Littleberry Hawkins to Stephen F. Austin, 10-07-1824

Summary: Review of his trading ventures in Texas in 1822. Character of the public men.

Lexington, 7 October 1824

Stephen F. Austin.

My Dear Sir The death of our dear Brother has left his Wife and five children destitute and dependent on this ungratful world I have four children and my situation desperate the balance of our old endorsement debts hanging over us to amount of $6000 I have nothing left am working as clerk at a Cellery [salary] of $600 to enable me to get on and keep from actual want mv Brothers family and my own the wife of my Brother is at this place intends opening a boarding house to enable her to support her self and three younger children I have the two eldest at the Beardstown College If this was not my particular situation I would come without hesitation to the Province the suffering and privation to me I was near four months on the Mexican Coast examining the mouths of the Brassos Colorado Guadaloope and St Antonio I was the first person that took a vessel to the landing of Guadalope and the Bay of Musquittoes the mouth of the San Antonio River before I landed in the province. After all my toils and privation and seperation from my family fifteen months I have been swindled out of all that I sent out of the Country by John Hanna and Issurael Massie the two persons that I took into partnership in the Mule and Horse business When I met with John Hanna at Labordee [La Bahia] he was in bad health and had but $14 left in the world It is believed in the Country in which Hanna and Massie lives that they sold the Mules and Horses and divided the Money out of 260 head of Horses and 75 Mules 4 Jacks and 6 jinneys I have never Received one single dollar, the principal part of the fund was advanced by my self and Brother that made that purchase the Mules and Horses put in the hands of A Mr Pettus by John Hanna to have taken to the United States which he sold and used the money that he received for them was principally Mine Massie had no Interest in that drove Independent of the Capital that I put in I loaned Hanna and Massie $850 that I received for freight at the Mouth of the Colorado and at St Antonio to enable the Company to get the Mules and Horses to the United States Independent of that I advanced to favor Phillip T Dimmit about $350 which John Hanna assumed the payment of. he was in Dimmits debt all the Money that Dimit has collected since I left the Province is gone with the rest at the time we heard of Jennings death I was sick at St Antonio and employed Hanna to go to Jennings encampment 25 Miles above the mouth of the Colorado to get possession of the things in his hands and those of Poore Harrison he received money of the two deceased to the amount of $150. and used their clothing that was worth any thing their riphles and out fit which was Considered loaned money of which I have Never received of him One Dollar. Independent of those things Named I put in his and Massies hands 11 of the Best Mules and 4 of the finest horses of the Country purchased with my Brothers money with instructions When they arrived in the United States to deliver them to my Brother I sent them to him as a sample of the Stock of the Province they Never delivered him One mule or Horse When I crossed the Colorado Coming to the United States Judge Cummins sent me word that he had collected some money for me for salt that was brought from the mouth of the River, the principal part of the articles that was taken from the encampment by those Americans that Com- milted the robery belonged to us, and are among the settlers Nelson knows them Nelson is acquainted and apprised that I made the principal advances to enable Hanna and Massie to get on and he was at St Antonio when I started the last mules under the care of Massie hurder [?] I takeing them to the Main Caney ford on the Colorado or Brassos I wish you distinctly to understand that the Two Negroes given up to Isurael Massie and put in the hands of Bell the late alcalde that Pettes gave them up to Hanna and my self to pay for a part of the Mules and horses put in the hands of his Brother which he had sold and used the proceed thereof by all means get possession of them and retaine it I am prossecuting Hanna and Massie but shall never get a Cent they have Conveyed their property as Cirtain as their is a god in heaven We have never received one Cent from Pettes on account of the drove of Mules and Horses that he sold belonging principally to my self do [not] let those Petteses deceive you I know them from experiment to be bad men particularly that one that gave up those Negroes I had a fair trial with him at the mouth of the Brassos he lay sick at my encampment Three weeks I waited on him night an day gave him my Medicines my every thing After that I had a chance of knowing him again the man that has not gratitude put him down as a scoundrel and you are not often deceived, rest assured what I say to you soon or later you will verify my remark as to that Maj Pettes, I have sent you a Compleat power of Attorney do for me as you would do for your self I had many unhappy Moments as to the transaction with Don Manuel Allouri I had made on the mind of Citizens of San Antonio a good impression Barron de Bastropp persuaded me to purchase that property and stated to me that it had sold for $5000 and that it was low at $750 which I paid for it when I left St Antonio there was due to me at least $800 and the stock of articles on hand $2 to 300 I had in the hands of dravilo 4 Mules had I any right under those Circumstances to expect that Dimmit Could Not at any time pay the $250 due to Facco also the House and Lot that Consider worth at the lowest rate $1500 and Actually Rented for $20,00 the quarter I consider Allouri and the Landlord of James E B Austin were among 10.000 also Mosquis and Don Victor Blanco told me that If Modeira did Not pay that freight that they would pay it and Don Victor Blanco offered to do it before he started to Monclover I have an exalted oppinion of both of those men however it is dificult to judge of that Nation of people you know them better than I do I am at times determined to run to the Country to sink or swim with you and if my poor Brothers family were provided for would do it without hessitation Since my arrival to the united States I have paid the Heirs of Harrison that excellent man that died at the Jennings Encampment $150 for his guns Clothing and Money that John Hanna used

