Archibald Austin to Stephen F Austin, 05-31-1830

Summary: Discussing Swiss emigration to Texas.

New York 31 May 1830,

My Dear Sir,

Your very interesting letter of 24 feby, elucidating with so friendly a spirit, so much relative to your Colony, that I was desirous to hear about, came safe to hand, and I assure you, I value it much, as harassed as you must be with a multiplicity of avocations, causes me to feel sensibly your kindness in gratifying my intrusive questions, I however hope to reciprocate the same, in some measure by promoting your views in regard to Swiss emigrants, that I shall prevail on any to join you is yet doubtful, but I have had conversations with Several Swiss Gentlemen on the subject, and I shall be on the look out to find some of them that will take more interest, or rather a more active interest, than those I have yet met with, Mr. Richard a Swiss Gentleman who has resided many years in this Country approved very much of the project, told me he had often thought of Texas, as being a country well calculated for his Countrymen, and thought it would be fortunate for them if they would Emigrate to Texas, instead of coming here, that many of them, were disappointed on their arrival here and were at times so much at a loss to know which way to go on there arrival here, that he had purchased a Tract of Land in this State, from no other cause, than to find them a Speedy location, that his land was not however, or rather the climate calculated for them, for it is in the northern part of this State and too cold for them but they were in the habit of going to Ohio, and other Western States, which was attended with too much expence for many of them I told him, as I think would be the best plan (if such a person could be found that would feel Sufficient interest, to take the trouble to communicate the information to his Country men) to send your pamphlet, and such other information as I could give to some Swiss Genl [gentlemen] going to Switserland, and for him to recommend them taking passage to New Orleans so as to arive there in a healthy season, and proceed from thence to your Colony, he was of my opinion but did not know of any one going at present, and he was not acquainted with any one that would be of use to send it to, out of the Canton he came from (Geneva) where they were all, or principally mechanics,— at present there do not appear to be many or any Swiss Emigrants in the City about a month since another Swiss Genl [gentleman] told me there would probaly be a good many here—

I called on Mr. Theoder Meyer a German many years a merchant here, and consol for Hanover, who I have been long acquainted with, he thought it would be difficult to prevail on his country men to go there, under the impression that the climate would be to warm for them, that they were generally pretty well of, and if three or four of the most respectable familys that were disposed to Emigrate could be prevailed on to go direct from their Country to Texas, and should be pleased, you would have no difficulty in prevailing on as many to follow, as you could wish, he thought it would be best for you to send over some person to Germany, and prevail on three or four Familys to come over, and pay the expences, but this I presume would not be convenient for you at present—as I said before I shall be on the alert—-in hopes that the information you gave interesting to Swiss Emigrants, Might reach the Eyes of some of them, that were on the look out for a favorable place to locate, I thought best, and ventured to put an extract from your letter in the Journal of Commerce, I found Mr. Meyer has seen it, and was pleased with it, it paid his Countrymen a Compliment, which had a good effect— you will on the receipt of this have observed it, in that paper, as Mr. Halock the Editor, told me, he forwarded them to you, he Mr. H expressed the high opinion he entertained in regard to the Texas, and thinks it will become of very great importance, ere long,— It is astonishing how you have surmounted so many difficulties, as you have had to contend with in such a variety of ways, and placed your Colony in a flourishing, and prosperous Condition, there are but few men, if any that would have had nerve, patience and perserverance to have acomplished what you have done, I am glad to hear that it is now plain sailing with you, and hope that you will now be able to resuscitate— Since the last Revolution in Mexico took place we have heard no more of the purchase of Texas— The Fabius that left Cadiz with Troops in company with the squadron for Havana, arrived at the latter place in 49 days passage, and I presume the other Ships with her, it appears the Troops were only intended to replenish the Garison of that place—They talked, and I presume were desirous in Spain of sending another Expedition against Mexico, but the difficulty appears to be the want of means, a letter from a Genl [gentleman] dated in Cadiz who I think must have a good oppy of obtaining information writes that he does not beleive that they will, or can send Troops for want of means—

Henry writes under date of 4 April that he has had sickness, and various difficulties to incounter but that his prospects were then pretty favorable, I have not seen his wife since you wrote, she resides with her Family in New Haven, I shall probably see her ere long, when I will communicate what you wrote about her coming to your land of promise it would be very difficult I presume for her to make up her mind to go— I am very glad to hear that your Sister was well, and that it was probable she and her Husband would join you next fall, it will be a great acquisition and gratification to you to have them so near— You intimate that you may some day make us a visit, we should all be delighted to see you, but I suppose we might almost as soon expect the Emperor of Russia here, If you can so organise your colony as to be able to leave it with safety, you will do wonders, but after what you have done, we aught not to be surprised at your acomplishing any thing you undertake— I only saw Mr. Treat a few minutes as he passed through this City, but I hope on his return here, to have an oppy of learning many particulars about your settlement

I shall send some English and French newspapers by this conveyance— I remain very affectionately

Arch Austin

Colo. Stephen F. Austin San Felepe de Austin Texas,

I observe the arrival of some Swiss passengers within a few days past from Havre