John A. Williams to Stephen F. Austin, 07-19-1826

Summary: Maladministration of government in east Texas.

Texas Aysh Bayou 19th July 1826.

Conl Austin

Sir Although I have not the pleasure of your acquaintence, yet I hope you will take no exceptions at my attempting to hold corrispondence with you, on a subject, which I deem important to every emigrant in this section of country.

The peculiar manner in which business has been transacted, for some time, in this settlement, and also at Nacogdoches has, by no means been satisfactory. Charges against individuals for immaginary crimes hitherto unheard of in a free country. Threats of banishment against several of the best and most worthy farmers in the District of Nacogdoches who happen unfortunately to be, not of the ruling party. These are the rewards we receive for leaving our native country and coming to participate in the liberties of Mexico

The other day one James Williams, while in a state of intoxication, made use of some ungarded expresions to the constable Johnson. He, Williams was arrested, brought up before the Alcalde, Sprowl, prosecuted, tried, and convicted, for speaking inflametory words against the government, and has since, as I am informed, received sentence of banishment.

I have good reasons to believe that depositions have lately been taken against me for charges of simmiler nature. It is said by my enemies that these depositions, has been, or shortly will be, forwarded on [to] the seat of government, and that I am to have a secret trial.

James Gaines is believed to be the prime mover of all these questionable measures. Who, if suffered to pursue with impunity, the course which he has adopted, must ultimately, render the Americans in this section of country odious to the Mexican nation, considerably retard the progress of emigration and in the end produce consequences the most dangerous to society The people are compleetly in a ferment, and what will be the consequences I am unable to say. But this much I will venture to predict. Anull arbutary power, and tranquilety will be restored, It is said that James Gains has threatened to emancipate all Elisha Roberts' negroes, (about 30 in number) These are only reports, I know not as to the truth of it. but it has its effect in acting to the general confusion, and exciting the suspicions of credulous man.

The people are willing and ancious to obey the law properly administered. But it is mortifying to the feeling of an American to stoop to arbetary sway. I atribute none of our present difficulties to any person but James Gaines and his understrapers.

I hope sir that you will have the goodness to inquire into our condition, minutely; and make such statements to the proper authority or take such other measures as you may deem most expedient to restore tranquilety, and afford us that protection of person, property, and civil rights, which the Mexican Nation has promised to the strangers who come and settle in her teritories.

Jno A Williams [Rubric]