Stephen F. Austin to W. S. Hall?, 05-xx-1826

Summary: Reprimanding him for carelessness in executing orders to press equipment for Indian campaign.

[May —, 1826?]

I have learned with much regret that some confusion and contention has arisen in your company in consequence of your proceedings under my order of the 1 day of May last relative to pressing horses and arms for the late expedition—The words of that part of the order are "You are authorized to press guns and equipments for those who have none whereever you can procure them"—It was known to me that a number of men were unequiped and unable to equip themselves and it was deemed a just sacrifice to the public interest to compel those who did not go on the Campain, and had horses or arms, to furnish them—The order did not particularly specify that you should not press from those who were going on the expedition, or who had voluntarily fitted out others, or that you should use some precaution in pressing from those who were the least able to spare the articles or that you should not press for those who were able to equip themselves—such a specification was not deemed necessary for it was presumed you knew the situation of every individual in the Company and would use that discretion in the execution of the order and make that distinction which peculiar circumstances might require—I find that the order was not sufficiently specific altho no difficulty has occurred that I have heard of in any other company but yours. The moment the articles were pressed they were placed under your care and it was your special duty to see them returned to their owners, every horse gun etc should have been delivered to his owner as soon as the expedition was over and it was your duty to have seen it done—This was not stated in the order neither was it necessary, for the articles were taken for public use and it was your duty as the Commander of the Company to see that they were properly taken care of and duly returned.

All orders for pressing in future should any ever be issued which it is not probable there ever will will be so limited and specific as to prevent the recurrence of any such difficulties in future—

The public good requires that dissentions amongst the people should cease—every reason that can exist in any country for union and harmony operates here at this time with peculiar force— threatened with an Indian war we should be united—Strangers in a new Country we should establish our characters as quiet harmonious and good citizens—It is therefore hoped that all further difficulties on the subject of the pressing business will cease and no more conversation will be had on the subject—

yours respectfully

With a view to correct public opinion and put a stop to any futher converstion on the subject refered to in the following letter the Alcalde of victoria will post it up at BolIvar for public information—