Archibald Austin to Stephen F Austin, 10-10-1830

Summary: Biographical notes. Galveston Ray & Texas Land Co.

New York 10 Octr 1830.

My Dear friend and Cousin,

On the morning of the 8 ult°, I put my last letter for you in the Ohio Bag for New Orleans, on that Evening, I observed the arrival of the Nelson at quarantine, two or three days after Mr Woodbury came up to the City, and told John that he had brought letters from you, but had left them on board the vessel, in a bout a week subsequent to that, he delivered to John your letter for him, and one for myself and three newspapers—I had been calculating on a letter from you, by this vessel, and was much pleased, to find my anticipations realised—I congratulate you on the dispersion of the clouds, that were lowering about your political horizon, and that all was sun shine with you, that you were again fairly before the wind, with a smooth Sea, and having proved yourself an accomplished navigator, I trust you will steer clear of all rocks, and quicksands—

I was not so fortunate as to see Mr Woodbury, and John saw but very little of him, I called several times to see him, but could never find him in. I should like to have seen his papers, to have ascertained whether his Brother was mearly an agent, or whether he was actually interested with the others concerned, and to have heard from him the result of his visit to the Governour of Texas, in which he told John you was so kind as to accompany him—as Mr Prentiss told me that Zavala was one of the principal persons interested in that Grant, and that they are of opinion that Woodburys Brother was only an agent, that he had seen W—once, and that he had promised to show them his papers, but went into the Country without doing so, he sais if his papers will show that his Brother was interested he shall have his due, or if he was only to act as agent he shall have justice done him, this as it may be—I am not much acquainted with Prentess, he formerly lived in Lexington, and if there is any person with you from that place; I presume he or they, can inform you how he stood there,— Prentess tells me that he has acted as agent for the Sale of Lands in the Grant alluded to, and for the purchase of them also, that he, and several of his friends have made a purchase, and that his Son, who he sais is attached to the Army, has obtained a furlough and is a going to visit that Country this winter, and that some of his friends, and many more, making up quite a party, are a going out to settle on that land this winter—I told John if he saw Woodbury he better tell him to move cautiously, he told me [he] had just time to tell him so in the street, when he last saw him, that W— told him, he did not know but he had some more newspapers for him, that he would just step in and look, and call directly after, and see him but did not make his appearance again—why he should have kept so aloof from John and myself. I cannot imagine, we had no design on him, or his lands, and all we were desirous to do was to prevent his being imposed on, if we could help it—He expressed great delight with Texas, and said he was a going to return immediately with several of his Sons, I presume he is now in Connecticut, and may be back soon, with some of his connections, purhaps he was afraid to act without their council—

27 Octr I approve of your idea of a Coat of Arms, and I know no one better intitled to a Seal of the kind than yourself—I have had one made on the most approved and recent fashion, which is very plain, and I think all the handsomer for it, it has been the fashion here to fore to have them very showey, with a great deal of work on them, but that fashion is now exploded, the Seal without the Engraving cost $16. and for the engraving $10—whole cost $26—for the Cross and initials he asked $6 and for the addition of the Bucks Head and Horns $4 there are only two men in the City who ingrave seals well, and this man Lovett, I was recommended to as being the best, it appears a great price, but I could not prevail on him to cut it cheaper. I have taken a great deal of pains, and I hope it will please you, the seals of the fashion previous to the present, cost from $25 to $35 without the Engraving—I shall send this by Mr Wm T. Austin who Embarks in the Nelson, with his wife

Mr Perry arrived here on Saturday Evening last, to see the balance of his Goods on board the Nelson, I had the pleasure of his company to dinner with me yesterday, in the Evening we called with an Introduction Mr Treat gave him on Mrs Mexia to look at a military coat of her Husbands, that he might give the Taylor who is to make a coat for you a description of it, as he had bot the cloth there, and could not find a Colns uniform of the Mexican Army in that City, we however found it would be necessary for the Taylor to call and see it, and Johns Taylor was to go up for that purpose this morning, we also called in the Evening to see Mr and Mrs Austin we found them a very pleasant young couple, she is a very pretty little woman, and I have no doubt they will be found a very agreable acquisition to the Society in Texas— It was a great treat to me to see Mr Perry, he had seen so many of my Connexions that I had not seen for many years, and some that I have never saw, that felt a desire to hear about, and he could tell me all about them. I had only to regret that his stay was so short he left this on his return home at 2 o'clock to day. Mr Treat, I hear has made up his mind to return in a few weeks to Texas,—Mr Woodbery is expected here to return in the Nelson—

