Archibald Austin to Stephen F. Austin, 01-30-1825

Summary: Plans for trade with Texas and asking for information about products.

New York Jany 30, 1825

Stephen Austin Esq.

St Phillippe,

Dear Sir

I have had the pleasure of two letters from you, in reply to the enquiries, made by me some time since, I was much gratified to hear you had effected arrangements in regard to your Colony , to your must sanguine expectations, and that it was in a flourishing condition —I felt very much disposed to send a Vessel with the articles you stood in need of—I could not make up my mind to go myself, immediately, leaving a situation where I now get $1200. per annum, which enables me to support my family, to venture upon an uncertanty —I represented the advantages that would probably arrive from a commercial Intercourse with your Colony , to John , he was pleased with the project, and expressed a disposition to become interested, we however concluded to wait the arrival of Henry who was soon expected, under the persuasion that he would become Interested, and perhaps go himself—He did arrive and on perusing your letters appeared much pleased and talked strongly of going himself, and so it continued doubtful until a few weeks ago, when he made up his mind suddenly to go to Alvarado with the intention of Establishing himself at Xalapa in Mexico, in the Commission Business, for which place he sailed about Ten days since, and most unfortunately for me, he took your letters with him; particularly, as the day after he sailed, John informed me that a Friend of ours, would like to join us in the proposed expedition—Since which, I have seen the Gentleman alluded to, and find he is anxious to enter into the Business, and thinks we can proceed in it, among ourselves without any difficulty—

the principal stumbling Block, is the uncertainty of punctual returns in such articles as will answer, for the Investments we may make—Cotton of a good staple would of course answer very well, and be perfectly satisfactory, if at a price that would pay a fair profit when brought to this market; to do this it would of course require to be well cleaned, and pressed so as to make good stourage on ship board—this we have no doubt may be accomplished eventually, but we see no immediate prospect of it—when we send a Vessel, we intend to send a Gin, and probably a pressing machine, both which will be very essential with you—perhaps you make a press with you that would answer the purpose for the present, but our patent pump presses I pressume will be important for you, when you get well underway with your cotton plantations—please inform me on this point—Had my own means admitted of it, I would have had a Vessel off long ago, with the articles you wrote for—Hogs, I am informed by a Gentleman who has resided in Mahtanzes, are pro™ hibited in Cuba, and Horses would be too cumbersome for the discription of vessel we propose sending—Corn is but a poor article to ship, except to the Western Islands, Tenriffe etc, and there it would probably not answer, so much is shipped from hence—I regret extremely that Henry should have taken the letters away, as it leaves me quite in the dark, in various particulars such as the proper place, for the vessel to run for the courses, signal poles etc the Tribe of Indians that you are at war with, being between your residence, and the entrance to the River is rather against the concern—

It is thought advisable under all circumstances, to write you a gain, and urge your immediate reply to several enquiries, which if tangible, and can be carried into effect, would probably be very important, such as—Is there a road that Goods can be conveyed upon to Mexico, or to the borders, or dividing line between you and Mexico ? what is the distance? could not there be an arrangement made, to receive goods calculated for the Mexican market, on your Territory [Mexican Texas], or on the dividing line of the Mexican Territory ?•—in barter for Cochineal, Vanilla, Pimento, Indigo, and for Specie—Could they be conveyed without being subject to Duty, and without risk? what would be the time required, and what would be the Expense—does your Colony produce Cochineal, or Indigo ? or do they, or will they bring either to it, or would they if a temptation is held out?—we should like to send a confidential agent to communicate with you, and to attend to our business; but it will not justify it at present—

We wish you to be very particular in the list of articles that will answer best to send, and the returns, the kind and quantity of Tobacco—the Mill stones I have not forgotten—I should suppose some of our patent corn cleaners would be desirable—are you not in want of many kinds of agricultural Implements? How would the apparatus for a Distillery answer?—If we could once get underway I have no doubt we might be mutually advantageous to each other with your aid in this business, I promise myself very favorable results ; I am confident you will grant it freely, as I am persuaded it would be more gratifying to you, to do business with your connections and friends, than with strangers—I should be much delighted to see you here, but I pressume that is out of the question at present, perhaps your Brother may come, however—

I sincerely condole with you, on the loss of your dear Mother , it must have deprived you, of much joy that you had anticipated in making her happy the remainder of her life—Poor Horace is gone also; I have no doubt he had much to contend with during the latter part of his life—

I observe by last Evenings paper, that the Senate, on Wednesday last, passed by a large majority to a third reading the Bill, authorizing abroad to be marked out from Missouri, to Mexico—This I should suppose would be a good thing for you—pressume it must pass very near you—

Mr Honey has arrived at Baltimore from St. Louis, will proceed Mr Dall informs us to Washington, and then make New York a visit—we shall be glad to see him, never having that pleasure, and through him, shall hear I pressume many particulars about our friends, those few that are left, (and of those that are gone) in that quarter, of whom we have heard but very little for years past—we have heard within a few days of the marriage of Mary Holleys Daughter Harriet [Holley], to Mr. Brant of Kentucky, I know not whether you ever saw her or not—

Jany 31. from this morning paper—"In the Senate the Bill authorizing the President to cause a road to be marked out be- tween the western frontier of Missouri and the Internal Provinces of Mexico, was read a third time passed and sent to the House for con- currence—" I wish you to state the prices of such articles as you may recommend will command with you—With my compliments to your Brother , I remain with sincere regard, and affection

Your friend

Arch Austin [Rubric]