Stephen F Austin to Mary Austin Holley, 11-14-1831

Summary: Ill for 45 days. Likes idea of publicity for Texas now, though policy the opposite until recently. Partnership with Hawkins. Attitude of settlers toward Austin's relatives.

November 14, 1831

My dear Cousin

I received yours of 2nd instant this day, and am barely able to acknowledge its receipt. I have been very ill, and am not yet able to leave my room, and can only set up ten or fifteen minutes at a time.

I like the idea of a notice of this country that will make it better known. I believe the time has now come for such a thing. The opposite to this, however, has been my policy, until a year or so past. This I can better explain verbally. I should have replied to the queries of the "London Geographical Society" had I not been in bed for forty five days.

There is no vacant land below Brazoria so that you cannot get your league there. I have a place for that location in view near Galveston Bay which is as good as any now to be had.

As to my premium land and private affairs, you will be much surprised to learn exactly how they stand; and will feel much inclined to say that I have been a faithful servant to all the colonists except one; that one is—Stephen F Austin.

All the premium land I hold around and below Brazoria is in partnership with the heirs of my old friend, Joseph Hawkins Esq: and so entangled that I, myself, know not what to do with it. But, if I enter on this matter now I shall worry myself.

I must apprize you of one thing that you may not be too much disturbed when you notice it. The mass of the Colonists look on all relations of mine who come here with envy and suspicion and great jealousy. The reason is this. They suspect that something more will be done for them than for those who " bore the brunt of the battle "

I fear (judging by my own experience) that the predominant traits in the North American character are ingratitude, selfishness, and avarice. The people of this Colony have caused (what I had formerly said was impossible) a shade of misanthropy to pass over me. I do not say that it dwells in my mind, long at a time. But to know ourselves is a difficult task, if not impossible, and perhaps it is a more settled conviction than I allow. Would that it were but the airy nothing of a fevered brain.

Gen. Terran has arrived at Anahuacpositive— I must see him; and shall leave here in a carriage for that purpose, in a few days, if able to do so. I do not see that we can meet until I return from the visit to Terran. It will be short. I will then go to see you at Bolivar.

I must stop, for this effort has cost me all my strength. I have a letter from your brother, John P Austin, by " the Boston " in at Matagorda, dated Oct: 11. He says the "Nelson", with Henry's family was to sail the 20th October, certain.

Farewell: I am truly anxious to see you. Think well all about this country before you finally remove, so as to be fully contented afterwards.

S F Austin.