I saw Prentiss yesterday, he told me that Zavala Mexia etc, was calculating to make rappid progress in Colonising the Grants they represent in Texas, they intend Colonising the three Grants, and give every incouragement and facility to emigrants, that land and money can hold out to induce them to locate there, that lands will be offered them low and those that are not able will be supplied with means, talked of all kinds including Irish, I told him I thought they would do there Colony more harm than good, if he introduced a parcel of Irish into it—speaks of Zs having plenty of money at command, talks of his being very popular with a large majority of the people of Mexico, and calculates on a change in the present state of things, when he will be a great man, if not at the head very near it, they Calculate to go out next Spring, to make a commencement, and thinks that in less than three years they will have Ten Thousand Setlers in their land, that there will be 40,000 inhabitants in Texas in that time, what fine calculations, in that case your reserved lands will be very valuable at the end of three years— I shall send you some newspapers by which you will see the effect of the French revolution on the different powers of Europe, a revolution has commenced in Spain, and we are calculating to hear every day that it has become generral throughout the Kingdom, no danger of Ferdinands ever troubling Mexico again I presume,— Several rich Spanards, who were obliged to leave Mexico leave this for New Orleans on Monday, with the expectation I presume of soon being admitted into Mexico, and I think they are already coming back from Europe with the same hope—I was at Amboy the other day, and while there I told my youngest daughter, Louisa Mary that I had been getting a seal made to send to you in consequence of which she has made a safety chain and sent me to forward to you, being as she considered a very good accompaniment to the seal, which I have put in the Box with it, I tied up some seeds which we consider of choice Kinds, among them are some mellon, and I believe pumpkin or squash seeds, which a friend of mine collected in Mahone and gave to me, he told me they produced the best fruit of any he ever taisted—I ment to have sent you an ear of our Jursey Corn, to ascertain whether yours was of the same kind or not, it is prefered for the Madeira market, and Mr P has almost every year an order for some, that we sent this year cost here 61 cents p bushel—

I have written a letter for you, which I send to morrow under cover to Mr Breedlove, I shall send it by private conveyance to save postage, the postage on letters or packages from this to New Orleans by water is 60—I suppose I must be in Mr Bs debt 180 and perhaps 250 as three or four packages have passed through his hands—

We have heard that Henry has arrived with his Steam Boat in your river, if he can meet with sufficient incouragement to remain, the Boat must eventually do well, and be of great importance to your Colony—Tell him his family are all well, and are now living in the family of parson Curtis, in Oxford, Connecticut

In the Box I sent you some time ago, I presume you found a partial genealogy of our Family commencing above a century back, which was given to Mrs Holly, in Boston, by Mr Austin of that City, if [you] did not find it, in the Box Henry has a copy of it, and can furnish you writh one—then there is a large blank to be filled up, and as yet I know not how it is to be done—-Our Grandfather on the Austin side lived in Durham, in Connecticut, how he got there, or when, I know not, He had four Sons, and two daughters, Elijah, Moses, Archibald, and Stephen, Mrs Eliott and Mrs Bates, your Fathers family you of course know all about, and I presume more of the Bates family than myself, My Fathers children, you are acquainted, or if there is any particulars about them, that you wish to be informed about Henry will inform you, our Uncle Archibald left no children, and never heard of his having any, Stephen had one Son Charles, who is married, has a family of children, and lives in Florida, there were three daughters, of which there is only one living Mrs Meigs, she has a large family, and live in this City, her Mother is very old and very poor, and lives with them, the Elliott family

[Archibald Austin]