Stephen F Austin to Samuel M Williams, 12-06-1832

Summary: Describing procedure leading to a strong petition for redress of grievances and reforms for Texas.

Austin to Samuel M Williams

[From Williams Papers, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Tex.]

Bexar 6 December 1832


Dr Sir, I arrived here on the 3 instyesterday there was a meeting of the principal citizens—that is the Chief—Erasmo [Seguin] the NavarrosCol. ElosuaBalmacedaFloresGarza etc, and I gave them an exact discription of the evils that are retarding the progress of Texas. Stated in plain terms the necessity of separating from Coahuila, and the desire of the people generally to do so— and said everything I could to induce them to concur in taking that step at once.

The matter was discussed and talked over with great calmness and interest. There was not a dissenting voice as to the necessity of a remidy and all agreed that a separation from Coahuila was the best, but they thought it precipitate to take that step before any representations of our grievances were made to the Govt. This they considered a necessary preliminary step. Finding that they would not agree to go into the meas[ure] [before] the intermediate step of representing had been resorted to, I urged the absolute importance of proceeding immediately to take that step, by the Ayuntamto of this place—that All the grievances should be plainly and firmly stated, and that the remonstrance should terminate with a positive declaration that if our grievances were not fully redressed by the first day of March next, Texas would then proceed immediately to organize a local Government—they agreed to this, but thought March too short a time and April was proposed and I think will be agreed to.

The conference was unofficial, of course,—it lasted from nine A. M. to 2 P. M.—they were unanimous, and I have full confidence that what was agreed on will be carried into effect.

The Ayuntamto is now in session on this matter to appoint a committee to draw up the remonstrance, and I am of opinion that the [most impatient man?] in Texas, will have no reason [to say that] it is too mild. They called on [me to] furnish the heads— besides those [acted] on by the convention, I have given [some?] others, including the whole system of the local administration—of colonization—of the militia—all the violations of the constitution— the insults offered to Texas, by the outrage on her representatives in Sept. 1830—the law No. 50—the retail law, the insult offered to the Lieut. Govr by calling a judge to exercise the government etc, etc, usurpations—the neglect of the Govt, towards the people to the east of my colony and in La Bahia etc.

The object is to form a list of all the insults offered to Texas, and all her grievances and to demand, full satisfaction. If it is not granted, Texas can then say to Coahuila and to the world—we were insulted and oppressed—we asked redress—it was refused, and we have redressed * * * [If I succeed] in getting this Ayto to [pass] this remonstrance, as I have pro[posed] and as was agreed to in the conference [yester]day, it will place Texas on much better ground than to go into the measure now, and it will unite this place and La Bahia firmly with the balance of Texas, for they will be so compromised that there will be no backing out, even if they wished to do so; which they will not, for they are as anxious for a separation as we are, but wish to show to the world that they are right, and stand on just ground in case force must ultimately be resorted to.

I will return as soon as this matter is concluded.

Ramon Musquis, after all, is one of the best friends to Texas and the truest that lives in this place and he deserves the confidence of the Colony and of all Texas.

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

Arciniegas family are [well] Some one stole five dollars of the money * * *. I paid it to make it $40.

Committee: Angel Navarro, Cosiano of the Ayto., Erasmo, Balmaceda, and Antonio Navarro.