James Grant to Stephen F. Austin, 03-23-1824

Summary: Difficulties of transportation. Commerce. Cotton.

New Orleans March 23d 1824

Colnl Austin

Dear Sir After a tedious and disagreeable passage we made out to reach this place in about six weeks from we left your settlement; we was wind-bount at the mouth of the River, and then had to proceed to sea with a very short allowance of provision, and had it not been for the Punkins you put on board we should have all starved; we were Twenty Days at sea; and at last made the Land at the Bayou La fourché, where we could not get provisions to take us out to sea again, I was obliged there to pay a man Thirty Dollars to take us thro; sufice it to say it was out of my pocket something like fifty Dollars and then could not get the little sloop thro without a great deal additional expense; and I sold her for oysters, which I am not yet paid—on my presenting myself to my friends here, just arrived after a six months cruse; (with a Neat asortment of good) I arrive without almost a cent in my pocket—I try to reason the matter with them by letting them know what I have done in Texas, the very name of the Country is enought; I find my friends completely opposed to assist me to go to that place; and at the present time I am at a loss to know what I am to do for myself; I earnestly hope that as my visit to your country has at this moment blighted my credit with my friends in this place; I hope you will be indulgent to me; and tho I do not come nor send out before the fall you will indulge me so far as to show to my friend and the World that little as they now think of the speculation (that has deprived me of stock and Credit, that my judgment was not wrong with the arguments I have advanced in its favor), I shall either come myself or send my Brother in the fall; Mr. Jones has my instructions to get a title for the Land and in case you may want any money to pay you any he may take for my property

I have the pleasure to say that I showed the sample of Cotton to all the cotton Merchants in Town, and they all declare it to be superior to any cotton that comes to this market, they say it is Equal to the Sea Island Cotton; and recommend its being Gind with the rolar Gins; I send you a Newspaper or two and am sorry it is not in my power to send you the articles you wanted from this place—but I am determined to be a Citizen of your country and altho things at present look bad I may be down with you soon.

please remember me to Captn Austin your Brother &c. If you are writting to this place and in any way I can be of service to you please command me, I remain

James Grant [Rubric]

P. S. I send this by Mr. White, I did not know he was in Town till last night, therefore you will excuse hast J. G.