John Hawkins to Stephen F. Austin, 09-21-1824

Summary: Washington County, Mo. Evil reports check emigration to Texas. Merchants opposed to anyone's moving. Truth barely reaches Red River going northward before it is "detected and stopped." Mexican Constitution good, except religious intolerance. Conditions in Missouri.

Prearie Spring County of Washington Missouri

Sept the 21th—1824


I am here yet, Contrary to my wishes. I was in hopes of being with you before now—but I find it one of the hardest things I ever had to undergo—to have the Consent of my family to be seperated. I would have been there before this time had It not been on that acct I have no Chance to go without I Can take them all. I have hopes of Bringing that About in the Course of one or two years, if I Live So Long— John Jones has Exchanged his house and Lot where he kept Publick house, the League house where Amable partney Lived to Danl Dunklin for his house and Lot and got Eight hundred and fifty Dollars to boot—As he has began to Trade and move suppose it is a very small Distance. It may be a begining of fixing for moving A Longer, the minds of men Changes sometimes very suddenly and very Contrary to what they once Expected. And I have some hopes of that being the case with Messrs Jones and Browne Betsey Is married and Living in the Allabamy It is no difference to her wheather we go or stay—I am tinder many obligations to you for the statement you gave me dated 10th august 1823— I also Recd one Dated July 17—Emediatly on your arrivel from Mexico—I have done Every thing in my power to Cause the people to Emigrate to that Country, but so many fals Reports Comes from there that If a man has not been there he is too apt to believe such Reports and Decline going for my part I am better pleased with the Country than Any I Ever saw—I was some uneasy when I heard that Iterbide was about to go back, but I saw In the St. Louis paper that him and two priests ware on their way to Spain and landed at some Spanish Island and ware arrested and he was tried and Condemned and shot I do not at this time Recollect what Island It was since that I understand It has made Its appearance In several other papers so that I hope It is True and hope you will have peace if It is so that he is Dead, the priests Remained in Confinement—I wish you to give me an acct of whare you Expect [to] Erect or Establish your port of Entry and tell me If any thing Can be Carried from this Country for your Markit that will comand Cash or Cotton Let me know if there will be much Cotton made there Next season, Let me know If you would have any kind of Business you Could put me at that I Could Make money at for a few months I have a wish to Come again and visit that Country—If I Could do it to some advantage I would be willing to stay a year if I Could get Into Business that would justify staying I Can do nothing here more than Live, If there is the Least appearance of my making money directly there Is an Execution and Disconsirts all my plans so that I have Intirely quit Trying for any thing more than to Make what we Can comfortably Live on—all the Inginuity that has been made use of against me has Not Deprived me of Living tollerable well and I hope will Not, My Boys are got to be able to Carry on the farm very well now and to Do business in their own Names So that they Cannot take Every thing as they have done before— please to write me frequently as you Can send to me by mail If you send it by private Conveyence to any post office It will Come Safe most Commonly, but If I send to you By mail It stops at the outside office and the post masters will not Try to forward them, when John Jones wrote me and Requested the post master at Natchitoches to forward it on to the Colorado But it stoped there, until I Came in, on My way home and was that Day I applied for It, had been packed up to send to post master general's office, I sent 6 or 7 Letters to Natchitoches and had put in the office and all Came safe to my family—Only Letters you Can git safe in to the Office will Come safe No doubt, I had several Letters from Different parts that ware put into that office that Came as soon as I had a right to Expect them— If any thing should offer that you think would be profitable that I Could take a hold of, with one of my sons If it was necessary to Bring one with me please to Let me know as soon as you Can in the way have above mentioned as I am Desirious to be in that Country and In giting into business in some Rich way It would be a means of giting my family all in a way to go—when they once begin to see that some thing was Doing to advantage a hope of gain is the great spring to Every thing almost that we undertake, for my own part I have my own consent to put off, as soon as possible I have six sons and all able to Do some thing on a farm but one Some of them Capable of almost any business If your port of Entry was Established and a ware house Errected