Stephen F. Austin to Josiah H. Bell, 12-06-1823

Summary: Measures for excluding bad characters. Payment for land in cows and calves.


As I shall be absent about three weeks down the river I wish you to attend to the following instructions relative to new settlers.

The most unequivocal evidence of character must be produced in the first place, and those who come without any recommendation and who are unknown in this country must be informed that I gave Garner ten lashes for coming here without proper recommendations and that unless they immediately depart and quit the country they will be punished. After Garner's case I am determined not to receive any one nor even permit him to remain in the colony who comes without proper recommendations, no matter what may be his appearance.

Payment must be made down by all new comers in Cash or Cattle at the rate of one Cow and Calf for a hundred acres of land, and in the same proportion for Stock Cattle I will also take negros.

I wish for as many decent families as possible to settle in this place and all who do so shall have a preference in lots and labors, there are extensive dead Cane breaks on the oposite side of the River where they can make corn easily and on this side there is fine range for cattle and hogs.

You must examine the Red River emigrants very closely and take care that no bad men get in— let us have noblack sheep in our flock.

Should a man of notorious bad character come in I hereby fully authorize you to whip him not exceeding fifty lashes and seize sufficient of his property to pay a guard to conduct him beyond the Trinity River— One example of this kind is wanting badly and after that we shall not be troubled more.

Send the really good emigrants to this place they can make corn early in the Cane opposite here.

Send all the rough frontiersmen, hunters, etc, etc, up the river or out on some of the creeks.

[Stephen F Austin]

St. Felipe de Austin Decr. 6, 1823

J. H. Bell

Alcalde of the Brazos District.