Stephen F. Austin to James E. B. Austin, 05-20-1823

Summary: Sentiment strong for Federal Republic. Evils of Central Republic. The clergy. The people "priest-ridden," superstitious, and fanatical.

Monterrey May 20. 1823

Dr Brother

I have been here several days wating for the Comt Genl who is expected this evening. I shall probably start in three or four days after his arrival and hope to embrace you once more in a short time.

I have written to the Junta Governativa and to the Baron informing them of my arrival thus far and I wish you to send notice thereof to the settlers as I am told they are very much discouraged and that many talk of returning back—It will be an unfortunate event for the whole Province if this settlement is broken up, and I think it would have a good effect on the minds of the settlers if the Junta could publish my letter to them, but say nothing of this to any one except the Baron or Erasmo. I am told you have a newspaper in Bexar which I am rejoiced to hear it will be of incalculable advantage to Bexar and the whole Province—I have no company but one servant, and if I meet with none at Laredo shall go through with him for I am so anxious to get home that nothing shall detain me— The country is parched with the drought and corn very high— the people in this quarter are all in favor of a Federal Republic I hope Bexar is the same a Central Republic is the worst Govt in the world—for all the power will be in the hands of a few men in Mexico and instead of a Republic it will in effect be an aristocracy which is worse than a monarchy, for in it we shall have 100 Tyrants instead of one, I do not wish to take an active part in politics, but if I can do anything in favour of the confederate system, I will do so with pleasure—In the city of Mexico and everywhere else where there are Fryars this system will be opposed those miserable drones are the enemies of liberty, of human happiness and of the human race—their converts instead of being consecrated to the sacred and immaculate religion they profess are dens of "corruption, of intrigue, of infamy and vice—there never was a people so dreadfully priestridden and enslaved by superstition and fanaticism as the great part of this nation The clergy literally suck the blood of the unfortunate people—will the great God of Justice and of truth, will the lights of the age, permit such horrible abuses to exist much longer? No—Mexico has recoverd her civil liberty—She will soon assume her rights in full, and bursting the chains of superstition declare that man has a right to think for himself.

Farewell may we soon meet in happiness remember me to all friends

Estevan F. Austin [Rubric]