Stephen F Austin to President of the Consultation, 11-05-1835
Summary: Advises letters of marque, organization of regular army, expedition from New Orleans against Matamoras. Send no more whiskey to camp
Head Quarters above Bexar
I have heretofore expressed an opinion that it would be doubtfull policy to grant letters of mark, on more mature reflection I am inclined to change that opinion— Every effort will be made to distroy us—we are therefore fully justified in resorting to every possible means of defense.
After the convention have declared for the Constitution and federal
war against centralism, letters of mark might be granted to
defend our coasts and cruise against the vessels of the centralists and
military usurpers—under this view I am in favor of it, and recommend the
In short we are in a war, in which the objects of our enemies is our
extermination. It is a matter of life and death—there is no medium or
middle course left— none at all—under these circumstances there must be every description, we can get.
I again recommend the immediate organization of a civil Govt, and the appointment of a Govr. or civil head— Also the organization of a regular army, with a Genl. of well known military talents experience, integrity and moral influence. This is very important.
With regard to certain individuals about whom I have been written to— I beg leave to say that the convention is the only competent authority to decide whether they are enemies to our country and cause or not— I would on this subject respectfully recommend moderation and prudence— The Army is in good spirits—the three cannon have arrived and reenforcements of 180 men— I must however say that the taking of Bexar is very difficult— My health for the last two weeks has been so bad that I have been unable to attend actively in person to the duties of my station— they would be truly arduous to the most experienced man, considering the nature of a militia force, where there is no law but moral principle and enthusiasm to keep them together, but they' are doubly so to me with a debilitated constitution and bad health, added to a want of experience in Military operations—I trust however that the people will be satisfied with the efforts and the movements of the army so far.
Nothing will aid Texas so much as an expedition from New Orleans
against Matamoros under Genl Mexia— It is
all important— I recommend
that every possible effort be made to fit out such an expedition if it has not
already been done, as I hope it has been
Stephen F. Austin [Rubric]
If matamoros is attacked and revolutionized by Mexia, Bexar would fall as a matter of course, for all supplies of funds or troops would be cut off. There is no way in which funds or men could be employed to so much advantage to Texas as in an expedition against Matamoros
This enterprise merits the first attention of the convention an express, at
any expense should be sent to the committee of N. Orleans urging this
expedition, also to N. York—Zavala ought to write to N. York on the
rumor of such a thing would keep troops from being sent
The military operations will be pressed now very rapidly, as much so
as practicable— The convention however must not be surprised should
Bexar hold out for a long time— It has been unanimously decided in a
council of war with one exception, that it ought not to be stormed— they
have plenty of provisions inside— The corn and country around Bexar
S. F. Austin [Rubric]
By Express very important to be sent without delay
In the name of Almighty God send no more ardent spirits to this camp— if any is on the road turn it back, or have the head knocked out—