Joseph H. Hawkins to Stephen F. Austin, 02-06-1822

Summary: Vessels and emigrants on the way to Texas. Thousands ready to go with "one word of encouragement from you." Presents for Texan officials. His own financial distress.

New Orleans

Feby. 6. 1822

My dear Sir—

I have been struggling for a week past to find an hour to devote to this purpose. It is now eleven oclock at night and as usual I am almost too much exhausted to hold my pen—

The "only Son " Mr. Kincheloe owner carries several of my friends and a number of valuable settlers

Three other vessels have recently sailed for the Colorado, and in fact my dear Sir had the Lively returned with a good account of her voyage, your country would be crowded to overflowing—

I have recently received a letter from a Mr Ross in Tennessee (forwarding good letters of recommendation) proposing to "deliver you three hundred families by contract" There are hundreds on the way and thousands ready to go if one word of encouragement could now be had from you.

I begin to fear the jealousy of the Spanish Government may be excited and some prohibition interposed—At all events the most should be made of a cloudless sky.

After your 300 families are introduced would it not be well to raise the price of your land? Would you not be justified in asking 50 cents or even a dollar and by and by still more for lands?

These are mere suggestions—Your own better Judgment will govern and I know guide correctly—Perhaps my own necessities may have led to this view of the subject.

I am bent down almost to the very ground. Of the $7,000 advanced for the Providence I have not one cent return—In fact my dear Sir I turn my mind towards you as the wrecked mariner does towards the glimerings of the light house which promises a Haven of safety- Were it not for you my path would now be cheerless if not hopeless.

If I could obtain through your efforts the means to pay my debts I would join you immediately and spend my life in plowing the soil—and teaching our children the ways of virtue.

You can form no idea of my anxiety to hear from you—The only information I have received was from Mr Kincheloe—-He informed me you were not far from the mouth of the Cola and where you expected to meet the Lively—I have derived more satisfaction as to the value of your country from Mr K than any other individual I have seen.

And his account would reconcile even some little remnants of aristocracy where the boone they purchased was otherwise so ines- timable—I have relinquished altogether the idea of answering the many letters that are wrote me—In fact I almost tremble at some moments least some untoward event should entail misfortunes on those who have relied more on you and myself and upon our names than upon their own judgment—However sufficient for the day be the evil thereof.

All our concerns here would be stale flat and unprofitable to you— You and your Colony excite more interest than the assembled sages of the nation.

Why should we not stake our good names as well as all our fortune on such an enterprise?

Even those who would censure would be compelled to mingle respect with their reproaches.

Pray write me often and fully—Say what shall go to the public eye and what not—Tell me if I am yet doomed to be a slave or if fate promises to redeem and disenthral—Need I remind you that charity begins at home—Towns mill seats—choice of lands— Augmented prices they all rise in judgment before me, and buisy self sometimes pencils the picture with the warm tints on which fond fancy delights to dwell.

Having touched the chord which charms pray how were you last recd by those whose friendship we most need? Did the little presents to our friends meet the welcome hoped for? Did they please? Do they begin to believe we are something more than mere swinish multitude? Did the fair ones grow more fair and the kind ones more kind?

These are small affairs abstractly but mingled with others they become affairs of State—Do not suffer yourself to be supplanted in the esteem of those who Govern by lawful rule or those who Govern by the magic wand which dame nature has bestowed on the weaker yet most lovely of her works.

Mrs. Hawkins desires to be remembered to you—-Do not forget Rucker and Duncan—Write what shall be sent you for your Comfort I send you some papers for your leisure moments if you have any.

J. H. Hawkins

A flaming publication is going the rounds stating that Long had been recd into the republican service and his men paid from the first adherance to their gallant Genl.

I triumphed in the case of Marigny (?) they dismissed their suit vs. ? me—In my case of the pattent (?) Seven of the jury were for finding the property in the public—The wise ones were thunder struck.

Confidential. Unless I can obtain monied aid before next fall I shall not be able to stand it here—my house and negroes and perhaps all will go—I will if possible come and see you in the summer, again write and write fully.

[Addressed:] Judge Austin, Province of Texas Mr. Hawkins