Laurence Richard Kenny to Stephen F Austin, 09-06-1825

Summary: Concerning deed which Austin is witholding.

San felipe de Austin 6 sepr 1825


Your letter I have recd and it appears from it that Mr Coles declines to comply with the requisition to him in my letter of this morning and as you state considers that my request merits no attention—that is he absolutely refuses to restore Richmonds Deed or make any satisfaction for his conduct—As to the surprize you express at my demand on Coles I can't see why you ought to feel any from any thing that occurred at our interview and considering the ungentlemanlike manner in which Coles has used me—His complying with your order is no excuse for his conduct On the contrary it is just ground of complaint because that order was illegal—What right had you sir to order or pretend to any controul over the property of others—What right had he to obey such illegal order—How can he attempt to defend his conduct in writing I may I say advising you to adopt the unfortunate course that has been taken and then endeavr to impose upon me by a denial of his underhand practices—If Mr. Coles thinks charges of this kind and which can be proven too, merit no attention he thinks as a man devoid of feeling for his own character or the opinion of his fellow citizens for believe me that opinion shall shortly be elicited— You state he was in duty bound to send you the paper as you are pleased to term it—Sir yr idea of duty and mine are very different—

As to the mistake you speak of in the Deed you have adopted a singular way of rectifying it, by stifling the Instrument in toto

"—You say independent of this mistake and admitting there was none that David Richmond was not such a person as the law recognized as a suitable Character to be received as a settler that he was a drunken vagabond in the full extent of the expression and was not such a person as you could feel justified in returning to the Government as a settler and for that reason and many others of still greater weight you are entirely justifiable in never recognizing him as a settler at all " But Sir why did you recognize him—why did you grant Land to this drunken vagabond—why did you not discover all this prior to such grant—And you now must punish the transgressions of the unfortunate mans life by throwing obliquy on his memory, as it were passing a post humus judgement on him for his sins by depriving his heir of her just bequest—this is an erroneous principle to punish a mans errors by a confiscation (for this process is nothing else) of his property after his death

As to the Comments in yours on my course in this business it merits not the epithet of violent which you are pleased to bestow upon it— It has not been violent— I have demanded my right— I have done it firmly and whether ill calculated or not to obtain the result of my wishes It is a course I can perfectly reconcile to my conscience and I fear not the result—but be that result what it may I never shall suffer my rights or those of others entrusted to my charge to be trampled on by any man or combinatn of men— It still is my wish that this affair should be settled as it ought by an imediate restoration of the deed in question, but I cannot see any benefit to arise from a personal Communication with you on the subject untill the Deed is restored—The existence of it is a notorious fact it can be proven by those who have read and were capable of knowing its contents and who can testify on oath as to the same—I shall expect a final answer in the course of tomorrow and unless restitution is made in that time I shall lay the whole transaction before the public together with my opinion of the conduct and character of John P Coles

Lauce Richd Kenny

Col Steph. F Austin