Stephen F Austin to Oliver Jones, 05-30-1834

Summary: Suggests that ayuntamientos of Texas thank State and Federal governments for recent relief measures and petition for his own release.

En Inquisición Mexico May 30th 1834

Mr. Oliver Jones

Sir I am still in prison and I can form no idea when I shall be at liberty

When I left Texas in April 1833 the position taken by the people was that the evils that threatened that country with ruin must be removed by the Government or the people [would] remedy them themselves and ought to do so as in that case they would have the right to do it. I sustained this position as the agent of the people firmly both verbally and in writing before the ministers and the Vice President and also in my letter to the Ayuntamiento of Bexar of 2nd of Oct. last I represented my constituents as they were when I left them, and as I had right to believe they continued to be; regardless of my personal safety liberty or life, it was my duty so to do—great good has resulted to Texas from my labors, and the noise which this business has made—all the evils complained of have been removed, my conscience is clear, I have discharged my duty faith fully, and for having done so I have suffered five months inprison ment-—Three of them in close and solitary confinement locked up in a dungeon day and night, the reflection that Texas would be benefited by my sufferings kept up my spirits and I have borne it all with patience and fortitude, I have understood indirectly from common rumor that those people in whose service I am suffering and have sacrificed so much time and money and fatigue are now calumniating me and rejoicing in my misfortunes, I do not believe this report—a few may do so, but not the mass—not the farmers- the honest and sound part of the community—they have always been correct sound and honest in their feelings intensions, and principles and I have no doubt that all their sympathies are in my favor will not calumniate them even in my thoughts by believing otherwise

In my letter of the 17th January from Monterrey, I requested them not to suffer themselves to be excited on act. of my imprisonment I did this to serve them, for all kinds of excitements in Texas are injurious to the farming and laboring classes and to the improvement of that country. They complied with my request and I than them for having done so. I also requested them to be obedient to the state of Coahuila and Texas—they have been so, and for this also thank them—God knows when I shall be at liberty—I hope soon—a mild and respectful representation of facts from the Ayuntamientos of Texas stating the situation of that country and of public opinion when I left them In April last year, as agent, the position above stated taken by those people which it was my duty as their agent to sustain, and my general character, conduct and services in favor of good order, of the integrity of the mexican territory and of the welfare and improvement of my adopted country such a representation especialy from Bexar would open my dungeon at any time and would do it now. But perhaps this is to much to be done for S. F. Austin, I did not think that I was doing too much for those people when I risked everything for them.

I understand that the main charge against me is an attempt to separate Texas from the mexican Republic, this charge is false as all Texas can testify, however I do not know what the charge is for up to this day no copy of charges or accusation of any kind has been furnished—neither do I know whether I am to be judged by a military or civil tribunal when informed of the charges against me (and God knows when that will [be] perhaps many months hence) it may be necessary for me to send to Texas for evidence, so that I may linger away years here—the Ayuntamientos of Texas might have saved me all this, I did not ask it but I confess that I ex- pected it would have been done. If I am calumniated I consider that it is a duty of the people there to defend me by a statement of facts—an able and clear but short exposition to the public.

I hear from rumor that the state legislature have past a law to sell the vacant lands—such a law is necessary—public sales is the best, and only true basis for a land law, It will benefit the state of Coahuila and Texas greatly and fill its treasury and also benefit Texas—I recommend this system to the ministers here and the establishment of the trial by jury and the minister of relations informed me that he had recommended both to the Government of the state by order of the Vice president.

The aspect of things here indicates a great change or a civil war of some kind, But God knows what, the people of Texas, in my opinion ought to have nothing to do with their family political quarrels and I hope they will not. All you need in Texas is peace, a dead calm, and to make good crops. Remember me to all who remember me, Show this to Capt. Martin, to D. G. Burnett and to Miller

S. F. Austin

June 2nd I have just heard of the laws past by the state in favor of the local government in Texasthe establishment of three departments; judges, trial by jury, land law etc. In short every evil complained of has been remedied—this fully compensates me for all I have suffered I do not regret it; I think it is the duty of the people of Texas, to return thanks to the State Govt, in a public manner through the Ayuntamientos for these laws, and to make a most positive and clear declaration of their attachment and firm adhesion and union to the state of Coahuila and Texas and to the Mexican confederation. This ought to be done—it is due to the state—and it ought to be published in the news papers of the U. S. in order to correct the erroneous opinions, that have existed there as to the intentions or objects of the people of Texas,—they have been sound— they asked for a competant organization of their local government and nothing else, and they never had any other object, It was for this I came to Mexico and for this I am suffering—all this might be embodied in the document above mentioned And the people of Texas would thus do justice to the State, themselves, and to me all at the same time. Some of the enemies of Texas are beginning to snear at those people by reporting in this city that they have abandoned me and wished me sacrifised—such an idea is injurious to the character of those people and totally false, and ought to be refuted by a plain, frank, and public statement of facts

S. F. Austin

Mr. James F. Perry

Sir I send you the above letter which arrived here on the 9th inst I have receive[d] your letter, as also Guy's nothing new, there will be something done for Uncle to day as there is a colecton [?] of people in town to day Clayton is to be tried for his life

M. Austin Bryan

In a letter to Sam Williams of similar import to this he used these words " I was incommunicado regororisimo from the 13th Feby to 9 May—no book or writing materials & very little light—dreary enough but the idea that Texas &c " Dated ex inquisiciónJune 3rd '34