Stephen F. Austin to James R. Perry, 05-26-1827

Summary: Cost of travel. Slavery. Immigration.

Austin May 26, 1827

Dr Brother

I recd yours giving a transcript of the opinion of the lawyers relative to the Mine a Burton property, and it appearing that the prospect of recovering any thing is so remote and uncertain it probably would cost more than it is worth to attempt it—at all events I can not attend to it— Emily mentioned in one of her letters that you both had an idea of removing from the mines to some place and spoke of Arkansas— If you close your business so as to leave the mines I hope you will not settle any where untill you have first visited this country I have not the least doubt that you will make a fortune if you come here, but of that you must judge for yourself, and to do so you must visit the Country, and I shall expect you in October next without fail— One month will bring you here by land through Arkansas, one month here to look round, and one to return is three months, and about three hundred dollars expence— and you will see the country generally from Potosi to this place—

Our State Constitution is to be published in this place on the 29 of this month and Six months after that day the introduction of slaves is prohibited. No one can be born to slavery within the state after its publication It will be a great speculation to bring in slaves before the time expires for as no more can be introduced those who are here in time will sell or hire very high Every thing you may have seen in the news papers relative to slaves being taken away from the settlers and freed is all false—the slaves in the country— within six months after the constitution is published will be slaves for life—

If you ever think of coming to look at this country now is the time. I had reserved some choice tracts of land with a hope that you might have come out before, but there is still land enough and of first rate quality and well situated to be had.

The best time of the year to move here is in the fall so as to reach here in October, If you do not wish to go through Arkansas the best way to come next fall to look at us is in a Steam boat to Alexandria, and thence on horse back to this place, the road from there out is good and settled all the way except 50 miles at one place the distance from Alexandria out is about 300 miles

Our prospects are very good as to crops, emigration, peace, government etc etc. The state constitution is a very good one you may set down every thing you see in the news papers unfavourable to Texas as false,

remember me particularly to S. Perry, and to John P—and his wife and to all my old acquaintances—and kiss the children for me— Love to Emily this letter is written to both of you—

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

Mr James F. Perry

[Addressed:] Mr. James F. Perry Potosi Missouri