William N. Henderson to Stephen F. Austin, 11-01-1821

Summary: Wishes to settle in his colony. Many emigrants from the Opelousas (Louisiana) country will join him.

Opeolusas 1st November 1821

Mr. Austin


From a New-Orleans Paper I have perused with much satisfaction an extract of a Letter from you to a Gentleman in that City and am highly gratified to find that you intend to carry into execution the noble enterprise contemplated by your honoured Father.

I would like very much to settle on your Grant for which reason I will state to you the following particulars I have been used to the Seafaring business for which reason I would prefer settling as near Mata Gorda as I could get Farming Land after the Port became settled I could act either as a pilot, Master of a Coaster (as I would not wish to leave my [family long] at a time) Surveyor or Farmer (the last [preferably] on the whole) I understand Survey- ing by Calculation A number of people to whom I have talked are anxious to move to that Province but are ignorant in what manner to proceed to get Land you will therefore be (if you please) as particular on this subject as your leisure will permit and if you have got the number of Families contemplated you will inform me what would be the best steps to take to get land from the Spanish Government and whether it could be got to join your Grant or not I would likewise wish to know the quantity of Land that your Grant [con- tains].

I would be glad to know at what time you will be at Natchitoches There some of my Neighbors and me will meet you and if you will grant us land we will proceed on and make corn. My Family is small consisting of a wife and two children.

My neighbors who contemplate moving hold slaves though their white Families are small except one Family.

I am doing Public business at present and have an opportunity of making your communication Public and if you wish for more settlers you will get a great many from this Country provided they like your conditions

Wm N. Henderson

P. S. I wish to take two young [men] out with me both Farmers You will Please to inform me whether you will grant them land or not. Direct to Wm. N. Henderson Opeolusas Louisiana.

On receipt of this I would be glad if you would answer me Immediately as we wish to arrange our business in such a manner as to raise corn next summer build a small sloop or Schooner and, move our furniture farming utensils, tools etc in the fall in this mode we could move all that we have at a small expense as we only live 20 Miles from the Quelquese [Calcasieu] an excellent navigable river and we have slaves who are good sawyers carpenters etc

[Addressed:] Stephen F. Austin Esq. Herculaneum Missouri