James E. B. Austin says in the letter from Herculanium that Trespalacious has deceived me, I made it a rule to Consult Baron de Bastropp in all Cases particularly in the Two grants of land received from him my Money and services was always at the command of the Baron he was the interpreter as I did not speak the language If I have been deceived it is not my fault it was the implicit confidence placed in the Baron he told me that the Governors title was good as a title Coming from the head of department and that he was Compleatly authorized to Convey to any One five Miles square he procured the grants and promised to have them properly recorded It was understood that I had the ellection in my power after seeing the land granted If it did not meet my Expectations that I would change them I took one on the West or south side of the Gaudaloope the other on the west side of Trinity including the improvement and ferry both at the upper Crossing of those Rivers I wished to have them changed to this side of the Brassos or laid at any point that you may think best I presume that they Cannot be laid or located in your boundary John Botts is living on Red river in Louisianna raiseing Cotton Recollect that I appropriated to the benefit of the Troops of the Province of Texas $2500 worth of Tobacco and established a Tin factory at St antonio that was the Consideration for those grants Baron de Bastropp knows that that amount of the article was seized and put in the publick Stank [estanco=warehouse] the citizens of St Antonio know the same uppon those grounds I presume the grants will be ratified by the government do on it what you think best, please write me often from the exalted terms in which I have heard my Brother speak of you I have full Confidence George has the same and it [is] her wish that you should be her Agent and do for her what you think best I will have her Power of Attorney forwarded to you by the first chance please state to me Candidly if it would [be] prudent to take afamily to the settlement or not. I am anxious that Allouri should be paid he treated all the Americans kindly that came to the place and was very kind to me I have an exalted opinion of him you Certainly Can Compele Modeira to pay the Claim against him, had you a wife and children would you take them to the Province at this time particularly those that never have known what it was to undergo hardship or exposure in your letters answer this queary Candidly. I can bring some good families particularly from Louisiana I have lately seen the Brother of Mr. Ingram the surveyor that resides at New Orleans he speaks of removing to the Country say to his Brother that he is in good health and present him Castleman Nelson and the settlers that may ask after me my respects I am sorry that I ever quit the Country [if] I had remained I could have been Comfortable recollect that what is done is [for] the benefit of the dessolate children of our departed friend he always made it a rule to divide his last dollar with me and it [is] my determination to [do] no less with his children I am st[r]aining to get them in a situation to live so soon as I can accomplish that I will Come to the Country, I am pleased to learn that your sister is about to be well settled again Hosa Murrah [José Maria Carbajal?] is well and going to schoole learning fast inclosed is a letter from George Anna Hawkins Doct Holley and family is well and desire to be spoken of to you and your Brother James E B Austin that formerly Boarded with them John H Morton Holds a draft of James on your self he says for Boarding I will endeavor to take it up in this year if I can please say if it ought to be paid I could not say on paper all that I wish to communicate in a week excuse my scrawl the Mail is just closeing I fear that my letters may miss James if he sets out as soon as he contemplated god bless and prosper your wishes health and Hapiness I find my Brother has advanced $2,850 to the vessels and cargoes sent to the Brassos and Pro[vince] etc that is the statement of his account in the hands of N Cox of N Orleans, please write my Brothers wife [as] often as in your power dont let any Prejudices or ill tales that you git from the settlers influence your mind as to my self John T Hawkins and John Hanna had a dispute and the Circumstance of my taking Hanna into partnership dissatisfied John Hawkins with me and he does every thing in his power to injure me among them I did not meet with him the truth is that every man appeared to think that all that came to the Country was free property and at their Command and Commenced cabbaging and using accordingly whare ever they could find it

