Stephen F Austin to Commodore David Porter, 09-08-1829

Summary: Welcomes Porter's application for a grant of land, which he forwards to the governor. Suggests study of State colonization law. Texas needs admission of slavery and extension of tariff exemption for six years after 1830, when present exemption expires.

St Felepe

Your esteemed favr of the 10 April came by the last mail and I rece'd it yesterday at this place together with the copy of your memorial to the President on the subject of a grant for seteling a colony in Texas, and meeting with Cap Pettet here in the Schooner Santana I improve the oppertunity to reply.

I will enclose the memorial to the Govr of the State by the next mail accompanied with a letter strongly recommending your application, and and I think there will be no difficulty provided the memorial to the President is granted so far as he has the power to grant it, I also recommend that you procure a letter from L. Z. [Lorenzo de Zavala] to the Govr and Lieut Govr of this State, I have understood, indirectly, that Z. once had an idea of applying himself for the same section of country, wheither the information was correct or not I am unable to say, I believe that his standing with the authorities of this State is very good— a private or unofficial letter from Guerrero if such a thing could be procured would effectually secure the matter— The Senater Agustin viesca is a brother of the Govr Also the Deputy from this State vicente Campos stands very well with the Govr. it perhaps might be well to cultivate their acquaintance etc.

It will be necessary for you to examine the colonization law of this State passed 25. March 1825 in order to comprehend the nature of the system which this Govt have adopted in regard to the colonization of the vacant lands in the State, and as you can easily procure that in Mexico by applying to Z. I do not now explain it at length— the law was published in the Águila about two years ago Agreeably to the law and the system which the Govt have pursued your memorial ought to have stated the number of families you offered to introduce and settle within the limits applied for the law allows to the Empresario five Leagues and three labors for each 100 families not exceeding 800.

Should it be practicable for you [to] visit this country and examine it particularly yourself before commencing the settlement of the colony I think it would be advantageous Capital can be profitably employed here, and perhaps a company might be formed which could command capital, and tend greatly to the advancemt of the country as well as being profitable to those concerned—

The colonizing business has been in the highest degree laborious perplexing and harrassing to me and not profitable but I commenced in an entire wilderness and have had difficulties to work through which do not now exist— My object was to settle the country and I have kept that object in view much more steadily than the advancement of my own fortune, I think that a sufficient foundation is now laid for the profitable investment of capital in various ways

The Govt may easily make Texas a very flourishing and advantageous member of the confederation it is now a dead weight— Texas once settled and the whole of the frontier of the Rio Grande from New Mexico to Matamoros would be effectually protected from the indians which would be an incalcutable advantage, The revenue which the commerce of this country could yield in ten years would be a very great object to the nation

There are some leading points of policy necessary for Texas.— Such as the admission of slavery and such a system of revenue and commercial regulations as will leave our trade free of duty for five years after 1830 when the present law of exemption expires. Should the restrictive system be continued in the U. S. England will no doubt receive Mexican cotton on advantagious terms

Much might be said on this subject-— I think it is the true policy of this nation to have the most of their work shops in Europe for some years to come, and in the mean time give existence to the agricultural and planting interest for as yet it can scarely be said to exist except so far as is necessary for domestic use—

[Stephen F. Austin.]

8 june 1829

[Austin to Governor Viesca:] Tengo el honor de elevar a V. E. la solicitud del comodoro Daniel [David] Porter en qe solicita se le concede una colonia en Texas, El Sor Porter es bien conocido y no cabe duda que adquirirle por ciudadano Cuahuiltejano sera de mucha ventaja al Estado y contribuirá touchissimo al fomento de la población de los desiertos de Texas, en este concepto tomo la libertad de recomendar su solicitud con mucho interés y empeño—