Stephen F Austin to W. S. Archer, 08-15-1836

Summary: Offering Archer the office of Secretary of State if he is elected president of Texas. Wants his influence to work for annexation

Peach Point near Velasco August 15th 1836

W. S. Archer

Dear Sir

Your most esteemed and truly gratifying letter dated "Elk Hill July 3d. has just been handed to me by my friend Dr B. T. Archer

The Kind interest you take in the affairs of this Country, and the expression of your intentions to visit Texas next fall with the probable view of emigrating here, is in the highest degree encouraging, for it gives new life to hopes, which I have long cherished, of seing Texas populated with men who will bring to it such resources of experience, of wisdom, of virtue, and of mental treasures as well as of enterprise, and pecuniary wealth

It is no disparagement to the present population of Texas to say that we need such men—all countries need them—tho perhaps not to the extent that this does. Pioneering a wilderness and laying a foundation, require one discription of men, while the aid of another kind is important to rear upon that foundation such a superstructure as will fully meet the wishes and accomplish the great object of all concerned, which is the general good, and common accommodation and hapiness of all

I consider that the foundation is laid—the superstructure is in progress, and is precisely in the stage when able architects are most needed. Texas is fully redeemed from the wilderness, and its independence is virtually achieved— This I call the foundation

What is to be its future political position— An independent republic, or a member of the U. S.?

What the details of its constitution in either Case? What the specific terms of Admission in the latter Case? How is it to be effected? etc, etc, etc, These Kind of matters are embraced in what I call the superstructure— I am in favor of Annexation to the U. S. I have full confidence that if admitted at all, it will be on the most fair and liberal terms, I think the great mass of the Citizens of Texas are of the same opinion, tho a short time will test the question, as the voters are called upon to express their wish for or against annexation at the general election the first Monday of September next

My friends have nominated me a candidate for President at said elections and are sanguine of success— It is not to be supposed however that there will be much unanimity about any thing in a new community like this, where aspirants are numerous and where conflicting hopes and projects of the future, or fancied complaints and misconstructions of the past, furnish so many materials for demagogues to distract or mislead the public mind.

I have been connected with the public affairs of this country in one way or another for, fifteen years, and under circumstances, during the whole of that period, the most difficult, perplexing, and embarrassing— With more power than ought to have been given to one man, I was for many years in the first stages of the settlements, the main organ of the local administration and of communication between the settlers (who came direct from a free and organized Govt.— The U. S. with all their habits fresh) and the Mexican Govt., which then was, as it still is, in that state of Chaos, produced by the sudden transition from extreme spanish slavery and ignorance, to extreme republican liberty. You Can at once see the difficulty of such a position, liable to jealousy and suspicion from both sides, it made me a mark for all to shoot at— our land laws have always been complex, and their execution difficult— Our political horizon has always been clouded, and public sentiment much divided etc It has been under such circumstances that I have been connected with the affairs of Texas

I mention these things to give you some faint idea of the difficulties of the past, and as an explanation of the assurance that I am truly uneasy and sick of every thing connected with public affairs— I shall however never shrink from them so long as the country is in an unsettled state, and hence it is, that I am now before the public a candidate for president.

Dr B. T. Archer has assured me that you would not refuse to lend the aid of your well stored mind, in regulating our public affairs, in the event of your determining to settle here permanently— I have in consequence assured him, and now say the same to you, that I should esteem it a great public good to Texas if you will accept of a station in the cabinet councils of Texas— If I am elected, my favorite object will be annexation to the U. S. on fair and liberal terms, that effected, I am determined never again to have any thing to do with public affairs if I can avoid it—

Now sir I am emboldened by my friend Dr B. T. Archer to ask you whether you will come on without delay and occupy the station of secretary of state and as such conduct the negotiation with the U. S. for our admission etc etc provided however always, that the sovereigns elect me

In the event of coming on you might perhaps obtain some important information as to the difficulties to be surmounted and the best mode of getting over or around them etc, Also it may be important for you to know that we are totally destitute of all books of forms or of state papers, diplomatic history or correspondence—in short we have nothing of the Kind—no books of reference of any description

All mine were burnt at San Felipe when that place was distroyed by the mexican invasion— I had but few

If we cannot be admitted into the U. S. we shall of course set up for ourselves, and shall stand more in need of your experience and talents— I think the field a vast one here for the profitable investment of Capital this is a very valuable, planting, farming, and grazing country, and must populate rapidly and become very wealthy in a few years of good Government and peace

S. F. Austin