Stephen F. Austin to Josiah H. Bell et al, 07-26-1822

Summary: Introducing Col. Andrew Erwin. Prospect of liberal constitutional government. "Success of the settlement depends on the harmony and morality and industry of the settlers."

City of Mexico July 26 1822

Mr J. H. Bell A. Robinson and other settlers on the Rivers Brazos and Colorado Province of Texas


This will be handed you by my friend Col. Andrew Erwin of Tennessee, who you will find an intelligent and agreeable Gentleman, he has a desire of procuring information relative to the country in which you live, and you will confer a particular favour on me by any attentions in your power to afford—I refer you to him for every particular relative to the political events which have transpired here, and present state of the government etc., etc. On the 21 instant the Emperor and Empress were crowned with all the pomp and splendor usual on such occations, and the Government is I think now established on a much more solid basis than it heretofore has been, the legislative powers are all vested in the congress, and the Emperor has sworn to support the Constitution which that body may form, so that there is every reason to believe that the Govnt. will be as free and liberal as any man could wish. As citizens of this, our adopted nation, it is our duty to be obedient to the laws and to unite in support of the Government, I therefore hope that the Citizens of the Colorado and Brazos will present an example of good order worthy of being followed—

I fear some of the Settlers may have become a little discouraged at my long absence, and at the uncertainty in which they have remained, but I assure you that I have been labouring hard the whole time for your Good, on my arrival here I found the Government very much unsettled, Shortly after the Emperor Agustín, was proclaimed, and Congress have been so continually occupied with that, and other important national concerns, that individual applications could not be attended to, I now have a prospect of finishing every thing in a short time, and hope to be with you once more shortly, I wish you to assure the Settlers that all things will be arranged to their full satisfaction, and that there is no cause for uneasiness at my delay The Government are disposed to treat all good Citizens with the greatest liberality—all bad one must expect the severest rigor, I have been very uneasy at a report that the Indians have been troublesome, I hope however that it is unfounded, this fall we must try and force them to a peace, the Government will send on a body of troops with whose aid I think the Comanches may be humbled, The Constitution of this Nation is not yet formed, and there is no prospect that it will be finished short of five or six months, it is a work of great magnitude and requires the most mature deliberation, I have no doubt that it will secure all the personal rights and liberties of the people as effectually as we could wish—

I informed the Captain Genl. that I had appointed Mr. J. H. Bell to act as Sindex in the Settlement which he approved—I hope there has been no necessity for a civil officer and that every man has been too much occupied with his farm to think of anything else The whole success of the Settlement depends on the harmony and morality, and industry, of the settlers, if you establish your characters foi these virtues, you have everything to hope which a generous and lib- eral Government can give you, but if unfortunately the reverse should be the case, how great will be my mortification, and how different will be the state of the Settlement from what I hoped.

I think I shall be with you sometime in September, when I flatter myself with the pleasing hope of finding you all in peace and happiness, with Bread in abundance, and contentment in every breast— I assure you that I feel the same interest for you all, which I could do for a Brother, and I will labor for your happiness with every effort in my power. Remember me particularly to your family and to every Settler you see—I wish you all health and happiness—

Stephen F Austin

tell them (the settlers) not to be discouraged at the gloomy prospect which wild woods present to them on their first arrival, a short time will change the scene, and we shall enjoy many a merry dance and wedding frolick together.