Moses Austin to James E. B. Austin, 04-08-1821

Summary: Future in Texas. Sends Kentucky currency to discharge son's debts.

St Louis Apr 8 1821

My Dear Son

I wrote you from Herculaneum a few days after my return from St Antonio and inclosed you a Draft on your brother for 150 dollars at New Orleans I was in hopes to have sent you 50 Dollars of Kentucky money from this place but as yet I have not been able to obtain shall continue making exertions until I can obtain as much as will releave you I much wish to see you return to this country before I leave it for the Spanish province of Texas. I have made a visit to St Antonio and obtained liberty to settle in that country— as I am, ruined, in this, I found nothing I could do would bring back my property again and to remain in a Country where I had enjoyed welth in a state of poverty I could Not submit to I therefore made an exertion and obtained what I asked for a right of settlement for myself and family the situation I have marked out is on the Colorado about 3 Days sale from New Orleans or rather from the Belise a most delightful situation and on the Bay of San Bernard the Harbour is good with 12 or 13 feet water over the Barr after which— 25 or 30 feet for some miles up the river with boat Navigation, 150 miles—I have asked for leave of settlement for 300 families and (200) Thousand Acres of Land to open a Port Town at the mouth of the River which has been granted me by the Governor of the Province of Texas and has gone on to the Vice King for his confirmation, I have been offered as many Names of respectable families as will make up the Number but untill I return I shall not admitt any as my wish is to have the lands survey'd before I introduce any families at all. I shall take with me about 30 young men to commence the settlement and return after your mother next year. I have now a proposition to mention to you which is this you are a Spanish subject born and was baptised by a Roman Priest and are recorded as such at the church of St. Genevieve, I shall obtain a Record of this fact and if you will go with me I can get you introduced at the College at Monterey a large City about 500 miles south of St Antonio at this place I shall be able to support you a year or more and you will there learn the Spanish language which will be of more Consiquence to you than you can now conceive of and as its not likely you will be called for to join the Navy of the United States for some time you cannot be better imployed—the college at Monterrey or Royal Mountain has now 400 students from every part of the Spanish provinces, by which means you will have an opportunity to visit the City of Mexico and become acquainted with the Country generally and make friends with the young men of first families in that Country. Mr Woodson who will hand you this letter can tell you much more than I can write you and what is more he has this moment offered to lend me 50 or 60 Dollars Kentucky Bank paper to pay the balance of your Expenses so that you may return home to your Dear mother and also to a father that has felt for your situation but could not until now help you, when you receive the money from Mr Woodson you must give him a Receipt to be repaid Dollar for Dollar and return him thanks for his uncommon Kindness for without his friendship I do not know how I should have made up the money I hope you will not loose a moment after you have paid your Bills but leave Kentucky without delay. Mr Woodson can tell you of my prospects in the Spanish country and his opinion of your visiting Monterrey you may also obtain the opinion of Mr Holly if you please. If you examin Melishes Map of the United States you will find the Bay of San Bernard and the River Colorado at the mouth of which I calculate to lay of the Town of Austina, which will be in a few years equal to New Orleans in Consequence if not in wealth.

God bless you my son

Moses Austin

[Addressed:] Mr James E. B. Austin Near Lexington Kty— Politeness—Mr Woodson