Stephen F Austin to Ramon Musquiz, 08-15-1832

Summary: Reciting events which have prevented him from going to Saltillo to attend the Legislature. Texans have defended themselves from military abuses, but do not desire separation from Mexico.

The resolutions of the Ayuntamiento of this Municipality passed on the 26th and 27th ult° have already acquainted your Lordship with the formal and unanimous adhesion of this Colony, to the "Pronunciamunto " of Vera Cruz, and the true and only motives of the movements against the ports of Anahuac and Velasco.

That the Government may know circumstantially the cause of my journey from Matamoras to Texas, when I was about to proceed to Saltillo, to take my seat in the Legislature of the State, I accompany to your Lordship copies of my correspondence with Colonels Don- Mariano Guerra, principal Commander of Matamoras, and Don José Antonio Mexia, 2nd in command of the Division of the Liberating Army, by which your Lordship will perceive that I returned to Texas, in compliance with the invitation and instances of these officers.

Peace having been entirely restored in this Colony I was preparing to take my departure for Saltillo on the 14th inst, but I received from the Alcalde of this Municipality the annexed copy of a communication he had received from the Alcalde of Nacogdoches, informing him that Colonel Piedras, threatened to gather up the Indians against the inhabitants; thus kindling a war of extermination. Under such circumstances, and considering, that the security and peace of the people, is the first duty of the Government, its officers, or public agents, I felt under the necessity of postponing my journey, and directing my attention to the organization of the civil militia under my command, as Colonel of the Battalion of Bexar, in order to be enabled to contribute to common defence, at the same time that I tried to open a correspondence with Colonel Piedras. For this purpose, I sent to him by an express, a communication, a copy of which, goes herein enclosed. The express returned, after having met on the road a courier from Nacogdoches, bearing the news of Piedras defeat, and of the complete restoration of peace, and constitutional order, in the State of Coahuila and Texas. That Courier gave us positive information, that the inhabitants of Nacogdoches, called by the Ayuntamiento, and led by the Alcalde, Don Encarnación Chirino, pronounced themselves in favor of the plan of Vera Cruz, and on the 2nd inst: attacked and completely routed, Colonel Piedras, after a hot contest of 7 hours, in which the Alcalde was killed. Col: Piedras' troops withdrew, during the night, to the Angelina, and there pronounced themselves in favor of the plan of Santa Anna, and arrested their Colonel.

These occurrences have so delayed my departure, that it would be impossible for me to arrive in time for the opening of the session, on the 1st of September and therefore I beg that your Lordship will be pleased to inform His Excellency the Governor of the State, of all these incidents, and to transmit the same to the Honorable Congress hoping that my attendance to the session of September will not be required. My position is rather delicate: however, none of our actual difficulties can be charged upon me; it was the unconstitutional and imprudent proceedings of some military men, and not, by any means, the wishes of the Colonists that hurried the affairs to their present state: Just as may be the motives that dictated the steps made by this people, or the principles and objects of the "Pronunciamiento" of Vera Cruz, to which they have adhered, I am well aware, that the enemies of Texas and her prosperity, will attribute to them, intentions against the integrity of the Mexican Territory. This allegation has been necessary and very useful indeed, to deceive the Mexicans, and justify certain measures taken by the General Government in Texas, since the year 1830. There has never been, and there is no foundation in truth for such an allegation, nor is there any foundation to be found in reason or the nature of conditions, for it neither is nor can be the interest of Texas to secede from Mexico, even if there were no obstacles to this course. I can assure to your Lordship, that if the ties that unite Texas to the Federacy, are ever broken asunder, the stroke shall come from the Government itself, and not from the people of Texas. These inhabitants have with their toil and labor redeemed the Country from a state of wilderness, without one dollar of expense to the Nation, and they expect in return to be governed agreeably to the spirit of the Constitution and Federal system and in a manner adequate to the necessities of the Country, and their own interest. The object of the republican institutions adopted by Mexico, is to secure the happiness and prosperity of the people, and to provide for common defense. Can this object be obtained in Texas, by following the restrictive system adopted since the year 1830? Is it possible to provide for common defense, by weakening the whole northern frontier, with obstacles opposed to immigration, thus leaving it exposed to the incursions of the Indians, instead of promoting an increase of civilized population so as to inhance the physical strength and resources of the Nation ?

Man seeks hapiness in the improvement of his condition—this is a natural and invariable law—a law that will bind Texas to Mexico with stronger ties, than the force of large armies. With a due regard to this law, and the true spirit of the system of government that rules the Nation, no one would harbor in his bosom, a suspicion that Texas will ever attempt to secede: Let on the contrary measures be taken for an increase of its population, so as to qualify it to be admitted as one of the Statets of the Mexican Union, and this step will be as favorable to Coahuila, as to the whole Nation, because the whole northern frontier of the Republic would be protected and the effective strength of the Nation considerably increased, I believe that these people will not recede from their "pronunciamiento ", now that they have made that step under the dictate of reason and principle: They are firmly convinced that the Constitution and the most sacred rights of the people have been violated since the citizen who, in the election of September 1828, obtained a constitutional majority of the votes for the Presidency, was forcibly expelled from the chair and country: They understood that the present effort is to do, in good faith what was promised, by the plan of Jalapa, and was not done:—to restore public affairs on their constitutional basis, without distinction of persons, parties, or names. My first duty is to preserve as far as I am able, public security and peace and to watch over the observation of the Constitution and Laws: in these terms, I trust that my conduct shall meet the approbation of the Superior Authority. I avail myself of this occasion, to offer to your Lordship the assurance of my consideration and respect.

God and Liberty—Town of Austin August 15th 1832.

Stephen F. Austin.

P. S. I have just been apprised that the Tahaucanos, or Keechai Indians, have killed a man named M. R. Read on the frontier of this Colony, near the Bexar road on the Brazos.

Stephen F. Austin.