S Rhoads Fisher to Stephen F Austin, 08-20-1830

Summary: Reporting speculation in Texas lands.

Northumberland August 20th 1830

My Dear Sir,

Under date of 14th Inst: I had this pleasure at length: and conceiving it right you should know whatever relates to Texas, I with pleasure communicate to you such information as comes under my notice— Since last writing you, I have met a french gentleman of the name of Sorbe, who has a House at tampico— for two years past he has been principally in the Interior, and I think has a tollerably correct knowledge of the country-—he tells me the Barings have made a very extensive purchase of land from the count of——- his name I forget, who is now in Italy, they gave for it three millions of Dollars, and that it is (if I am not mistaken) equal in extent to 150 leagues square, it comes close to Saltillo, and embraces Parras, he says the purchase includes a number of villages, thó the precise boundaries he could not give me— they are settling it fast growing cotton, and are about erecting a cotton manufactory—a gentleman of the name of Sterrett (I think) is their agent—I thought none but Mexican Citizens could hold land in Texas!—

When I see you I shall want particular information relative to Exeters grant, as I wish to set aright a gentleman of very conspicuous standing in S. Carolina, who writes " I have received much information about Texas, I hold some shares in theCoahuila, and Texas company of which Dennis A. Smith of Baltimore is the agent, I dined a short time ago with Mr. Poinsett who says the grant is regular and valid—" either this gentleman is very much misled, or I am, but how is [it] possible Mr. Poinsett can be mistaken ?

The owners of this grant of course want to make a speculation of it—honestly if they can etc.—but under any circumstances is it not our policy to let them take their own road; for each grant they (that is Wilson and others) make, or each tract they sell, excites precisely so much Interest in the minds of the people of the U. States, in favour of Texas

In my last letter I acknowledged receipt of yours of 4 July, and mentioned that I should be at Matagorda with my family the last of October and hoped Ingram would have as promised, a place of shelter—in readiness

S. Rhoads—Fisher

[Addressed:] Colonel Stephen F. Austin Austin Texas care of Gen: Wm. Robeson New Orleans