Stephen F. Austin to Josiah H. Bell, 12-04-1823

Summary: Barter. Conflicting land claims.

Decr 4, 1823

Dr Sir,

I wish you to attend particularly to the enclosed and pray try and get me all the money you can as I must have some to send for my mother and sister—Sell the powder for $2 in cash or 250 in shaved deer skins at 15 cents pr pound or Bees wax at 5 cents pr pound I wish to get Capt Ga . . . [mutilated] to take care of my colts—when you move bring down my little things that I left with you clothe etc as far as this—

I thought all parties were satisfied relative to the land below when you left here—there will be no cause for dissatisfaction— When I first explored that part of the country two years ago I chose two places, one on the Colorado and one here, the one on the Colorado was occupied on my return from Mexico and I have given it up and the one on this river is now taken by you and earner— I am not difficult to please nor avaricious and will sacrifice my own interests at any time in favor of those I esteem or wish to serve— You and Varner told me there was another creek below the one you chose, I am told by others that there is none and no prairie. I wanted a place at the bottom of the big Prairie to live at and I thought after what passed between us here that all parties were satisfied but from what I have heard since you are dissatisfied that I should take a quarter of a league there and have made reflections that if it had not been for you the whole settlement would have b[roken] etc. I will never suffer any man to lay me under an obligation without more than an equivalent and shall therefore not take an inch at that place if I have to drink river water you can therefore remove as soon as you please with the assurance that no one shall interfere with you; all I wish in future relative to such matters is that when an understanding is once made let there be no reflections made about it afterwards—

Present my respects to Mrs Bell and be assured that I am

S. F. Austin

J. H. Bell