John Sibley to Stephen F Austin, 07-30-1828

Summary: Political news. Local gossip. Rage for railroad construction.

Natchitoches July 30th 1828

Dear Sir.

I have Just Recd your friendly letter dated Austin 17th June, which of us is in debt in our literary Accounts is a subject I am not disposed to discuss at present, I will say that I am glad always to Receive a letter from you and will with pleasure communicate anything to you I may possess of sufficient Interest to excite your attention— we were soon informed of the arrival of Genl Taran at Nacogdoches. Col Piedras commanding at that post lately made us a visit and spent ten days here, through him I Recd some communications from the Genl particularly what he found the latitude, longitude, Elevation and degree of heat at Nacogdoches, and that he was waiting to meet us to designate the Boundary line? on that subject I have only been informed officially that the treaty between our Govt and Mexico relative to the boundary and some other matters was Ratified by the Senate of the U States on the first of May and Returned to Mexico to be Exchangd and might be expected back in September and that the treaty of 1819 was Recognised generally,, the treaty has not been published and will not be untill it returns, i have not been informed of the Particular Stipulations. I have no Knowledge of the oppointment of a commissioner on Our part, there is a Report that I shall be named, but I have receivd nothing official about it, If I should I shall Serve and have great pleasure in being associated with Genl Taran for whose Character I feel the greatest respect.— I am happy to learn that the Intestine difficulties in Mexico have subsided, such might have been expected, experience will no doubt tranquilise such Ebilutions, all governments have experienced the Same; Primary schools and enlightning the people is the Surest Course.

The Subject of Our Presidential Election has produced, and keeps up more excitement than any thing has ever done in the United States, the Choice of Electors conies on in November next, both Parties affect to be sanguine of success, for my own part I believe Mr. Adams will be Reelected, and the cause of the administration seems to be gaining ground, the Printed paper Enclosed I think is a fair Exhibition of the case as it now Stands.—

I am glad to hear that the Govt of Mexico have concluded to settle those Belts of Neutral territory, it would have been impossible to have kept those reserves free from Banditties of Murderers and outlawes— There seems to be some difficulty between the three Allied Powers against Turkey about the division of what may be conquered from Turkey. France and England hang Back; but Russia will go on single handed If they should decline We have no certain Accounts of Actual fighting being commenced Nor of the Russian Army crossing the Pruth. The Greeks will no doubt become indepent of Turkey tho. not yet acknowledged, there is a great Commotion in Europe, the English are Arming and so the French. The Brittish are withdrawing their Troops from Portugal and the French from SpainLord Wellington the Present prime Minister has gone over to France, for something about Greece and Turkey it is seposed. The Sperit for Internal improvement in the U. S. was never at such a height Rail ways are taking place of Canals as having the advantage of costing one third less, not being interrupted by Frost, the carriages propelled by Steam can freight as low and move Eight Miles an hour, whereas Canal Boats go only four.—

I had last winter a Visit from Geo. Sibley of Missouri his wife and her sister Miss Easton. they spent two Months with us and took away with them Mrs Sibley, Hopkins Sibleys widow, and her Daughter Ann. and son Harry; George has lived at Fort Ozage and they all left here for that place, but on arriving at S. Charles where Judge Eastons family Reside, George on Visiting and going over a Tract of Land he had owned for 15 years near that place which he never before had examined was persuaded to settle there and there they all are, they live in the Town the land they are improving comes within half a Mile; the Ozage farm and stock are kept up where they have an hundred Breeding Mares and Jennies etc. Judge Easton has the Dropsey and cannot live long, they give an account of the Beauty and improvements of St. Louis, Increase of Population and Wealth surpassing any Town in the West, Cincinnati Excepted.— they speak of the New Splendid Churches, Court and Market House as in an superior stile, the Jefferson Barracks 6 miles below where two Regiments of U. S. Troops are kept called the School of practice they mention as an Elegant Establishment giving great life and vareity to St. Louis. the Troops that were at Council Bluff are movd down a few miles above Old Fort Ozage and is called the Cantonement Levinsworth where is a Regiment, the State of Missouri is rapidly advancing in population Wealth and improvements and are for the Reelection of Mr. Adams Col Benton to the contrary notwithstanding—

