Stephen F Austin to Samuel M Williams, 09-07-1834

Summary: Account of his imprisonment. Advises Williams to keep out of politics. Robertson colony.

Mexico Sept 7 1834, Prison of the Acordada.

Dr Sir,

My case has been travelling about from one tribunal to another up to the present time at first a military tribunal, then a juez de letras, then to a district judge—thence to the Supreme Court. All the inferior courts decided that they had no jurisdiction over it, and it was sent to the Supreme Court for the purpose of ascertaining what tribunal ought to try it. I have [now] been informed that the Supreme Court has decided that it must be tryed by the district judge of the Federal district, so that I presume I shall now get on a little faster. I have in eight months ascertained what court is to try the matter.

I am of the opinion that my affairs will terminate favourably, and without much more delay. I think I shall be able to get my liberty by giving bail or [security] not to leave this city.

I wrote to my brother in law James F. Perry [on the] 25 of last month. I refer you and my friends to that letter. I have nothing more to add to it, except to repeat the opinion that Texas ought to keep out [of] all kind of political excitements, and act in strict conformity with the motto—Fidelity to Mexico and opposition to violent men or measures. Also all kind of personalities, ought to be forgotten and buried. I have been more [injured] by them, than any other, and I will be the first to forget them and meet my enemies in harmony on the basis of the motto above stated.

Yesterday I recd your letter dated New Orleans 31 July. I expect I shall have to draw on Beers St John and Co for another thousand dollars, to pay lawyers fees etc, you write me in the above letter that I can draw on them. I sent Perry a power of attorney to sell any of my property he thought proper, and I rely on you and him to save my property from the wreck that seems to have been intended by some persons, for me.

I approve of your determination to devote yourself to commerce. Your family and friends in the United States are well known and have a standing in the com[mercial] world, that enables them to afford you great facilities and advantages as a merchant, and besides this, in that business you can reasonably expect some tranquility and happi[ness] which you, nor no other man, need ever look for in public affairs [or] politics. Let them alone for the rest of your life if you wish for peace and [pros]perity.

Send this to Mr Perry. I am in tolerable health, but have suffered a good deal from rheumatism. The State Govt, have [been] imposed upon and deceived. My friends in Texas might undeceive them if they were disposed to do so. But "out of sight out of mind " perhaps applies to me. I know not whether I have friends there out of my own family. It is reported in this city that I have none and as a proof of it, it is said that a newspaper is bountifully supported in the colony by the great mass of Ihe people for the express purpose of abusing me. This I do not believe nor half of the reports about the efforts of individuals to calumniate and ruin me. I cannot, as yet, have so bad an opinion of human nature. I care nothing about the upper colony except to show that all my conduct in regard to it has been correct, as it has been. I certainly do rely upon my friends in the colony to make some efforts to place the truth of all these matters before the Govt. They ought to remember that I am in a distant prison unable, [by my] situation, to repel calumny, or defend [my] self— and that I am in this prison for having performed what I believed was my duty to my constituents; as a public agent. It ought to be remembered that the duties of constituents, towards their public agents, is not less sacred and [man]datory, than that of the agent to his constituents.

I think you ought to go to Menclova, [and] lay a statement of facts before the state [govern]ment

[Re]member me to Sarah, to Mr Scotts[fam]ily , and to all my old companions and friends

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

[A letter dated] Brazoria May 4 was published in the New Orleans Bulletin which has in[jured me]. I prefer that my name should be [kept] out of the news papers. All is perfectly quiet in this quarter and I believe all over the nation. The elections are going on in harmony every where.

S. F. Austin

I send this by Mr Comber, a respectable young gentleman of some capital, who thinks of settling somewhere in that country, I recommend him to all my friends

S. F. A.