Stephen F Austin to Israel Waters, 07-30-1829
Summary: Thanking him for a bottle of rum distilled in Texas. Thinks the manufacture of spirits bound to develop in Texas. Would be opposed to it but for the fact that spirits will be imported if not made in Texas.
sir I have recd your letter of
Philanthropy cannot but weep at the incalculable mass of human misery and degradation which the use of ardent spirits heaps upon mankind, and were it possible to exclude it from our country for ever, the first who attempted to introduce it would be ranked by me on a level with the fiend who first introduced sin into the garden of Eden, but like sin, the use of spirits pervades the whole civilised world, (savages and barbarians are not sufficiently civilized to brutalise in this refined way) and Philanthopy has no consolation, other than that derivable from the hope that the sound judgement and moral rectitude of man will restrain the use of spirits to proper and safe limits.
I am therefore not displeased to see this branch of business commenced. Spirits will be imported and if not manufactured in the country, money will be sent out to import it, and it is better that the money which is thrown away by the drunken and worthless part of our citizens should go into the pockets of our own distillers, than into the pockets of foreigners