Stephen F Austin to Provisional Governor, 12-02-1835

Summary: Stating Mexican designs on Texas and recommending a new convention to decide unambiguously on adhesion to liberal party or upon independence

San Felipe de Austin, Dec. 2, 1835.

I have the honor to lay before the provisional Govt an, important official correspondence dated 31 October from the minister of War in the City of Mexico, directed to Genl. Cos. which was intercepted near Bexar.

These documents inform Genl. Cos of the measures which the govt of Mexico have adopted against Texas

The Govt of Mexico places the Texas war on the footing of a national war against foreigners and adventurers whose object is to dismember the Mexican territory, and rob etc.

An army of 10,000 men is ordered to be organized immediately, to be commanded by Genl. Santana in person— Appropriations of money necessary to raise, arm and equip this army are made, the regiments and other corps to compose it are designated, amongst them is one regiment from Campeche which is 1000 men strong— Arms are ordered to be made and repaired and ammunition provided in every town and place in the nation where there are any means of doing it— bodies of militia are ordered to be raised, volunteers are called for. The posts at Tampico and Matamoros are ordered to be fortified, $200,000 are placed at the sole disposition of Gent Santana to be used as he thinks proper, which will probably be appropriated to purchase and fit out armed vessells. In short preparations are ordered which if carried into effect will put an army of 10,000 men in the field and a number of armed vessells on our coasts by the month of February next

This approaching storm is of a serious nature— Should the Govt succeed in giving to this war a national character as they are attempting, Texas will have to contend against the whole nation united against her— That such a character will be given to it is probable— in fact it is almost certain, for the reason that the declaration made by the Genl Consultation tends fully as much to independence as to adhesion to the constitution of 1824— Some of the subsequent measures have the same tendency. The manner in which Govr. Viesca and Col Gonzales have been recd. will also have its effect. The organization of a local Govt, without a clear and positive declaration that it was done as a member of the Mexican confederation under the constitution of 1824 and law of 7 July of that year will be represented by our enemies to mean a different thing from what was intended. In short the impression has gone abroad that independence is the object and the only object of Texas— This being the case there is at least some probability that the Texas war will assume the character which the govt of Mexico are endeavoring to give it, and that all parties will unite against us—

Under this view of the subject, it is evident that the most prompt and efficient measures must be adopted to prepare for the approaching storm either by the most close and perfect and unequivocal union and cooperation with the remnants of the federal party which was the true position and in my opinion the one that should have been taken without ambiguity by the conn. or by a direct declaration of independence—

Can either of these two positions be taken without a resort to the people by the election of a convention where the representation will be equal. At the former elections the people of Texas did not and could not fully understand their true situation, for it was not certainly known then what changes would take place in Mexico, and What kind of a Govt would be established or what course would be pursued towards Texas— It was only known to a certainty that the central party were in power that all their measures tended to the distruction of the federal sistem, and that preparations were making to invade Texas— At this time the people know that the Govt has been changed by the basis established in the decree of 3 October last, and that they are threatened with total extermination— In short the whole picture is now clearly before them, they see the dangers that hang over them.— Can these dangers be averted by a provisional organization which is based upon a declaration that is susceptible of different constructions. Does not the situation of the country require a more fixed and stable state of things. In short is it not now necessary that Texas should say in plain and positive language what position she will occupy and can this declaration be made without a new and direct resort to the people by calling a convention in which the representation will be as equal in proportion to the population, as can be obtained—

These are questions of the most vital importance— I respectfully submit them to the consideration of the provisional Govt. in the full confidence that all the attention will be given to them which they merit, and that no time will be lost in coming to some resolution of a decisive character.

[Stephen F. Austin.]