If you think we Could fill the place of attending to that and had not promised It to some other person I would be willing to Try that Business a while or any thing Else that I Could make money at If I Could go there my self and git into Business my family would soon after agree to go But there is such numorous Reports unfavourable to the Country that It is hard to make people believe the Truth the Merchants in particular are more opposed to people moving to that Country or any other than Ever I saw people before my life but It is not all they Can say will alter my mind a thing that I know of my own knowledge I should have been with you this last summer But I was Like to Loose my Eye sight for near two months But have Recovered It again about as well as usual— I wish you to write by Mr Hail Consearning the government If times has got quiet at Mexico and like to Remain so— I have seen the Constitution your [brother?] had it I think well of It [if] they will only Live up to it—it is a good one so far as I Can Judge of It Except that of Religion is an objection to a great Number of people for my own part I Care nothing about it know I Can be as good a Cristian there as I can here It is only a name anyhow I think you had better have the Constitution published in the St-Louis paper and In Kintucky paper If you wish the Country to Emigrate very fast they Do not generally believe that the Constitution Is as good as It is— Any advantages that Country has that is Not generally known you would do well to have published as Ever good thing is kept Consealed as much as possible It is very hard for the Truth [to] git as far as here it scearcely Can git on this side Red River before It is Detected and stoped I understand Mr Rob and Mr Jos. Kuykndale has moved from where I left them on the Colorado and as that is the Case you need not Reserve that Land for me any Longer as I wish to be attached to some strong settlement when I come I also wish to be as near the town as I Can git—so as to be Convenient to markit If we Should have any thing to sell I wish If I am not too Late a speaking, you would Reserve me a good situation as near the town as Can be had— with a good Spring on It as that is a very particular thing with Mrs Hawkins on acct of making Butter I hope in god I shall be with you Next Summer Either with or without my family— Now we will talk of the affairs of my own Country We have good Crops of Corn heare this season Crops of wheat not good the wetest Spring and Summer and up to the 10th Sept I believe I Ever saw in this Country people very healthy through out the State in General—Mrs Brady and Scott the Lawyer was married Last Monday Evening the 20th Instant and your sister Mrs Bryens will be married Thursday Evening the 23rd Instant to Mr Jas F perry which I think a very suitable good Match your Brother will have to Return with out her, there is Mrs Dedrick an other fine young widow Remains, If you was here you perhaps might git her as there Is so much friendship Existing between you and her father Col° John Smith T— It is supposed that Robt Brown and her will unite in the Bonds of Matrimony Shortly— Edward Brown his Brother died three weeks past in St Louis and was brought Down to potosi and Buried with his father and BrotherMajor Henry has Returned from beyond the Rocky mountains he supposes he was Last Spring on the Colorado of the west that Runs into the bay of Callaforny from the best acct he could git from the Crow Indians he brought Down something more than ten thousand dollars worth of furs he also sent Down Last fall about the same quantity Last fall, he has left John H weber on the missouri when he Left there and thirty men with him which was to start Emidiatly after Henry left them a Cross to where henry had been in the spring there to stay until Next Spring and then Return and Come home next fall,—Henry talks of going back Emidiatly by land to try to Join weber this Ensuing winter he will pass the head waters of the arkansas Leaving Sttefee [Santa Fe] to the left and the waters of Missouri to the Right he tells me he wintered last winter on the head waters of the Yellow Stone River and as soon as he was able to travil Last Spring he came Down and Cross and crossed the missouri and went a south Course about four hundred miles and there Came on this he speaks of and found beavour in abundance and saw no Indians until he Returned to the Missouri again he found a great Difficulty on the Missouri Lost several of his men killed at Different times as much as between twenty and thirty first and Last he tells me a fortune Could soon be made was it not for the Difficulty of the Indians they are Incouraged by British Traders, we are cara- ing on a smart Trade with Sttefee from the boons lick Country Sr try to suit Mr Hail he is a good citizen—

I Conclue by subscribing myself your friend Most Sinsearly

John Hawkins

Col° Stephen F Austin

Inquire of Mr Hail for the balance