Stephen F. Austin to James E. B. Austin, 05-10-1823

Summary: Settlers must keep out of politics. Prospect of federal republic. His colony safely approved.

Saltillo May 10, 1823

Dr. Brother,

I arrived here on the 8th and shall proceed tomorrow on to Monterey where I probably may be detained ten days untill the new Comdte Genl arrives, Don Felipe de la Garza, who is a particular friend of mine - At this place I heard that Texas had renewed the oath to the Emperor and had refused to adopt the new system - this is bad - the whole nation without exception have adopted the plan of Casa Mata and acknowledged the Sovereign Congress - Iturbide has embarked for Italy, and when I left Mexico on the 18 all was quiet - Doctor Miguel Ramos Arispe now in this place informs me that Texas only refused the new system because it was supposed the majority of the nation still adhere to the Emperor, but that on receiving a full confirmation of the unanimity of the Provinces in favour of the plan of Casa Mata, it immediately adopted it also and that at this time all is well—I wrote to the settlers on the Colorado and Brazos that they ought not to meddle with politics, and to have nothing to do with any revolutionary schemes, I hope they have followed my advise—they are as yet too recently established in the country to take an active part in its political affairs—if any questions are asked them as to their opinion of the Govt etc. they ought to answer that they moved here to live under the government which the nation may establish they can do themselves no good by meddling in politics and at such a time as this when the Govt is not yet settled and the nation in a state of political fermentation it is embarking on a doubtfull voyage to embrace any party—as foreigners we have a good excuse for remaining neutral without being lyable to suspicions and this is the safe course—The Emperor has deceived us all—I thought he would have adhered to his oath, and governd according to law—but on the contrary he has violated the one, and trampled on the other—nothing therefore is more just, and more magnanimous than the spirit of indignation and resentment which the nation have manifested and the result I hope and confidently believe will be a Confederated Republic very similar to that of the United States—Some of the principal provinces of the nation have declared in favour of this system, such as Oaxaca, Guadalaxara, Guatamala, Guanaxuato, and these Provinces and I think a majority of the members of Congress are in favour of it.

I wrote you from Mexico that my business was completely finished as I wished, and when I arrive I will try and revive the spirits of the settlers, they have nothing to fear as to the titles to their lands, their own industry and good conduct is all that is wanting to make them live plentifully—I am in hopes we shall be able to take the Indians in hand and teach them to let us alone—I recd your letters at this place informing me of the disasters on the Colorado—the day of vengeance I hope is not far off—I am very glad Littleberry Hawkins took charge of the things from the Lively, I approve fully of everything he has done in the business if he still has the suit of blue request him to keep it untill I arrive. I am destitute of clothes and want it—remember me to him in a very particular manner and tell him that I anticipate with pleasure a renewal of our former acquaintance in Lexington, and hope that we shall spend many happy years as neighbours in Texas, and receive an ample reward for the difficulties, hardships and disgusts of the first year or two—your Spanish letter does very well. I am happy at your advancement in the language. It probably will be about the 10 of June before I can reach Bexar as I shall pass through Monclova if Dn Matias Ximenes is in Bexar give my respects to him, I am anxious to see him—when I arrive I will try and see what can be done with the tobacco, when I purchased it in Orleans the law prohibiting the introduction had not passed so that I am an innocent sufferer. Speak to Berrimendi and request him not to do anything in the business until I arrive that is, unless he will release the tobacco and deliver it to L. Hawkins if he will do this it will be the same as delivering it to me—I am very glad you did not go with Carrasco apply yourself to hard study, let your whole time be devoted to emprove your mind, the only divertion, except that necessary to preserve your health, which you ought to take is a change of study from the Spanish to the French, and reading the Baron's English books—the mind makes the man. In writing Spanish be careful not to confound the b and the V as is customary in this country, when in doubt refer to the dictionary, this is important tho totally disregarded here

[Stephen F. Austin.]