Richard Ellis to Stephen F Austin, 01-30-1830

Summary: Reports of Guerrero's emancipation decree have deterred emigration.

Alabama 30th Janr 1830

Dear sir

I ask leave to introduce to your acquaintance my son Mr. N. D. Ellis, and to acknowledge the receipt of your favor by my friend Col A Winston. I wish to say to you that we have been led into an error by a proclamation of the Mexican president as to the liberation of slaves. Perhaps he only meant bound servants such as has been by the civil Law for 200 years, but you know such is the sensitive feelings of the Slave holders on that subject, that the least agitation will deter them from emigration, and I really begin to believe with you that it is shortly to be a great evil among us. for it has prevented me from sending on negros to my son in Law James N. Smith until it is too late to make a crop. The first objection is the expense of sending them on, at this late season, and a person to superintend them, the second is, every practical planter knows it is too late to make a crop even to rent land; (the worst of all evils) but the 3rd is one which I know will plead my excuse to you; when I state my own situation, for it seems one misfortune never comes alone but (as Shakespear says) treads on the heels of another; 2 or 3 months after the date of the last receipt of the payt of W. Pettus's debts, (as this will show) I had the 12th instant, a large portion of my cotton crop burnt to ashes in the warehouse of the Messrs. Harts in the city of New Orleans and Mr. J. N. Smith's with it. I refer you to my son for the amt. and the details; (not insured) Please accept my best wishes for your happiness and prosperity.

Richard Ellis.

Colo. S. F. Austin