good that tends to soothe, and to preserve order and peace.

I have but little hope of obtaining anything from the Government of Mexico; there is little probability that we may have a stable and peaceable government, for some time yet, and I believe that Texas is lost if she takes no measure of her own for her welfare. I incline to the opinion, that it is your duty as first Magistrate, to call a general meeting to take into consideration the situation of the Country. I do not know how the State, or General Government can presume to say that the people of Texas have violated the Constitution, when the acts of both Governments have killed the Constitution, and when the confederation itself has hardly any life left. I cannot approve the principle, that the people have not the right to assemble peaceably and honorably to represent their wants. In short, the condition of Texas is bad, but we may fear to see it still worse.

I am settling up all my business and in April I will go to the North for six months or one year. There is little to be hoped for in Texas. I wish you would let me hear the news, and tell me if the Constitution is dead, or alive, if an election for President shall take place, and what hope there is for a peacable settlement of the affairs. In the meanwhile please to give your orders to your affectionate friend

S. F. Austin