Baron de Bastrop to Antonio Martinez, 02-01-1821

Summary: Quoting portions of letter from Moses Austin of January 16. Ratification of Florida treaty by Spain. Effect of Indian treaties in Mississippi Valley upon emigration to Texas. Lafitte, Long.

[About February 1, 1821.]

Sir—In compliance to your Excellency's orders, I translate and transmit to you the portions interesting to the Government, of a letter I have received from Moses Austin, Agent of the families of Louisiana who come to settle in this Province.

"January 16th.—I met on the Sabine River two Citizens of Arkansas who told me that through the intervention of Russia the " Cortes " have confirmed the treaty of Peace with the U. S. that, the Sabine is the boundary between the Territories of both Governments, that the American Congress have passed a Law punishing, with a fine of $1000, emprisonment for one year and forfeiture of property, any person who shall trade with the Indians in the Spanish Domain; that the treaty for exchange of Lands entered into with the Indians who lived on the Tennessee River, on the East bank of the Mississippi, for other lands on the Head waters of the Arkansas River, interferes with a great many families of Louisiana who have to abandon their lands by disposition of Congress, at the end of May next. They might be very available if they could [be] allowed to settle in the Province of Texas, however, there are also several families concerned, who will neither wait, nor apply for an authorization, but will settle on their own authority. The Government ought to be on its guard against them; they may prove to be dangerous.

"The President has sent to the Gulf two armed Frigates against Laffitte and other Pirates; the so called General Long is on the Continent, near Galveston ; his circumstances are rather bad.

" Trusting that my petition shall be favourably acted upon, I go to Missouri to prepare the emigration of my family, and others who have applied to remove to the Province of Texas. It would be proper to allow these families to introduce their property by the Colorado River, with understanding that they shall pay such duties as the Government may impose; for myself I ask for permission to introduce by that route some agricultural implements and other goods, for which I offer to pay ordinary duties."

Baron De Bastrop.