Stephen F. Austin to James Bryan, 07-03-1818

Summary: New Madrid land claims.

Herculaneum July 8. 1818

Dr Brother

I am now here endeavoring to arra[n]ge my Fathers business and my own so as to leave this country—Orders have been lately recd at the Surveyors office to prepare the Red River property for market as soon as possible, and in consequence New Madrid claims have risen very much—Langham and a Company are purchaseing them up to locate on Red River and offer as high as 12.$ an arpent on a credit— I think I can get a small claim for 5$ Cash and I have determined to sell all your Flour and buy a Madrid claim with the money, and not send down the Boat at all—I should have done so if the property had been my own and very well know that it will be more to your advantage to sell the f [lour] here at 8$ and buy a claim at 5$ than to get 30$ a Barrel for it and loose the opportunity of geting a claim even at any price—I value my improvement in the Long Praire at 100$ pr acre for it will yeald an interest, on the money (calculating the land at 100$ pr acre) of at least 25 pr. cent and pay the expence of working it besides—I shall therefore sell the Flour get a claim and locate it for our joint benefit on my improvement in the Long Praire

I can not tell when I shall leave here—My Fathers business is all in confusion—I advise you to return as soon as possible by Land and bring all the money you can with you and buy Madrid claims, and take memorandum to locate them—you may depend that choice Land will sell for not less than 50$ at the publick sales on Red River

James Cox appears to be very much dissatisfied about his fay particularly for the rent of his Plattin places, and intimates that he will attach your Property in Orleans. I give you this information to put you on your guard

S. F. Austin

I think you had better send the goods that are yet unsold to the Long Praire, a small Store will do very well there

I Recd. your Letters from White and Arkansas Rivers, in the last one you request me (to?) buy Madrid claims out of Funds to be furnished by J. Austin. I think that you ought to hurry back as soon as you can, for J. Austin is a poor hand to collect or attend to business— Brickey will attend to collections for one month, after which he wishes his own time.

S. F. A.

[Addressed:] James Bryan Esqr. Nachitoches Louisiana