Asa Mitchell to Stephen F. Austin, 06-18-1829

Summary: Conduct of wreckers at mouth of the Brazos.

Mouth of Brasos 18th June 1826

Dear Sir—I think it my duty to inform you of A circumstance that took place here a few days since—Msrs- Wells and Duncan of New Orleans and the schooner Apalacha packet was recked on the coast about fifty miles. S. W. of this. Mr. Wells was owner of the vessel and him self and Duncan owners of the cargo Mr. Wells having a family in New Orleans was in haste to return, and told the people of this place that they were welcom to the recked property if they would go after it, and after that arangement his fellow suferer Duncan concluded to stay and attend to the getting of the property and Wells then authorised Duncan to do the best he could with his property and account to him in New Orleans for the proceads if there should be any after paying the charges of getting it to Market, there was a vessel laying here called a chicken thief that could carry thirty odd barrels this vessel had four men on board strangers and considerable of rufeans in conduct and in appearance the[y] held there quarters at My Man Wiants and at Mr. Bradleys this Boat and crew has been laying here for two months after the vessel was recked Duncan tried to get them to go after the property but they could not be hired on no terms and when the Robroy arive Mr Duncan applied to Fields and My self to assist him to get his recked property, we readily agreed and as soon as the chicken thief company found that out they started immediately and refused to let the owner of the property go on board with them, and when they returned with the property they refused to give the owner any part thereof they soon herd my opinion of such conduct and they removed to Mr, Bradleys, this conduct raised the feelings of several of the citizens who happened to be here and some of the pasengers of the Robroy and when those plunderers found the people against them they agreed to leave the affair to Men those Men declared they should give up half the property, they accordingly gave up half the property that Duncan proved to be his and refused to give up any that belonged to Wells and did not, there was six Men concerned in this plundering business and I am sorry to say that two of them were settlers of this place Namely David Wiant and James Krunk the owner and Capt of the boat Calls himself Arad. Sheldon the names of the others Wm. Grooden—Ranolds and Capt. Jonny our two settlers appeared to be the head of the company, I have since requested my Man Wiant to desist from such conduct or he mus leave my premicies for I could not admit of having it made a rendevouse for pirates he took the hint and has moved about three miles up the river on the west side and there is two of the company yet with him for the truth of thes statements I refer you to Msrs Johnston and Burney who ware strangers and disinterested spectators likewise Laue Ricd Kenny. James Frazer and others preasent.

Such conduct as this I fear will be very injurious to the carector of this place and to the colony in general for it is by Agriculture we live but it is by commerce we thrive and we ought to protect that commerce—I conclude at preasant with my cincere prayers for heaven to hasten the happy time when government will take into consideration the situation of this place and send on men clothed with the proper authority and Means of protecting the honest part of society and expelling those abandoned wretches who would suck the blood of their fellow creatures who they find in distress, insted of helping them

Asa Mitchell

Col. Stephen F. Austin