Samuel Ayers and Others to Stephen F. Austin, 06-06-1822

Summary: Formed a "Texas Emigrating Society" to investigate conditions in Texas and Mexico and terms of settlement. Will the Government be a republic, will freedom of worship be allowed, etc.?

Lexington (Ky) June 6th 1822

Dear Sir.

We the undersigned, being appointed a Committee by the Texas Emigrating Society of this place, for the purpose of writing letters to you and Joseph H. Hawkins Esqr of New Orleans, by our agent Mr Elijah Noble, who is also one of the members of our Society; Beg leave to state that the object of the Society is to receive and obtain through him, such Information as we can certainly depend on, relative to the Province of Texas, and whether it would be advisable for us to settle there. The Individual members of this Society have been Informed, more than twelve months ago, of the existence of a large Grant of Land made to you by the King of Spain, on the Condition of your settling on the Grant, a Certain Number of American Families; such as Farmers, Mechanics etc; Since, or about that time, we have seen Published in some of our News Papers abstracts of letters said to be from yourself and others, stating that great offers in land were made to settlers who would emigrate to that Country, being However, unwilling to Venture so Important an undertaking, without a Certainty(having heard various and contradictory accounts from there, both as to its local situation and advantages, and its political situation.) The Company determined to send a Commissioner, on whom they can depend for all the necessary Information. We would therefore feel ourselves under great obligations to you, for such Information as you may deem necessary as well as satisfactory answers to the following questions. Is it a Rich and Healthy Country possessed of the advantages of Navigation? and to what extent? Is your Grant an Indisputable Title, and how large is Its Boundary? Have you yet made up the Number of settlers which you designed to receive? If so, can other grants be obtained, and upon what terms? If your Number is not made up, what quantity of Good Land do you offer to settlers, and their Families and upon what Terms? What is the present Policy of your Country, and what the future prospects? Will it ever become a republic, so desirable generally to the people of the United States? Will the Liberty of Conscience, and of speech, be Granted to the present settlers, and the Hight of worshiping their God according to the dictates of their own consciences? Will the Province of Texas be a separate Government or will it be under the same government and Laws, as that of Mexico? and will free access through the Country be Granted to Travellers and Traders. Your full and unreserv'd answer to the foregoing Interrogatories, together with such other Information as you may think Interesting to the society; in writing, will be Very Desirable, and thankfully received. This society is Composed of Farmers, and Mechanics and Manufacturers, with a few Merchants and Professional Characters. Some of them are wealthy, others have been wealthy, but have fallen Victims to the Changes and difficulties of the time, through the unguarded Policy of our Country, and some are young beginers: all of whom are respectable and industrious, and will carry with them such letters of recommendation as you may require (for we will not receive any but such as we believe are such) and would if encouraged be a great acquisition to any new Country. We formed ourselves into a society with a Constitution and Laws for our Government subject to the laws of the Land to which we may emigrate, which we think will not only Facilitate our Journey and safety in moving; but will very much add to our security and Happiness, when we reach there. Should your answers be satisfactory to Mr Noble, our Friend and agent, and he should be pleased with the country generally we have authorized him to make arrangements for at least from Thirty to Fifty Familys.

Saml Ayers [Rubric]

Richd Sharpe

Dane Halstead [Rubric]

Wm. Hanson (?)

Members of the Comte

[Addressed:] The Honorable Stephen F. Austin Province of Texas Mr E. Noble