Robert Andrews to Stephen F. Austin, 05-15-1823

Summary: Surveying. The people and country from Monterey to Parras.

Parras May 15th/23

Nothing could have given me more satisfaction than an interview with you, but I recollect the story of Telemachus who traveled thro all grades of Hell and did not meet his father and at last they met on earth, therefore as we did not meet in this infernal region I most seriously hope we will meet on earth. I suppose we may be allowed to compare ourselves to the Heathen Gods in this country, where the people are more supersticious than they were when these imaginary Deities existed.

I am really glad to hear that your wishes are compleatly fulfilled in the business on which so much depends, but I do not recollect the act of the Empl Govt on the subject, therefore do not know of what magnitude your personal prospects may be, of this you will be good enough to give me a scetch in your next, and whether the mode of naturalisation will be as before—you say nothing of the surveying of which I am anxious to hear in as much as I have made application to the Govt for the appointment of surveyor in Texas, supposing that I might dislodge the Baron De Bastrop at this change of Govt, by several good reasons some of which are the following, that he is too old to give personal attention, that [he] probably knows nothing of the new mode of calculation by Lat. and depart which is the only mode to do it correctly - do not know, perhaps my ineligibility alone may be sufficient to prevent me from obtaining it, you who was at the fountain head can give me some information on the subject, and if you think it possible,- write to some of your acquaintances in congress, at least let me know what you think on the subject - if I should obtain that office, I will land in Texas in Jany. with 20 odd labouring hands, 50 mules and horses, stores and tools appropriate to open a farm and in all probability shall be accompanied by the heads of several families who will go on in order to settle, I have disclosed the plan of planting a Town on the collorado or Brazos to the people here and they seem to be much stimulated but as yet I cannot say what I can do. I believe I can exercise about 2000 dollars on credit in that way, but the people here are so da—d afraid of Indians that if they move in that direction they must have an American between them and the Comanches— Therefore if a collony of these sodomites go on I shall have to be their Joshua—I have written to your Brother and Alley to advise me of the present circumstances and prospects in that quarter, and shall depend much on your opinion, which you will remit me from Bexar or Colorado, after seeing how things are, I shall leave this place in a week or ten days for Durango, to which place I wish you to direct all letters here after except the answer to this from Monterey, which if it startes soon may arive before I set out, and if not I shall spend 3 weeks in the Hacienda de los Hornos with the best family in the Govt, during which time I can send for it—

I am yet poor but owe nothing and shall perhaps be able to arive at Durango with 25 or 30 dollars, where I have hope of doing better.

According to your request I am bound to say something of the country over which I have passed, in this place it can be but short, but when a work which I now have on hand comes to light a true picture of many curious things persons and circumstances, accompanied by several drawings will be seen—The country from Saltillo to this place has a nigh resemblance to that between Monterrey and La Punta, there are 4 or 5 farms on the way, but one of which is of any consideration this place is situated in rather a handsome and very fertile valley about 3 or 4 miles wide, and about 6 miles south and near 100 west of Saltillo, and contains upwards of 15,000 souls the Town is closely joined to the mountain on the south side of the vally, from which gush a vast number of springs one of which is so large that it moves a very clumsy grist mill, the whole extent of country over which this water extends is one continued vinyard with the exception of a few fields of small grain and corn all of which is in a fine state of cultivation, it also produces many other exquisit fruits exclusive of the grape, but as to any spontaneous growth of timber it is here like all other parts of the country that I have seen, quite out of scrape—God d—n the luck! excuse me, my dear sir, for breaking off so abruptly from my soft rural strane, I have just recd a note informing me of more of my D—d bad fortunes which would hunt me up in order to make things a little worse, if I were in Pluto's regions, enjoying all the comforts of Hell a friend writes me that a few days after I left the Hornos for this place a message arived for me to visit a rich patient in another village, which would have been a greasor of 200 dollars, says my friend "he may send for you yet"—God grant! if I thought it would do any good I would send for the curate and have a mass said this moment notwithstanding it is near 3 oclock in the evening—The description of the country on to the Hornos, which is the furtherest I have been into the country and which is about 50 miles west of this is near the same as before—you told me nothing of our country man Fields for whom I feel interested—Don Ignacio Peres and Mosieur Pier of Bexar are near this place on their way home and will fall in with you at Monterrey if they do not go by Monclova.

If my health, which now hangs on a more tender thread than before should not be very good in the fall, the above mentioned plan may be changed for a tour on sea, this will depend on circumstances If you should go to New Orleans, perhaps it might be well to leave my address with Mr Hawkins, as I may fall in there some evening and not be able to find any old acquaintance be sure to remember me most affectionately to all old acquaintances in Texas and tell them I hope to see them all again in the year 24 give my respects to Hickman. Philips and Doctr. Purnell in Monterrey—hoping that the day will come when we may sit toe to toe under our own vine and fig tree, retired from the bustle of the world, and reherse the toils of our youth, over a can of domistic wine, I present you the best wishes of

Your true friend

Andrews [Rubric]

[Addressed:] A Sr. Dn Estevan Austin Anglo Americano Monterrey.