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.]

[Saltillo] March 12, 1831

This days mail brought me yours of Feb. 8 and 22. The course adopted as to the Trinity business accords with my views as you have seen by my letter of 19 Feb. I then foresaw all this. You say in the letter of 8th that you are going to Trinity, but as nothing is said on the subject in the one of 22d. I presume you did not go. I should have regretted such a visit. No good could have resulted, and some harm might, besides it would have been deviating from the 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 Solid 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 iniciativa 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 4 of June—have all finished by Arciniega before then, for I assure you that nothing can or will be done afterwards and perhaps a stopper will be applied sooner owing to the hubbub between B. [Bradburn] and M. [Madero] push this business if everything else is neglected.

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 hastily by appearances. I approve highly of what you said to B[radburn?] and P[iedras?]. Report says that Genl Teran goes to Bejar in all this month, it is also reported that his family is on the way from Mexico to acompany him. I know nothing of the truth of these rumors. About 300 recruits passed here last week for Bejar, and more are expected

(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.

Request Arciniega not to name the town on colorado untill I get home.

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 me.

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 complains that Luke did not answer his letters etc—he was milled on his first arrival by the gabble of past years, and any stranger would have been.

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.