C. B. Penrose to Stephen F. Austin, 06-27-1827
Summary: Desires to establish a distillery in Texas, and submits proposal for admission of molasses free of duty.
San Felipe De Austin
1st Mr. P— in conjunction with a planter of Louisiana, proposes
erecting in Texas, an extensive Distillery for the manufactory of
Rum, but as the law " Granting certain privileges to the Citizens
of Texas " under which Mr P— would expect to import Melasses for
the maintainance of his Distillery, appears to clash with a
subsequent law of the Genl Govt, Mr P to place the matter beyond a doubt
would solicit from the Govt, the privilege of introducing from
Louisiana or elsewhere, an adequate supply of melasses, for a Term
of years, free of duty, or untill the Citizens of the Colony who have
turned their attention to the culture of the sugar cane, could afford
the material in sufficient abundance, when Mr. P— would pledge
himself to confine his purchases to the Colony—The capital which
Mr. P— would invest in the prosecution of his design, would be
little short of $10,000 and as the greatest part of that sum would
be expended in the Colony—and as the houses and other fixtures
when erected, would be an important and valuable acquisition to
the Colony, Mr. P— would therefore, solicit the cooperation of Col
Austin in obtaining the privilege refered to. Should the Genl Govt
grant Mr P— the privilege of introducing Free of duty—one
hundred thousand Gallons of Melasses, annually he would also suggest
to Col Austin, the reasonableness of his asking an exclusive privi-
3rd Mr P— is particularly solicitous to be informed by Co1 Austin of the various markets of Mexico—What quantity of Rum could be annually disposed of, in each place, and the probable price, and also the safest and cheapest means of transportation to the interior?
4th Whether 1st or 4th proofs would meet the readiest markets?
5th If Co1 Austin is of opinion that some point on the Brassos, would be the most eligable position for the proposed establishment— Mr. P would request him to designate the place, having a regard to the facility of transportation to the various ports of Mexico—
6th Mr P— would require for his establishment, a large quantity of scantling and Cypruss plank, but as the latter cannot be easily obtained in the Colony—Mr. P—would wish to get permission to bring from Louisiana—Cisterns ready made, or plank for the purpose of making them—
8th Are not the banks of the Brassos well wooded, and if so, what kind of timber is generally found?
10th What is the regular army of Mexico—and what number of Seamen? how are they provissioned? might not Mr P dispose of a considerable quantity of Spirits annually—to the Govt for their army and navy—
Would it not be profitable to establich a sugar house?
My Dear Sir
The foregoing memorandum I have hastily sketched out, there are
other objects connected with my plan, which I will discuss with you
when your liesure will permit; in the meantime the only apologys I
can offer for the trouble I give you, is the assurance of my warm
thanks for the friendly reception which you have given me—and to
remind you of the friendship which has so long subsisted between
If I have to go to San Antonio—I conceive the cheapest way, would be to employ mules—but as they are not to be had here I have to request, as a particular favor, that you would send them in—I will require ten—and Mr McKinstry who will accompany me will want eight more—and also two horses to ride—will you when you write inform me whether Dry Goods are abundant or scarce in San Antonio and Mr. McKinstry's prospects in going there. I shall not want the mules until I hear from you—If what I ask should in the least interfere with your convenience, I beg you will tell me so without ceremony—