Moses Austin to General Wilkinson, 07-22-1805

Summary: Efforts of John Smith to cause the removal of Austin from office. Austin's aims.

Mine A Burton July 22th. 1805

To His Excellency James Wilkinson

Haveing this day recv'd a letter from John Smith of St Genveive Stateing that he is proseeuting measures to obtain Certificates in Order to lay before your Excellency to effect my removal from Office, I have taken the liberty to address your Excellency on the subject, few men in public Stations escape the milignant tongues of the restless members of society. I therefore Aught not to be surpris'd that at this moment of party madness, I am marked Out As a Victim to disappointed ambition. It is well known that I never had a wish to be notic'd in the appointments of Govr. Harrison. No man is more fully convinced of the Difficulties of holding an Office in a Country Where the people are so little accustomed to the American form of Government then myself It is next to impossible to bring men into measures they cannot Judge of. Ignorant of all the principles of our Government they View things with an evil eye. from this knowledge of the disposition of a part of the people. It was with no small reluctance I entered on the Duties of my Office being persuaded Sattisfaction could not be given, The insufficiency of my own Abilities together with dispositions manifested in some of the members of the Court Known to be Unfriendly towards our government rendered the discharge of my Duties still more Difficult and disagreeable.

That I may have commited Errors in Judgment is possible but I am Conscience of no offence Unless it be an Offence to disagree in Opinion with my Opponents. I have only to ask of your Excellency that I may have an Oppertunety of seeing a Copy of the Charges that may be exhibited by John Smith and others that I may make my refutation. The Justice I owe myself family and my friends require that I Should hold my Office untill a termination of this business. After which your Excellency has made such a decree as in your Judgment may seem proper. I shall leave myself at your Excellency's disposal.

Nothing but the malicious prosecution Commenced against me could create a wish to retain the Office I have the Honor now to hold.

Be my fate what It may be in the termenation of this Undertakeing, I have an internal Sattisfaction the Calumniators of a World cannot take from me Warmly inclin'd towards my Mother Country and Government, Tenacious of her Honor and Dignity I may have View'd the Conduct of my Opponents with to scrupulous an Eye

I have Ever wish'd a harmony and union of Opinion might take place between the French and Americans and with confidance do I Declair that Its not my fault there exists a Difference

With the fullest con[fi]dence of your Excellency disposition to do justice to all parties

Moses Austin. [Rubric]

To His Excellency James Wilkinson St. Louis