Joseph H. Hawkins to Maria Austin, 06-27-1821

Summary: Stephen Austin gone to explore site of colony. Condolence. Interest in the Texan enterprise.

New Orleans June 27, 1821

Dear Madam,

Your son Stephen F. Austin has been a member of my family for the last eight months—His amiable qualities of the heart combined with his intelligence and acquirements will always secure him friends—

And our intercourse has resulted in mutually warm and I trust lasting attachment. He had set his heart on facilitating the views of his father in his contemplated settlement in Texas—And believing the enterprise laudable, and perhaps promising some reward to those who would toil in its prosecution, I agreed to meet the proposition of his Father, and take a joint interest in the grant and settlement— Upon receiving your last letter enclosing one from your son, Mr. Bryan enjoining so strongly on Stephen in the name of his father the fulfilment of his objects (which indisposition then prevented his doing,) Stephen and myself both concluded it was best for him to set out immediately and meet the Spanish officers waiting at Nachitoches to conduct him to the grant—and take a number of respectable persons along with him to explore the Country—He set out from this place ten days ago to effect this object taking some 8 or 10 persons with him—The Spanish Officers having been waiting some time they have probably by this time set out for the Colorado

I have advanced Stephen all the funds he desired for the expedition and have promised to furnish more as he requires them—His prospects seem flattering so far as the good feelings of the local officers and Government can promise success.

I had expected his father here as soon as his health would permit, and was prepared to further his views by every friendly effort in my power—Today I learn that that father—is no more—I have no consolation my dear madam for this afflictive dispensation— Your only consolation is to be found in the resignation which we owe to the will of Heaven— Blessed by the dear pledges of affection left behind, you should for their sake meet this inroad upon your happiness with the fortitude necessary to sustain it—¦

God still tempers the wind to the shorn lamb-—- It is the Cup of afflication that chastens and brightens the pearls scattered before us here, and sometimes prepares us for that hereafter, where " the weary are at rest, and the wicked cease from troubling "—

Pardon the liberty I take in addressing you— My only object is to fil the place of your Stephen until he shall return to you— Pray look upon me as such— Will you allow me to ask if any remittance of money or shipment of articles from this place is now necessary to your comforts? I promised Stephen to write you if anything happened and would to God I could alleviate your sorrows—

Yrs truly and respty

Jos: H Hawkins

P. S. I shall forward an express to Stephen informing him of his fatal loss—but shall urge him by all means to prosecute the objects of his Enterprise.

J. H. H.

[Addressed:] Mrs Austin Widow of the late M. Austin Esq Near Herculaneum State Missouri.