Stephen F. Austin to Congress, 06-05-1824

Summary: Privilege of raising tobacco. Argument for encouragement of agriculture.

[Copy by Austin.]

Stephen F. Austin, Jared E. Groce, James Cummings and Jno. P Coles a Committe unamimously appointed at a General Meeting held on the 5th of June instant the Inhabitants of the Colony formd in the Province of Texas by the empresario S F Austin in the name and in the behalf of said Inhabitants respectfully represent to your sovereignty that should it be deemed Consistent with the general interest of the Nation they solicit that the priviledge of raising Tobacco should be granted to the province of Texas on the same terms as allowed to the Towns Orizava Cordova etc or on such terms as your sovereignty may deem proper and also the priviledge of raising that article for exportation—

This is a priviledge if granted will in the humble Opinion of these Inhabitants Greatly benefit the eastern section of the Nation without in the least injuring that branch of the Revenue derived from Tobacco and it is also one which it is conceived that the peculiar situation of this province and the long sufferings and distresses of its inhabitants gives them strong Claims to ask for— The province of Texas must solely depend upon Agriculture for its support having no mines to enrich it. Also its situation on the sea Coast will afford great facilities for the exportation of its Agricultural productions

If therefore the Government will encourage its Agriculture it Might rise from its present state of wretchedness and misery and instead of being an expense to the Nation to defend it from the savages as it now is it probably would in a short time be able to afford its full quota with the other States towards the support and defence of the Mexican Government— It therefore appears to these Inhabitants that numerous benefits would result from this priviledge—it would aid the distressed Inhabitants of this Country [to recover] the losses caused by 10 years horrid war with savages it would encourage agriculture which has alwas been considered the safest and most solid weath of any nation—and which has therefore been protected and encouraged by the Civilised World, it would save in the Country much money that would be otherwise sent out to purchase Tobacco for the National Estanque and it would actually bring into the Country large sums of Money and Merchandise that would be received in foreign Countries for the exported Tobacco and thus give greater activity and extention to our Commerce and industry and oil these advantages it appears to these Inhabitants would be produced without in the least injuring the national Revenue produced from Tobacco because all that would be sold in the Country would be delivered to the Government and Consequently the monopoly in that Article would continue unimpaired—

Should it not be considered proper to grant this priviledge to this whole province these Inhabitants respectfully hope that the distresses and Sufferings they have undergone in Establishing a settlement in an entire wilderness surrounded on every side by hostile. savages and struggling as they have through one whole year with famine will plead for them with your sovereignty to grant to this Colonial establishment the priviledge of raising Tobacco being a species of Culture which these Inhabitants have been accustomed to from their Childhood and in which they Can therefor promise themselves the greatest success.

San Felipe de Austin June 10, 1824

Signed Estevan F Austin Jared E. Groce Santiago Cummings Jno P. Coles Comte.