Stephen F. Austin to Josiah H. Bell, 04-20-1824

Summary: Instructions for taking oath to acta constitutiva and electing Bastrop.

Sir Enclosed I send you a translation of the Constitutional Decree of the Sovereign Congress of the Mexican nation establishing the form of Government also I send you a proclamation of the Political Chief of this Province to the inhabitants of this Colony, and an address of my own to the Settlers

The Political Chief of the Province by his official letter dated the 18 March last has ordered that all the inhabitants of this Colony should swear to the Constitutional Act, and to the Federal Republican System of Government and considering the extent of this district and the inconvenience which the inhabitants of the lower part of it would experience if they wrere compelled to come to this place, I have thought proper to convene them at the house of J. B. Baily on Saturday the first day of May next, as you will perceive by the enclosed notices which you will put up without delay

Should the Alcalde of this district not attend you are hereby appointed to act on the 1st. of May in his place, and you will accordinly first read to the people this letter—then the Constitutional act— then the Proclamation of the Political Chief of the Province, and then my address to the settlers—you will then state to them the oath which is in these words—" you swear to observe and obey the Constitutional Act of federation of the Mexican Nation " to which they will all answer " yes we swear " and then let them give three cheers, fire a salute of small arms, or any other demonstration of joy and rejoicing that may be deemed proper by the people— The oath need not be given to them seperately but to all at once collectively, this is the custom in this nation on such occasions

I have also ordered an election at the same time for a Lieutenant of militia for the lower division of this District, who will be governed by the instructions given to you— This I do that the inhabitants of that settlement may not even have a shadow of pretext to complain of their officers, for altho the superior Government have ordered me to oppoint all the militia officers, yet I have no wish to do so, as some captious persons in the Colony seem to think—

The returns must be sent to me as soon as possible, and you will resign the command to the person elected—

You will as soon as possible send me an account of your proceedings under this order that I may make up my report to the Government

God and Liberty, Union and happiness

St Felipe de Austin April 20 1824

Stephen F. Austin [Rubric]

To Josiah H. Bell Pol. Chief

You will have the enclosed power for the Baron signed without delay and send it back by Captain Gaines, as they are wating for it at St Antonio—there is not time to call the people together and have an election and we could not do better than to appoint the Baron

Austin [Rubric]

request Gaines as he comes back to get the people at the Fort to sign it—