Richard Ellis to Stephen F. Austin, 01-03-1828

Summary: Agriculture depressed by tariff and taxes. Fifty families ready to emigrate to Texas if allowed to introduce their slaves.

State of Alabama

Town of Tuscumbia

3rd Jany. 1828

D. Colo

I beg leave to introduce to your aquantence and notice Mr Silus, Ephram and Benjmn Fuqua and Mr Job Ingram and Kye Ingram, these Gentlemen have emigrated to your Coloney to become permanent settlers—The Mr Fuquas are Mechanics, two of them of the best kind; they are honest and respectable men and are determined to suport the Government to which they go, I have had much conversation with Mr Silus Fuqua, on the present and future prospects of your coloney; and tho he has never seen it, he has a most corect idea of its great advantages, you will find him an inteligent man and I have no doubt will be an acquisition to your Setlement, I have known these gentlemen twelve years, the Mr Ingrains I have not known personaly but from their universal good character and the Gentlemen they go with, I feel no hesitation to recomend them to your attention;

On my arival in the U. S. I found Agriculture fast declining in all the Middle and Southern region of our country, oppressed with heavey duties on imports from a broad and taxes at home, and the people burthened with debts, many of which were no doubt contracted in more prosperous times that I could not help runing a parallel in my mind between the happy condition of the adopted citizens of your country and the people of this; indeed frankness and candure impels me not to withold from you the expressions of the opinions and thoughts that have so repetedly obtruded themselves on my mind; (that is) that every family ought to bless his happy star that conduced them to a country blessed with the finest soil in North Amarica, with plenty, health, peace and happiness— and if they act wisely (as I hope and trust they will) they will foster and cherish the Government they live in, which will be the certain means of preserving their estamible rights unimpaired; and a sure protection of their property—while on the contrary in this country there are hundreds and thousands of familes who do not own a foot of land nor have they any hope of ever doing so (I mean of any real value) who are barely able to sustain themselves with the most common coarse food and raiment—In the short time since my arival at home I have assertained beyond question that 40 or 50 families would emigrate with me next fall to your country if they could introduce their slaves, many of them are large holders of that description of property; and I consider it a duty I owe myself as well as you, to assure you that I shall moove to your country next fall if I can with safety bring mine; for I find I have not one slave that is willing to be sold from me;

I feel a deep interest in the prosperity of your country and hope you will do me the favour (for I shall prise it highly) to write to me by the first safe hand after the receipt of this letter; let me know if we will be alowed to bring in Slaves under any circumstances, if not what are the future prospects—what has been done with my petition, can I locate the Heseandar [hacienda] on the west bank of the colorado River

If I can bring in fifty families, I believe I can get $50. a League from them, and I should give you one half if you will reserve good land for them as I have always thought that compensation not enough for the founder of a colony in adition to his premium lands— but this will depend on the Slave Question can fifty good Leagues be got between the colorado and auroyo lavaca—that is now vacant— I know when you reach home how much you will be provoked and how much you will (on many acounts) regret the deception and fraud played off on me and many respectable citizens of your colony by William Pettus—for he even sold my boddy servant and did not take (perhaps) a dollar with him to the Rio Grande to purchase Mules for me, for his wife said in my presens she allways blamed him for not carring the money with him; nor have I received one cent for the fine mar I caried to that country for all he paid me dos not even pay the interest upon the debt—I paid for him as an inocent security Such an abuse of confidence, and once I admit friendship; proves beyond the most remote possibility of a doubt, a dereliction of all honourable principal and a depravity of hart that can never be reclaimed nor reformed, I believe I might use the same language to you Sir John Falstaff did to prince Henry (of Poins) "he is the most omnipotent villain that ever cried stand to a true man's what he has done with all the property, goods and money, he had

[Richard Ellis.]