John P Austin to Stephen F Austin, 12-16-1830

Summary: Tornel's efforts to prevent emigration to Texas. Formation of Galveston Bay & Texas Land Co. Swiss immigrants.

New York December 16. 1830

My dear Cousin,

I had this pleasure on the 28. Oct per Mr. Wm T. Austin, who sailed from here, in the Schooner Nelson due for Brazos, to which I beg leave to refer, and have now to add a few lines by Mr. Treat who was with you about a year Since, Now on the eve of sailing for New Orleans on his way to Galveston Bay. I presume with a view of fixing on a permanent location. Since my last I have not been able to obtain any further information worthy of Communicating relative to the proceedings of Mr. Wilson in regard to his Texas lands, but should not be surprised if he had paid you a Visit ere this, as he writes from Matamoros October 12th—that he had in part succeeded in the object of his Visit to Saltillo, but not to his satisfaction, and of his intention of leaving in about a Month to Survey his Texas lands and expected to reach here in about six Months. Mr. Tornel, Mexican Minister at Washington, a short time since addressed a circular to the Mexican Vice Consuls directing them not to grant any passports for Coahuila and Texas, and to refer those applying for them to the legation, but on the consul here representing to him the situation he would be placed in by refusing them to American Citizens against whom no doubt the order was expressly intended to operate, the Minister in reply authorized the Consul to use his own discretion in granting them since which have been obtained without difficulty. Passports were however at first refused and a vessel with a Valuable Cargo, bound to Matamoros, detained some days and until the above permission was received from Washington. Had the Government known it at the time which it probably did not, from the order not being published and so soon annulled, I think Mr. Tornel would have been Called on for an explanation of so singular a procedure. You will see by the Enclosed that a Company has recently been formed here to Colonize the Grant of Zavala, Vehlein and Burnet, and Agent to be immediately Stationed at Galveston Bay to receive Settlers and afford them every facility in settling on the land. From what I can learn it is the Most extensive land Company that was ever known in this or any other Country probably extending its interests throughout the States, and its board of Directors is composed of the most respectable and influential Men among us, with the President of one of our first Banks at its head, as also on the Trustees. They are soon to publish a Pamphlet which I shall not fail to send you and was in hopes to have got it in time for this opportunity.

Should the Company Carry their plans into full operation and I see no grounds to doubt it, as the funds at Command are said to be very heavey, I should think could but be of essential benefit to your Colony as I look upon Emigration to any part of Texas as favourable to your interest and more particularly between you and the Sabine. I had a conversation this Morning with an intimate friend. who is well acquainted and has considerable influence with the Trustees, and strongly recommended that the above Company should and without loss of time Communicate to you direct their views and plans fully, that you may not get an unfriendly impression towards them, from the various reports which would reach you thro'. Various sources, and should Mr. Treat be detained a day or two longer I am in hopes he will be the bearer of their Communication as I feel confident they will see their interest in Making it. the Company have already chartered a Vessel to take out 50 to 100 Swiss Emigrants and am told they have 250 families Engaged. They also load the vessel I presume mostly with provisions. For further particulars I would refer you to Mr Treat whom I have no doubt is well acquainted with the Views of the Company, as well as to Mr. Woodbury who also leaves here on Monday for your place Via New Orleans and will probably be with you as soon as this. The Coat ordered made for you by Mr. Perry I have the promise of this week and if not disappointed will be in time to send by Mr. Woodbury, who offers to take Charge of it or anything I may have to send you. I have however seen very little of him since he has been here this time. The Coat has been nearly a Month in the hands of the Embroiderer and not possible to send same sooner. Col. Mexia, who says he is a particular friend of yours, Very politely loaned the Taylor his Coat that there might be no mistake in the uniform, and is so much pleased with the Making of yours as to order one Made for himself. As yet no letters from brother Henry since his arrival with you, which I cannot account for it being nearly four Months and very anxious to know how he is likely to succeed there with the Boat. In hopes of soon being in receipt of your esteemed favors

J. P. Austin

p. a

December 17th.—Mr. Treat being still detained it gives me sincere pleasure to add, that he is the bearer of a friendly Communication to you from the Trustees of the land Company refered to above which has been handed to me for perusal and perfectly coincides with my Views of the propriety of Making known to you their plan of operations as I can but think it will further the interest of the Company as well as yours by having a Mutual and friendly understanding at the Commencement, as it will at all events prevent any unfriendly feelings that might arise from Various reports that may be in Circulation. That the success of the Company as they progress may advance your interest as I think it undoubtedly will is the Sincere wish of your Affectionate Cousin

J. P. Austin

Mr. Zavala also writes you by this Conveyance

To Col. Stephen F. Austin San Felipe dp Austin Texas