Stephen F Austin to Samuel M Williams, 03-12-1831
Summary: Colonists must not participate in the conflict between Madero and Bradburn over land titles. Feeling in legislature strong against foreigners.
[From Williams Papers, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Tex.]
This days mail brought me yours of
spirit of the policy which has preserved us so far, that is to have
nothing to do with extranious affairs, unless ordered especially by
Govt. If anything is said by my colony in favor of one side, or the
other, it will be taken hold of to class us as belonging to one party,
or the other. This will do an injury—we belong to the law and to
the Govt and will obey when officially called on to do so.
I have understood that Jorge [Fisher] is publishing or has
published a book, against me. He is a second Dayton and believes
that nothing was wanting but a leader among the settlers to turn
them all against
me. I fear the main object is to try and create
parties in the colony and by that means ruin us all. I have
frequently said that, that colony had not an enemy to fear except itself,
if it remains united, and firm to me, NOTHING can touch it.
I have written every mail since I have been here. The prospect
of another revolution in Mexico is said to be getting more probable
every day. God preserve this unhappy and distracted nation. I
know not what is to become of them. If you keep united and
harmonious in the colony, you are better off and have more
guarantees for your rights, than any other part of this vast republic, your
fate is in your own hands.
Nothing need be expected from this Legislature—our
relative to the ports of Matagorda and Galveston was approved, and
afterwards hung up, by manoeuver, of a strange character. The
feeling against foreigners here is overwhelming, all I calculate on is to
pass away the time quietly and of course silently and get back as
soon as I can.
Remember that one of my contracts expires on
Keep a dead silence as to politics and public men—read over my
letters by the two last mails more is meant there than is plainly
expressed—also the one to Luke. Don't form opinions about others
appearances. I approve highly of what you said to
B[radburn?] and P[iedras?]. Report says that Genl Teran goes to
Bejar in all
(Send this paragraph in confidence to Judge Williams with my
respects)—What the people on Trinity ought to say, is that they
cannot and ought not to take any part in any quarrel between
any two officers or authorities, unless officially called on to do so
by the competent superior authorities. If they take sides, they
will in the end be kicked by
both sides as a person who intermeddles
in a quarrel between man and wife.
I shall leave [George] Fisher to the colony, if the people there do not think that I merit their support, I will submit, for it will convince me that justice, honor, and gratitude, have abandoned the earth.
Don't neglect the reserves of land I requested you in my last letter to make.
I send the grants that are made, I do not know whether any are
missing, but think that Goves [Jones?] is, tho I am not certain if it
was sent for I have no list—you can say to those that are missing
if any, that they are not granted, and will not be, for the present
Govr will not grant any augmentations. I will try and get the
Mexican Domingues through but the others are
hopeless and you can
say so at once to the interested persons, so that they need not blame
We have had a very cold winter—three snows of 4 to 6 inches,
I have a bad cold and am in bad health. I fear that Chambers will
fail and if so he talks of not returning, I shall try to remove this
idea—he is a man who has many, very many good and valuable
qualities. I am more and more pleased with him every day, and hope
he will not abandon Tejas as he sometimes talks of doing—he has
taken up an erronious opinion about his standing there—he thinks
that the most of you in San Felipe are his enemies, and are jealous
of him, I have told him that there is nothing of the kind now—he
On reflection I think it safest to send the grants by mail, I enclose the list of them I send this letter by Dn Fernando Rodrigues and at first intended to have sent the grants by him, but he would mail them in Bexar and the postage would be the same
S. F. A. [Rubric]
Let nothing be said in the paper about Arciniegas commission or
the issuing of titles—M's [Madero's] advertisement blew him up.
Remember me to Col Bradburn
very particularly, say what you think
best in my name.