Arthur G. Wavell to Stephen F. Austin, 01-23-1823

Summary: Recent "wildcat" speculation in Spanish America has made English capital cautious. Wants confirmation of grant, description of coast, map, etc. Plans to export timber from Texas.

Horwood House

23 Jany 1823

Dear Austin

Not a single line from you or any soul in Mexico has reached me since my arrival in this country and I leave you to guess what anxiety I feel to receive intelligence relative to the state of the Country and of our concerns. The infernal Pirates have done us an incalculable injury at least for the present [thou]gh as I before informed you whenever I can produce sufficient proof of our possessing the land to enable me to sell a part we will as the sailors say make up our lee-way with a wet sail, since I trust our fortunes will ere long be made—We shall I trust then be enabled to do without any partners but if we have any they shall be such as to give us no trouble about business in any but that liberal Gentlemanly way which would be consonant writh our feelings and interests the papers are at present indeed in the hands of a gentleman of very large fortune who will possibly join us in the speculation but two very unfavorable events have occurred which throw very serious obstacles in the way of the accomplishment of our schemes, The Columbian Govt. Agent raised a loan in this Country a short time since which that Govt. now in part disavows which has tended to discredit beyond measure the character and good faith of Spanish Americans in general and a Scotchman by the name of Macgregor has of late raised a loan on a tract of land which he states to be ceded to him by the Chief of some Indian Nation on the Mosquito Shore the fever [got up and he] received they state about 20,000£ but the bubble has burst and all the speculators are anxious to get rid of the business in addition to which the Pirates have been so successful and hitherto uncontrolled that few now venture to risk property in the Gulf of Mexico Therefore we must have a little patience although I much fear it will be irksome to you to remain in Texas doing little or nothing. With regard to Mining that will be I trust effected on a very grand scale since merchants have enabled me to make very advantageous proposals, and for an immense sum of money five or ten millions of Dollars [the] very moment I can bring our schemes to bear every thing [realised] on your [part] shall be sent to you indeed the very moment I receive an answer to my late dispatches from Mexico I will forward to you a full statement and will do every thing en debida forma. Pray send on as soon as possible a plan of the estate and of the Province with as full a detail of the weather on the Coast, entrance of rivers etc., etc. as you so well know as can be porcured also EVERY EVERY thing relative to the price at which you can afford Timber of what dimensions and description since the forests alone shall I intend furnish us with fortunes as large as we could wish when you give me sufficient [information to enter] into contracts in this country on this subject you cannot be too explicit also where when and how Vessels could take it in I suspect large ships will not with saftey lye opposite the mouths of the Rivers during the Summer and it be rafted down to them. Let us not be [discouraged but] put our shoulders to the wheel and make our fortunes I promise [to work] most indefatigably whenever enabled to do so wh[en you] write me directing to me at 105 Fenchurch Street London Papers descriptions calculations &c &c of every sort and land and believe me ever most faithfully yours

A. G. Wavell

[Addressed] Stephen F Austin Esq. to the care of J. H. Hawkins Esq. [New] Orleans pr Maria

Forwarded by your most obt servt Liverpool 27 Jan 1823

R. McNeel

I am at present at my fathers but shall return to London in a very few days [more] . . . [torn] our mines and seen the new Steam Engines very much improved we have one hear of a 400 horse power