A C Ainsworth to Stephen F Austin, 12-19-1832

Summary: Represents a number of planters in making certain inquiries concerning Texas.

Montgomery. Alabama. Dec. 19th. 1832

Hon Sir,

I have been requested by a number of respectable Planters in this vicinity, to solicit from you by letter, such information as prudent minds deem necessary, before determining on an emigration to your Colony—this request I hope will be an ample apology for the freedom I take in addressing you—

The inquiries I am asked to make, are simply these—

1st. What is the precise quantum of land, which a planter may depend on receiving as an inducement to become a citizen of Texas?

2nd. Will he be allowed to select pieces or parcels of land, from any Section not otherwise disposed of?

3rd. The expense requisite to secure to himself, a legal and indisputable title to such land, as under the established provisions he may take?

4th. Can a man, bringing Capital into the country purchase land, adjoining that, granted by Government?

5th. What distinction is made, as regards quantity of land, between planters with, and planters without, families?

6th. Do your laws affect the tenure of Slave property—if so, what is best method of avoiding such inconvenience:

7th. Must a planter, previous to opening land sufficient to afford subsistence for his family, pay for food, clothing and other necessaries, an extravagant price?

8th, Have you good schools for the education of children?

9th. What is the cheapest, most expeditious and secure route from Alabama to your Colony—and can wagons pass conveniently from here, there?

10th. Are its soil and climate, as rich and good (in your opinion) as the soil and climate of Alabama or Mississippi ?

The many extravagant and contradictory accounts of Texas, now afloat in this country, are cause of such particularity in my questions—for the sake of those Planters who have employed me to conduct this correspondence, I hope you will [be] able to glean time sufficient from the duties to which doubtless you are pressingly called, to answer them fully— the facts, which in their behalf, I seek to obtain, were they generally understood, would bring your colony an accession of some of our most sturdy and valuable Planters—good husbands—good fathers and as a consequence, amiable members of society—Though it is not connected with the questions asked above, I would for my own information enquire, whether the friends of Texas can look with much certainty to a period when the Government of that Province shall assume a different—perhaps an independent form—such a change would be prodigal of influence and importance, and do more than any other measure perhaps, to awaken the world, and particularly the U. States, to the value of its natural resources and probable merit of its political institutions— Should my enquiry meet your approbation, your views on this, as on the other subjects mentioned, will be received thankfully, and read with intense interest—

As attorney for my clients, and from the esteem I have for your character,


P. S. Will you also inform me, what chance (if any) there is in your settlement for a young and persevering Lawyer? I am a native of Providence in Rhode-Island—settled in this town—as I am so far from the " household hearth " and home's familiar voices, already, I would not object [to] a compliance with the solicitation of my friends to accompany them (supposing they go) if I can do as well even, there, as I am doing now in this place.

Excuse these repeated requests, and believe me,


Hon. Austin

[Addressed:] Honr. Austin St Felippe De Austin Brassora Texas Pr Mr John A Barkley