John Sprowl to Stephen F. Austin, 11-05-1826

Summary: Character of James Gaines.

Ayish Bayou District Nov. 5. 1826

Dear Sir,

Understanding that complaints have been made to yon by James Gaines, respecting some of the inhabitants of your colony, who he has represented, have written letters to citizens of this District calculated to excite dissaffection to the laws and the government, I herein inclose the letters which gave rise to this complaint. They are written you will see, by my old neighbors and friends, Messrs Thompson and Payton, and not, as Capt. Gaines imagined by Mr White.

The leters were brought to me from Nacogdoches by Gaines, who, when he delivered them, remarked that the handwriting was Squire Whites', and desired me to permit him to read them. Finding that they contained intelligence which I was requested to keep a secret, and knowing Gaines of all men in the world to be the most unfit to be trusted with one, I refused. Immediately his fruitful and disturbed imagination gave birth to the most dreadful suspicion and he saw at once, in vision, the peaceful fields of the Ayish Bayou, a prey to all the horrors of rebellion. Its indeed unfortunate that we are debarred the privilege of friendly and confidential correspondence without incurring the imputation of treasonable designs.

I avail myself of the same opportunity to send you a copy of a letter written by Capt. Gaines to the Governor at Saltillo. It needs no comment. You will see that he has proscribed some of the most respectable inhabitants of this District as well as yourself, and that even an aged and defenceless female could not escape the poison of his malice.

Jn° Sprowl

[Addressed:] Stephen Austin Esq. San Felipe de Austin Coahuila & Texas