John P Austin to Stephen F Austin, 01-05-1831

Summary: Desire of Galveston Bay & Texas Land Co. to cooperate with Austin. German and Swiss immigration. Interest in Texas land.

New York January 5 1831

My dear Cousin

I have addressed you frequently of late, at Austin, giving such information as I thought to your interest or would prove acceptable, Also advised of Mr Treat, who left here about the 18th of last month via New Orleans, being the bearer of a friendly letter to you from the Trustees of the Company, formed by the Grant of Zavala, Vechlin and Burnett, giving a view of their plan of operations, the Success of which I should think could but further the interest of your Colony, and that a material understanding and friendly intercesion would prove equally advantageous to both parties. I am now informed by my friend, who is no Stranger to the plans of the Company that they write you at Saltillo, where I presume your duties as a member of the State Legislature has called you ere this, Via Vera Cruz by the Packet to Sail today, with a wish that a letter from me might accompany theirs, and steps would be taken to secure their safe delivery. Which opportunity I am happy to embrace. The Company now see the importance of communicating with you as speedily as practicable, for the purpose of arousing your interest and with it your influence or at least your friendly disposition toward them. The Trustees and board of directors, as before stated, I can assure you are composed of some of our most respectable and monied men, therefore no want of funds to secure their object, and with an interest extending throughout the States, will in time usurp a powerful influence. Col. Mexia also writes you at this time and will soon leave himself for Saltillo via New Orleans, Vera Cruz and the City of Mexico, to see you in behalf of the Company, who have engaged another special agent also soon to leave for Saltillo to open a negotiation between you and said Company. From the above you can readily infer the light in which you and your Colony are held by the Company, who appear anxious if no more can be done to secure your neutrality looking upon that alone of no little importance to them, if not necessary to their ultimate success, One Vessel has been already despatched with about 70 Swiss and German settlers for Galveston Bay and another is early to sail with the same number. In fact the current of emigration is setting so strong towards Texas, that if you had anyone here to represent your Colony, I am confident there would be no want of Settlers, as yours would have the decided preference over all others. While writing I am informed one great object of the Land Company in sending an agent to you is in hopes to induce you to unite your Colony with theirs, but I cannot credit that they would make such a proposition or have any hopes of success if they did, for I cannot conceive they can offer an equivalent, for in that event you may rest assured they would place all settlers on their own lands, for it would be to their interest to do so. In hopes of soon being in receipt of some of your kind favors I am with the compliments of the Season


P. S.

Since writing the above Col. Langworthy of Vermont, with whom I am but very slightly acquainted, has handed me a letter to you which I enclose, wrote at my suggestion when he called a few days since for information as to your Colony, and to which I would refer as also giving the manner in which the Zavala Company dispose of their lands and of which I was not before so fully acquainted. You will see Col. L. has an interest in said Company of 100.000 acres, cost him he tells me 5 cents pr acre, the payment of which may have been secured, but otherwise I presume not paid for as I understand he is very poor having lost all of his property. I am however told he is a man of information and he informs me in his neighborhood he could get Settlers almost without numbers to go to Texas was he to advise them to go, and that many offered to exchange their farms for these lands. You may therefore be able to use the Colonel to advantage, without incurring any responsibility on your part, and the latter I should advise never to lose sight of, and at the same time further his interest and views. I have promised him a letter to you of introduction and doubt not you will find him much of a Gentleman.


January 25. 1831

Dear Cousin,

Referring to above duplicate of my last respect. I now add a few lines by a son of Mr Woodbury, whom I am surprised to learn is still here, to sail in the morning direct for Galveston Bay, as he gave me to understand that he would leave long since via New Orleans. I send you in charge of Mr. W. a pamphlet just published by the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company—-the Company before referred to above and in my former letters—giving their articles of association plan of operations, Translation of their grant, etc., which as yet I have not had time to peruse but doubt not the pamphlet will prove acceptable to you. One of the Trustees tells me they intend to add to it some legal opinions when they will send you a copy. I also enclose their first advertisement which has appeared in the public prints. Col. Langworthy sailed from here for Galveston Bay about the 11th inst, in a small vessel full of Settlers whom I am informed were sent out by Col. Mexia and a private Company. I saw the Colonel on board and he told me as much. Col. L. is agent for a private Concern which he told me however would in no way interfere with is own business and object of his visit. He is very desirous to see you and doubt not will communicate freely with you and that you may be able to elicit from him much valuable information and which I hope you may turn to advantage. In my letter which accompanied your Coat, I gave a statement of the coat of making and Trimming and I stated that Mr Perry had informed me he had left $20 with his friend in Philadelphia to hand on to paye the supposed cost of making at that time, instead of which they have since sent and paid the whole bill say $41??— I am happy to hear of you thro' brother Archibald, who is in receipt of your letter of the 20th December advising of the receipt of his per Schooner Nelson. You make no mention of a letter and paper roll I gave in charge of Mr & Mrs [Wm.] T. Austin, passengers by said vessel, which I hope came safe to hand. Brother Henry has indeed been truly unfortunate with the Steam Boat. I must acknowledge I had no confidence that your Colony was sufficiently advanced to give him profitable employment, and regreted much to hear that he had taken her off the rio Bravo, but in the absence of his letters must take it for granted that he found it the only alternative. I trust must soon hear from him and hope to have that pleasure from you yourself.

J. P. Austin [Rubric]

P. S. I also send a file of newspapers, but nothing late from Europe.