Stephen F Austin to James F Perry, 04-20-1833
Summary: Memoranda. Eleven-league grants. Historic tomahawk. Hopes for State government.
Of the three eleven league tracts I mentioned one is located on
the east side of Colorado at the foot of the mountains above
Tannehill it was surveyed by S. P. Brown-—has a good deal of rich land,
and fine pasture for sheep and horses and is well watered with
Ten leagues of one of the other tracts is on the west of Colorado opposite to the above, and runs from Union [Onion] Creek up— surveyed by T. H. Borden. The other 11 League tract is to be, or has been located by Frank Jackson [Johnson?] in the upper colony.
I make these memorandums for you in case I never return. As to the notes due by the settlers, if I can raise enough out of them to clear off all my debts and pay my expenses so as not to sell any land for those purposes it is as much as I ever expected. The land that Williams and Henry Austin and H. Chrisman have cleared out is not any of it to be collected from them, that is, none of that part of the payments that is coming to me. If anything is left out of those notes I intended it for a school on my league in Coles settlement on the plan of an academy. I have a settlement to make at Bexar with the executor of Saucedo on a/c of fees of the Baron de Bastrop as commissnr and shall owe him considerable on that business I expect.
The Hawkins business is all settled and finally done with.
I made an arrangement with John Austin and Williams as to the upper colony above the San Antonio road, and what is made out of that colony is to be equally divided between us three. Williams is to attend to the business but nothing is to be done contrary to law or to the true interests of the country. That is, there is to be no kind of wild speculation. My object in this is more to have the business attended to and that wilderness country settled than to make a speculation.
I think I shall get back in about four months, and I hope sooner. And I shall then close all my affairs and settle myself and get a wife and be a farmer. I should like to save and realize enough to found an academy up in Coles settlement and intend to do so if I can, but unless land sells high I shall not have the means. My expenses are so much more than anyone thinks they are and there is so great a sacrifice in the most of the payments that I get from the settlers that I am always hard run and without money or means that can be used.
I wish you to spare no pains or care in having little Stephen
my brother's son well educated. There will be enough out [of] my
property to educate him and Guy in the best manner possible. I
wish them to have a finished education and to study law so as to take
care of the future interests of the family. There are so many
sharpers in this world that every large family who have much property
I shall owe H. Chriesman for surveying and I wish you to settle
his claim on account of what he owes on the Books of Perry and
Hunter. He is to select and survey a five league tract for me up
on the waters of the Yeagua. Coles settlement is now the most
populous in the colony and land is rising very fast and will be
worth as much there as in any part of the Colony, for that Country
will be thicker settled than any I know of. Your two leagues
there are very superior in point of soil, timber and water, and salt
in quantities can be made on the back part of your mound league
and the adjoining tracts north of the Yeagua. You have no idea
of the value of that land of yours up there, and if we get a state
government as I have no doubt we shall this
I have the
Tomahawk that Father had with him in his first trip
to Texas in my trunk. I wish it preserved and its history not
forgotten. It blased the way for North Americans to Texas. When
Stephen F. Austin is of age I wish it given to him with an
explanation. I have also carried it in most of my exploring trips in this
country in early times. The recollections connected with it are
very interesting to me.
Chambers has agreed to pay the within order to you. He ought to do it as it is money lent.
I have just heard of of the Colera at the mouth of the river and
that there have been 5 deaths—dreadfull indeed—how I tremble for
you all—pray be carefull and use all possible precautions—if you
were over on the bayou you would be safer I think— I have my
will in my writing desk.