Henry Austin to Stephen F Austin, 10-20-1830

Summary: Pessimistic views of Mexican government. Doubts establishment of tranquillity, and until that is done Austin must hold the helm.

Brassoria Octo- 20. 1830

My dear Sir I have recd yours by John with the enclosures and now return the Pedimento signed.

I regret much that affairs have taken so unfavorable a turn at Saltillo but I have witnessed so many political squables in Mexico the last six years that I set them down as of but little acct, They usually make a great deal of noise and do nothing— The result of Viesca's offer of resignation will probably be a reconciliation However I doubt much whether you can permanently hold your ground as a member of the Legislature— The independent stand which both your principles and interests would compell you to take would embroil you with both parties— Still there is no other course left you to pursue and the novelty of an upright independent public man pursuing solely the interests of the State in conformity with the constitution might make a salutary impression even upon Mexicans— If you can steer clear of these political broils I think they will in the main conduce to the interests of the Colony— They paralize the Mexican arm and put it out of the power of the Govt to interfere with you by force— So long therefore as they abstain from any legislative acts affecting your rights or interests in Gods name let them wrangle amongst themselves as much as they please

I seriously believe that my prediction, now five years old, that the want of material for a stable Govt would ultimately cause the Mexican republic to break up into little principalities, each Governed by a popular Chief to the extent of his personal influence and no further, like the malay region, will one day be realized Don Felipe appears to be aiming at that now and I strongly suspect Teran looks to Texas for his share, Flatter him in that point and make him believe the people of Texas look up to him as their political Savior and you may do anything with him As to my own affairs—I have visited the junction of the two creeks and find the land to be good grasing land, the timber small and much of the tract crawfish land, still the position is pleasant Flores creek fresh and I think the situation would be healthy-— You appear to be in error as to the league Survey'd for Clark it does not reach Flores creek—the distance from oyster creek to Flores is 8 or 10 Miles the island of timber in the centre of Clarks league is full seven miles this side of Flores Creek The land on this side Flores Creek is good praire with a narrow skirt of timber one or two miles down Bastrop creek below the forks.

Should my solicitation be granted I should like to have one league between Clarks survey and Flores Creek half a league wide and running down Bastrop creek for quantity.

I am told Chocolate creek comes within one league of Austin creek or of Bastrops somewhere near the junction of Austin and Flores—and that there is plenty of timber on Chocolate at that point, I should like one league running through from creek to creek just for a highway to get in timber for my buildings For the fourth league I should like to embrace St Louis Island, the Island with trees on it and so much of the point of main land along the coast as would make up a league on joint acct

This will one day be valuable for making salt for a position to accommodate shipping, as a fishing station and for pasturage for cattle which must ultimately be driven there for shipment.

You will say I am reckoning my chickens before they are hatched—but I mention these things that in case the concession should come on you may know what lands I should like to have reserved if circumstances will permit it— I see no reason why Viesca should not comply with his declaration to Doct Grant, but Smith under date of August 29th—says nothing of having received any papers from Saltillo— the amount of his letter is that my buildings remain rented at 60$ pr month without a prospect of sale and Mr Grant writes he hopes to send forward the proceeds of my bar silver shortly

Mexico is truly a land of promise ! ! but it requires a deal of patience to wait the performance.

As for the future my first object is to free myself from the embarassments of the steamboat concern and should my concession be granted to come here with all the means I can command to make a permanent location and give my best efforts to the promotion of the interests of the Colony— It would however be folly for me to devote the remainder of my life to the occupation of a league of land

I must do something on an extensive scale with prospects of ultimate advantages of magnitude or do nothing, you and I may indulge our imaginations with the pleasing prospect of passing the remainder of life in the tranquility which a snug stock farm appears to offer but neither you nor I could exist in such a State. It would be very well to have a good stock farm but not to be confined to it as a sole dependance—

Besides until a stable Govt be established and security for personal rights and property placed on a firm basis there can be no tranquility on a farm of any sort, until this be effected you will be compelled ex necessitate to direct the helm

on the subject of the canal project you will please inform me when you think circumstances favorable to it in the mean time I will collect what information I can on that subject and as to the Live oak timber, something may grow out of it hereafter— I am in trouble enough this morning— It was my intention to have gone to sea to day—but the beef Bailey packd for me has spoiled and four of my men deserted last night, which will detain me until I can procure provisions and men it is now uncertain when I shall get away. You will oblige me by leaving word with Mr Williams to send all letters which may come to Sn Felipe for me to John Austin who will pay the postage

I will write you from Orleans so soon as I have so arranged my affairs as to be able to decide upon my future course in the mean time may god bless you and enable you to bring your troublesome enterprise to a favorable close

Wherever I may be you can always rely upon me in any matter in which I can be usefull to you

Most Cordially and sincerely yours

Henry Austin [Rubric]

ps. I enclose a letter for matamoros which please put in the mail if no safe private oppertunity offers—