Stephen F. Austin to James Bryan, 04-30-1820

Summary: Enmity of Russell. Family fortunes.

Post or Arkansas April 30 1820

Dr Brother

I am very comfortably accommodated in Judge Scotts family who has had the kindness to board me as long as I wish to remain,— I feel great anxiety on your account You make such sanguine expectations and calculations that I am fearfull you will become too much intangied ever to get out— there is much uncertainty as to the seat of Government's going to the Little Rock and you must take care and not spend too much money there. I find that Wheeler is generally unpopular and I believe the general interest of all concerned would be promoted by his removal I have no confidence in Ohara, lie may be an honest man but I confess my present impressions are against him, and I have to request you, as you value your own safety, to have nothing to do with his Bank or his paper, and above all things do not give it currency, or take it at all, that Bank will blow up before long, and then you will be blamed and injured for giving credit to the notes Wheeler I believe has done all he could for the best but he is a bad manager, he blabs and splutters too much— you aught to retain the whole of your half of the original location, if you do so I can make a sale of a part of it in a way that will secure the seat of Government if any thing will do it—¦ I have no apprehensions at all as to the ultimate decision of the dispute with Russell but it will have an unfortunate effect at this critical time, and indeed I should not be surprised if the seat of Government was to be fixed at Chrystal Hill or Cadron, Russell is the most unaccountable man I ever saw. Money is his idol, and yet he is distroying his own interest and throwing away thousands to gratify a little spleen and malice. My opinion of mankind has, unfortunately perhaps, been as bad as it could be for some years, but the longer I live the worse it grows. Were it not for this man Russell our unfortunate family might yet be enabled to secure a small, but decent competence for if his opposition was removed I believe there would be no difficulty in getting the seat of government removed to the L. Rock, which might be the means of saving a worthy and respectably family from total ruin and want whereas be gains nothing by his opposition, but the pleasure of gratifying his enmity and passions which I once thought were rarely to be met with in the human brest, but I have now learnt to be surprised at nothing I see in man, unless it is when I find him honest— I shall remain here this summer, and after that it is uncertain where I shall go if my Father saves enough to support him and you get through your difficulties so as to support Emily in the stile she aught to live, I shall be satisfied, as for myself I believe I am nearly indifferent what becomes of me, or whether I live or die,, unless I am to be of use to my Family by living, and then I should be as anxious to live as any one.

S. F. Austin

[Addressed:] Mr James Bryan Little Rock care of E. A. Elliott Arkansaw Territory