Stephen F. Austin to Unknown, 07-xx-1824

Summary: License to keep a ferry at San Felipe.

[July? —1824]

The Baron de Bastrop Sixth Member of the Most Excellent Deputation of the Province of Texas and Commissioner of the Government—and Stephen F Austin Empresario for the establishment [of] a new Town and Colony in said Province, principal Judge and exercising the faculties of the Ayuntamiento of said Town and Colony- using the faculties with which we are invested and considering that John McFarlan was the first settler at the place where the Town of San Felipe de Austin is now established, have thought proper to give and grant and by these presents do give and grant to said John McFarlan the use of the ferry belonging to said Town of San Felipe de Austin over the Brazos River at said Town for the term of his natural life under the following conditions stipulations and restrictions—

1. After the first year from this date the said McFarlan shall pay in to the funds of said Town of San Felip de Austin the sum of twenty five Dollars, untill the amount of ferriages produced by said ferry shall exceed five hundred Dollars annually after which he shall pay into the said funds the one half of all ferriages over and above the said Sum of five hundred Dollars to be paid Semiannually—

2. The said McFarlan is bound to keep a good flat or flats as may be necessary sufficient to carry over a loaded waggon and team, provided however that the flat he now has shall be deemed sufficient for the first year from this date altho it may not be Sufficient to take over a loaded waggon and team—The ferry flat shall be provided with banisters or railing on each side extending from the row locks to the after rake at least three feet high above the gunwale, and with good flooring and oars—

3. The said McFarlan is bound to give due attendance to said ferry and to take over all persons or property promptly and carefully as soon as called on to do so for the rates established by the Bill of rates dated the — day of---------or which may hereafter be established by the authorities of the Town and to treat all persons in a civil Manner—

4—Any persons who are detained by the neglect or refusal of the ferryman to cross them or who are uncivilly treated without Just cause shall have the right of recovering damages from said McFarlan therefor to be assessed by a Jury of five disinterested men to be summoned by the Alcalde of the district for that purpose—

5. Any complaints against said McFarlin for neglect or violation of duty as ferry man shall be tried by a Jury of five disinterested men before the Alcalde and Should they decide unanimously that he had violated any of the conditions on which the ferry was granted to him, he shall immediately forfeit the ferry—and the authorities of the Town shall dispose of it as may be deemd most advantageous to the interests of the Town and the public conveniance—

6 Every person owning or renting labors opposite Town shall have the right of Keeping boats for their own private use, and any number of such persons shall have the right of uniting and keeping a boat or boats for their own private use in partnership— provided that the owners of, or persons keeping such boats shall not cross nor suffer to cross in them any persons or property except such as belonging to or are used at, or produced on the labors— under the penalty of paying the amt. of their ferriage to the ferryman together with the costs of collection and a totol forfeiture of the privilege of keeping any such boats or being inter- ested—or crossing in them, free of ferriage, to be decided by the alcalde and a Jury of five disinterested men

7—The said McFarlan shall at the end of each six months after the first year render a true account under oath to the authorities of the Town of all ferriages produced by said Ferry during the six months preceding, in order that the part due to the Town according to the first article may be ascertaind and collected and should he render an untrue account he shall forfeit the said ferry—

8—Persons owning or renting labors opposite Town shall have the privilege of paying their ferriages by the year in property or produce and should the parties disagree as to the Amount to be paid it shall be decided by the Authority of the Town taking the established rates for a guide

9. The said McFarlan shall signify his acceptance of the ferry on the conditions herein stated by writing at the foot of this grant the following—"I accept of the ferry at the Town of San Felipe de Austin offerd to me by the Commissioner Baron de Bastrop and Empresario Estevan F Austin on the conditions above stated, and I do hereby agree to observe and fulfil said conditions in all their parts under the penalties therein prescribed"—to which he will sign his name before witnesses—and from that Moment all flats or boats which said McFarlan has provided or may have provided for said ferry shall become the absolute property of the ferry and in case of a forfeiture thereof by Said McFarlan they shall revert together with the ferry to the Town to be disposed of by the authorities of the Town as public good may require

E. F. A.

B. De B.

The said John McFarlan having Accepted of the grant made to him by the preceeding act, as appears by his written Acceptance thereof above, therefore we the said Baron de Bastrop and Empresario, Estevan F. Austin do hereby put him the said McFarlan in full possession of said Ferry with all its uses and profits subject to all the conditions and stipulations above statd and that tlrs may have due faith we have signed it with assistant witnesses for want of a notary in the manner which the law prescribes at the Town of San Felipe de Austin the—day of———1824—