Our Town of Natchitoches improves slowly, we have a large tolerable handsome and well finished Catholic Church Nearly done a good looking Belfrey and a good Bell. Several New Houses have been built since you were here, but the distraction of the great fire is scarsily repaired, all the Small Towns on the Steam Boats navigable Waters seem not to flourish. If an inhabitant wants a Twist of Tobacco he sends for it by a Steam Boat to his Agent in N. Orleans, it is sure to come in a few hours, at half what the little Jew shops would take for the Same Article—Alexandria from that cause, the Overflow and unhealthiness of the place is almost abandoned Houses and Lotts have fallen 800 pr Cent or More.—

The Planters in this Parish since the fall of Cotton (many of them) are preparing for sugar, the Ribbon Cane brought from China comes to perfection in about a Month less time than the Creole cane no doubt from the experiments already made it will succeed well in this Parish; but you have the soil and climate for that Article; but cannot be extensively used without Slaves.—

Our Election for Govr Members of Congress and state Legislature is just over have not got the Returns for Govr, or Congress, Judge Derbigney, Butler, Marigney and Genl Thomas are the Candidates for Congress in this district Brent and Overton, we have from this Parish in Our Legislature A man by the name of Dyers Debleau and Benja Matyear.-— Johnston Our Present Sheriff was married a few days ago to the Daughter of Mr Benjm BullittCol Quarles of Arkensas to Madme GrosvenorMr. Cable and his wife live apart. Several Accidents have hapened by steam Boat Boilers Bursting, the car of Commerce lately, and killed and wounded 57 persons. Two have been Burnt and one sunk in Red River.

I did not see Capt. Jones, probably when he called I was out about three Miles where My family are at a Summer residence; where we have good Water and Air. No Musketoes and Milk not Bitter, Mr Cable has informed me he had sent you a Packet of papers which will keep you Along till you Receive more-— If the Govt of Mexico was better organised, so that one might be protected in person and property and Religion I should feel Enclined to move into it.

17th-July. By the Steam Boat Beaver we have the Election Returns so far as to assertain that Judge Derbigney has a Majority of Votes for Governor, that Judge white a young man (son of Doctr White who died Parish Judge of Attackapa) and lately been Acting as City Judge of New Orleans, has been Elected Member of Congress in place of Mr. Livingston; Derbigney and White are for the Reelection of Mr. Adams President. Mr. Livingston for Jackson Mr. Marigney and Judge Butler opposed to Derbigney as Governor are Jacksonites. The Votes of Louissiana will be for Adams (President). Mr. Gurley of Batton Rouge (Adams) is Reelected by a large Majority. Missouri and Illenois for the administration ; and we now believe Adams will certainly be Reelected—- I sepose you were Acquainted with Our Captain Grosvenor; while he was in your Country: Accounts Came on here Satisfactory to his wife that he had another wife in New York, she had a decree Nullifying her Marriage with Grosvenor, and was in March last married to a Col Quarles, a Lawyer from Little Rock in Arkensa Territory, the Col after living here with her a short time went to Arkensas and Returned sooner than he had appointed he soon appeared dissatisfied and went away Again, it is thought will not soon if ever Return to her again. The Col is a light made, small Man Very Genteal, well informed, a Schollar, and stands high at the Bar is I should think under 85.— there is a Col Oden living here from Arkensa also, a Man of Wonderfull Physical and Intellectual powers, was, but not now an intimate friend of Col Quarle's—

John Sibley [Rubric]

P. S—you have not informed me about my claim on the Estate of Mc. Farlane.—Since Writing the above we have had more particularly the Return of our Election Derbigney will be our Governor- White for Congress in place of Livingston. Gurley Reelected— Overton in place of Brent.