Stephen F. Austin to James Bryan, 01-03-1818

Summary: Concerning speculation in New Madrid land claims. Austin has made a location at Long Prairie, Ark. Red River Country to be opened up.

Herculanium Jany. 3d 1818

Dr Brother

I wrote you this day to Nachitosh and now write again not knowing where to find [you]— I recd your letter from the Arkansas in which you request me to purchase a Madrid claim— Orders have lately come on the Surveyors office here to prepare the Red River Country for Market as soon as possible and in consequence Madrid claims have risen very much as the Speculators are purchasing them up to locate on Red River. 12$ an acre have been offered for them on a credit in this State of things I have determined to Sell all your Flour here and buy a Madrid claim with the money, which I will locate on My improvement in the Long Prairie— I advise you to return as quick as possible with all the Money you [can] and buy Madrid Claims- Doctor R. D. Dawson at New Madrid has some that can be got reasonable for Cash, and if you return for this purpose go by there and See him

I hope to be off in Feby. and am trying to raise your other Boat, to go down in for the one you got from Butler is too unsafe to trust anything in- I am anxious to hear what you think of the Long Prairie In not sending the Boat I have done as if the property had been My own-the claim if I get one shall be located for our joint benefit- the family are all well- I should like to see you on Red River but it is so uncertain when I shall be there that you ought not to wate, but return by land as quick as you can, and Secure some land there before it is too late

S. F. Austin

[Addressed:] Mr James Bryan Alexandria Louisiana