J. E. B. Austin to Stephen F. Austin, 10-31-1826

Summary: Horse trading in Mexico. Political gossip.

Sn Carlos Octr 31st 1826.

My Dr Brother.

I arrived at this place on the 19th inst. I found Dn Luciano absent,—but I immediately proceeded to his Rancho de la Luz. (4 Leagues from this) where he was. The old Ranchero was much surprised, but overjoyed to see me:—After the usual salutations, inquiries after friends, Acquaintances, etc had passed, I made known the Object of my visit; he replied, that but one obstacle presented itself to prevent my taking in 12. Manadas:, or 300 head, (which is the numr he himself proposed)—That obstacle was the excessive drouth, that prevailed throughout this section of the State, and which, had caused his herds to ramble to a great distance. After remaining at the Rancho three days, undetermined what to do, I found myself compelled to return to this place; as the water poolat the Rancho, was entirely exausted, and the animals were beginning to perish.—In this perplexity, I concluded to remain untill the arrival of the mail, and then start for the Brazos, with a view of returning in the Spring, or summer, as I had become fully convinced that an attempt to have taken in any number of horses at this time would have been attended with considerable loss—

Dn Luciano informed me that it had not rained here for one year—While I remained in this state of suspence, the weather suddenly changed, and in the short space of three hours fell the most tremendous torrent of rain I ever witnessed; The water rushed from the Mountains with such impetuosity, that every thing was swept in the values beneath; in an instant, all the Empty Tanques were filled, and there is a supply of water for nearly a year to come—

Dn Luciano soon informed me that he intended to collect his scattered flocks immediately, and I could take the number he had offered;. I shall wait untill he herds them, and take a part of the amt he has offered say 150 or 200 head.

I hope to start from here, by the 12 of Novr and be with you by the 15th or 20th of Decembr

The mule project I am compelled to abandon, owing to their scarcity and dearness, $50 to $70 pr. pair is what is currently given by the Mexicans—I shall not take time to go and see Dn Felipe, altho I am confident I could procure both mules and horses from him.

I am tired of this Barren Mountainous Country, and wish to get back once more to Sn Felipe after seeing as much of the Country as I have I shall know how to justly appreciate the fertility of our Texas soil—

I wish you to have the lot refenced very strong or one of the back lots it will be necessary to keep the Manadas at home, untill we determine where to put them, and prepare pens for their reception etc; I shall take in a sufficient number of Vaceros to attend to them: and I flatter myself that in a short time we shall have a snug little Rancho—then you or myself (or both of us) must get a wife and forget the cares and perplexities of the world, in the pleasures to be found in a Pastoral life. During my short stay among these mountains, I have ceased to wonder why so many persons labour under (what is called) the Blue Devils, Horrors Hippo, or whatever else you may please to call those fits of Apathy we find attending most persons at certain times, in a greater or less degree—and which is a complaint you are not altogether clear of—but I sincerely hope that since I have left home you have not been visited by a single symtom; for God knows I have been tormented enough for us both.

I have lived the Solitary, ever since I have been here. Dn Luciano is a perfect hermit—since his return from Bexar he has resided at his Rancho de la Luz: rarely has communication with any one, except his Vaceros Comes to Town to Hug his Frigoña, once a month. Spends good part of his time Sleeping and eating.

he says he has procured his discharge from the Army and henceforward he intends to live (Una Vida sosegada) I tell him we wish to live a Ranchero's life but attended with a little more variety.

I wrote you from Saltillo on every point of importance. I hope ere this the slave question is decided; the Baron promised to write to you immediately after the question was decided.

You have many warm friends in Saltillo—Among them you may Count on Dn Ygnacio Arizpe the Govr of the State, also Gonzales, it will be fortunate for the Colony If he can be reelected and what little aid the colony can render him should be done with pleasure- As he entertains the sincerest friendship towards your Colony in particular; also any thing that you wish to communicate to Govr you can do it with Confidence through Padilla you have not a warmer friend in the Country than he I have nothing more to say at present—I will try and eat my Christmas dinner with you—should you happen to visit up the river present my respects to the female part of the family

Remember me to Williams—and John—I hope the Gin is in operation by this time—Also present my respect to Eliza and Mrs. Pickit

Jas E B Austin [Rubric]

P S. I wish the most particular care taken of my horse. I have seen but two or three—that I would rather have since I left home

P. S. Nov. 1st. I waited untill the arrival of the mail before I closed my letter confident of receiving a letter from you—but judge of my surprise when the mail arrived not to find a letter from you— I have received but one short letter from you since I left Bexar

I have lost the two horses (both pacers) that I received from Paras—I suppose they have willingly returned to their pasturage. those togather with a mule lost in Saltillo that cost me $30—and some other trifles to the am1 of 15 or $20 entitle me to a free pass through the country as every Americano has to pay the rougues an initionati[n]g fee—I hope since the rain I shall have better luck.