Stephen F Austin to James F Perry, 04-20-1833

Summary: Memoranda. Eleven-league grants. Historic tomahawk. Hopes for State government.

April 20. 1833.

J. F. Perry

Of the three eleven league tracts I mentioned one is located on the east side of Colorado at the foot of the mountains above Tannehill it was surveyed by S. P. Brown-—has a good deal of rich land, and fine pasture for sheep and horses and is well watered with springs, very healthy—it takes some rough mountain land, wild scenery etc. I intended to keep this place permanently and make a mountain retreat and a large sheep farm of it. There is sign of minerals on it.

Ten leagues of one of the other tracts is on the west of Colorado opposite to the above, and runs from Union [Onion] Creek up— surveyed by T. H. Borden. The other 11 League tract is to be, or has been located by Frank Jackson [Johnson?] in the upper colony.

I make these memorandums for you in case I never return. As to the notes due by the settlers, if I can raise enough out of them to clear off all my debts and pay my expenses so as not to sell any land for those purposes it is as much as I ever expected. The land that Williams and Henry Austin and H. Chrisman have cleared out is not any of it to be collected from them, that is, none of that part of the payments that is coming to me. If anything is left out of those notes I intended it for a school on my league in Coles settlement on the plan of an academy. I have a settlement to make at Bexar with the executor of Saucedo on a/c of fees of the Baron de Bastrop as commissnr and shall owe him considerable on that business I expect.

The Hawkins business is all settled and finally done with.

I made an arrangement with John Austin and Williams as to the upper colony above the San Antonio road, and what is made out of that colony is to be equally divided between us three. Williams is to attend to the business but nothing is to be done contrary to law or to the true interests of the country. That is, there is to be no kind of wild speculation. My object in this is more to have the business attended to and that wilderness country settled than to make a speculation.

I think I shall get back in about four months, and I hope sooner. And I shall then close all my affairs and settle myself and get a wife and be a farmer. I should like to save and realize enough to found an academy up in Coles settlement and intend to do so if I can, but unless land sells high I shall not have the means. My expenses are so much more than anyone thinks they are and there is so great a sacrifice in the most of the payments that I get from the settlers that I am always hard run and without money or means that can be used.

I wish you to spare no pains or care in having little Stephen my brother's son well educated. There will be enough out [of] my property to educate him and Guy in the best manner possible. I wish them to have a finished education and to study law so as to take care of the future interests of the family. There are so many sharpers in this world that every large family who have much property ought to have at least one lawyer. They must learn Spanish and french and send all the children to dancing school. Joel ought to be brought up for a planter, and Austin for a merchant. Your Stephen and Henry are too young yet to say what they are best calculated for. All this is in case I never return, for I calculate to attend to all these things myself in person.

I shall owe H. Chriesman for surveying and I wish you to settle his claim on account of what he owes on the Books of Perry and Hunter. He is to select and survey a five league tract for me up on the waters of the Yeagua. Coles settlement is now the most populous in the colony and land is rising very fast and will be worth as much there as in any part of the Colony, for that Country will be thicker settled than any I know of. Your two leagues there are very superior in point of soil, timber and water, and salt in quantities can be made on the back part of your mound league and the adjoining tracts north of the Yeagua. You have no idea of the value of that land of yours up there, and if we get a state government as I have no doubt we shall this fall, land will rise at once very high. Land at the rates it can be had now is better property than debts scattered over the country. It has taken all I can raise for my expenses to Mexico and I cannot arrange to settle Chriesman surveying account in any other way than in payment of the debt he owes you. I will pay it to you in land that will yield a better interest than the money would. I have also agreed to aid H. Austin in paying his surveying a/c to Chriesman. Henry is in distress and needs aid. A few years, or I think one year more will set everything right, and give value to our lands so that we can put everything easy and settle ourselves on farms without having much to do with the bustle of business.

I have the Tomahawk that Father had with him in his first trip to Texas in my trunk. I wish it preserved and its history not forgotten. It blased the way for North Americans to Texas. When Stephen F. Austin is of age I wish it given to him with an explanation. I have also carried it in most of my exploring trips in this country in early times. The recollections connected with it are very interesting to me.

Chambers has agreed to pay the within order to you. He ought to do it as it is money lent.

I have just heard of of the Colera at the mouth of the river and that there have been 5 deaths—dreadfull indeed—how I tremble for you all—pray be carefull and use all possible precautions—if you were over on the bayou you would be safer I think— I have my will in my writing desk.

S. F. Austin