Stephen F. Austin to Mrs. James F. Perry, 12-17-1824

Summary: Good immigration from Mississippi. "Some with a number of negroes." Hopes to gain religious toleration. Pioneer conditions.

San Felipe de Austin Decr 17. 1824

Dr Sister,

Report has just reached here that Brother is not coming out this winter—but do not know wheither it is true or not. tho have supposed it might be and that you and Mr Perry may possibly visit the Country next Summer

It is not my wish that Mr Perry Should make any arrangements whatever to move here untill he has first seen the Country—he positively must not move on my recommendation nor that of Brother's—perhaps he may not like it, but if he moves without first coming to see, it will be too late to remedy it—he is now in a good business and you have good Society, here business will be good after a while, but not much can be done immediately, and our Society like all new countries is small, you must not therefore think of moving here untill he first comes to see—Things are going on very well and many emigrants are coming in from Mississippi. Some with a number of negros, and I have every confidence that the Colony will flourish rapidly Mr Perry must attend to the Little Rock business, or if Brother stays through the winter he can do it—Mrs Elliott writes me that she is ready to state that Mr Elliot told her the property was put into his hands confidentially to save it—I cannot attend to it for I do not expect to be in that country for many years to come, as regards the mine a Burton Estate I am willing to give any authority to commence Suit and if any thing can be recovered I shall cheerfully give up my share of it to your children for I never will live there if the whole was given to me—I want to free my self from debt and then to sit quietly down on a farm in this Country for the balance of my life and hope to see Brother married and settled on one side of me, and if it could be Mr Perry and you on the other but all my plans have been broken in upon and I make no more calculations except to spend my life here; wheither rich or poor, here (that is in this colony) I expect to remain permanently—

The Methodists have raised the cry against me, this is what I wished for if they are kept out, or would remain quiet if here for a Short time we shall succeed in getting a free toleration for all Religions, but a few fanatic and imprudent preachers at this time would ruin us—we must show the Govt that we are ready to submit to their laws and willing to do so, after that we can with more certainty of success hope to have our previleges extended

Adieu my Dear sister—my lot is cast in the wilderness but I am content, trouble and fatigue have become so very familiar to me that they begin to appear like bosom friends. I hope and pray however that for the future you will not be tormented by Such friends

Remember me to your husband and the Mr. Perries and their families and tell my New Brother in law that he must write me, let him inform me what his prospects are there, and I can the better judge wheither a removal would benefit or injure him and know better how to advise him

If Brother Brown is with you Make him study Spanish every day and tell him to be industrious in doing what he can to see what is the state of the wreck of our property—I have disposed of the land I intend[ed] for aunt Austin's family as there appears no prospect that any of them will come on—I am still very poor and live poor—corn coffee—corn bread—milk and Butter and a Bachelors household, which is confusion, dirt, and torment, are small items of my living—your marriage will force either Brother or me to marry for I must have somebody to keep house. So that you have made a lucky escape for my house is a thoroughfare for the whole country—

I sent in two wagons to meet you at Alexandria, they are on the way back as I hear from report, empty of course—it has cost me a good deal—What has become of faithful old Jack? you must take care of him in his old age for what he has been—I am much more contented and happy since you are married than I was before the thoughts of your destitute situation sometimes almost ran me mad, that trouble is now gone and I have one less than I had—I am fast loosing the desire I once had to make a fortune, which encourages me to hope that I am yet to enjoy much happiness, for a gready man can never be happy, the loss of a cent makes him miserable.

forever your always aft.