Your friend L. Hawkins

When I left the Mouth of the Colorado I had stored there everything that suited farming purposes and took nothing round to sell that I expected the settlers would want. I left all the salt, hoes axes Broad axes chains, grubbing hoes hand, Cross, and Whip saws planes drawing Knives. Mr. Ingram can prove this I left them under his care and in his room I had to purchase provisions of the passengers On board of the Only Son at the Bay of St. Joseph for the hands on Board of the three vessils that I took to the mouth of Guadaloupe, Still I was charged with having taken away the provissions that out [ought] to have been left for the settlers and Many other things as absurd I must stop all those that don any thing in Boating or rendered any other services I paid them high Wages all those that Came to either of my encampments lived as I did I never did charge them for eating or drinking the rule was to divide to the last cake with them the provisions that was eat at the Brassos and on the Brassos if sold would have brought $500. ask little who was at the encampment, that I know was prejudiced against me. ask Nelson who made many tripps up the Brassos, [ask] that Maj. Pettus and his friend Kirkpatrick That lay sick at my encampment at the mouth of the Brassos what kind of treatment they received without paying One Cent, they [had] Chocolate Tea Coffee Brown and Loaf sugar Bacon Beeff Pork Crackers ham Brandy Whiskey all did not satisfy they still complained of me it shows the base ingratitude of the people of this world I took to the Country 10 young men that I furnished with Riphles provisions everything they Could want still paid their passage divided with them to the last and all did not suffice Beard got offended with me for not purchasing a watch and Riphle at St Antonio when had a first rate One laying on the Brassos I took five good Riphles to the Country all was given away except the one Hanna sold Nelson I came out of the Country with 3 mules two Horses 1 Riphle and $250 in Money to pay the Expences of three persons to Kentucky that is all that I have ever have received out of the whole trip, my prayers for your good health and Happiness please speak of me to Baron de Bastrop affectionately I became much attached to that man looked up to him as a guardian and father did nothing without Consulting him solicit his aid in geting those grants in my name on this side of the Brassos if possable speak of me to Don Erasmore and family I believe him worth in principle all the whole possy No such man at St Antonio as himself I have often regreated that every thing that was thrown away on the scoundrels in the province had [not] been put in his hands it [would] have saved many hundreds I have attempted to take leave of you twenty times since I commenced it appears to be hard to do Iterbede is shot shortly after his landing the French Troops left in Spain have been latly dreadfully butchered by the Spaniards thank god I hope they will massacre the whole of them.

Sincerely Your friend L. Hawkins

I regret that I cannot send you papers for six month Reading that you might know what the Balance of the world is doing.

[Addressed:] Stephen F Austin Esq. Phillipe De. Austin Brassos Province of Texas