Stephen F Austin to Luke Lesassier, 05-06-1833

Summary: People of Bexar wish seat of State government transferred to Bexar, but will not formally petition for it. Will not join in petition for separate State organization.

Bexar May 6. 1833

Dr Sir.

We arrived at this place on the 29 having been detained by excessive rain, and high waters.

Don Erasmo Seguin was absent at his plantation thirty miles below this, where he arrived only a few days since from Matamoras. I lost no time in sending for him, but the high waters prevented his reaching here untill the 3d inst. I communicated to him, his appointment as one of the mission to Mexico, and laid before him the memorial, which was translated with the aid of Carbajal and Balmaceda.

The principal citizens of this place have held meetings on the evenings of the 3d, 4th, & 5th instant to discuss this subject At the meeting on the 4th it was decided that a memorial should be sent to the state govt, asking for the removal of the seat of government from Monclova to this place, Don Erasmo being the only one who was in favor of memorializing the General Congress for the separation and State Govt A number of the others were in favor of saying to the Legislature of Coahuila and Texas, that if the seat of Govt, was not removed to this place, Texas would then separate— This meeting adjourned after 12 oclock at night, to meet the next evening At the meeting on the fifth the only question to be decided was the manner of memorializing the state Govt for a removal of the seat of Govt, as had been agreed to on the 4th the late law of the state legislature regulating the " right of petitioning" was examined, and construed to mean that neither the Ayuntamiento nor the citizens in mass could petition, and that the memorial must only be signed by three persons at most in the name of the people This construction I contended was erroneous The law says that, none but the supreme powers of the state can represent the will of the people, and prohibits corporations or public meetings, or individuals from taking it upon themselves to say what is the will of the people etc (See the law in alcalde records) The true meaning of this is, as I think, that no corporation or persons can petition in the name of the people, without first consulting them, by calling them together However it was decided that the law prohibited the Ayto from petitioning or from calling the people together to petition, and that only three persons could petition The next question was, who would do it? Only one man (Balmaceda) was willing to sign as one of the three, so that the meeting broke up without doing anything or coming to any definitive conclusion I believe that if the state Govt is granted the people here will be well satisfied, but I do not believe they will take any part whatever in favor or against the measure. I considered it my duty to use every exertion to procure their co-operation, and have done so. The most that can be expected is, that they will not oppose it The fact is, that the movement last summer against this place, from the colony has produced a much deeper impression than I was aware of untill now it has neutralized many who before that were openly warm friends and it has made some decided enemies to the colonists

Don Erasmo Seguin cannot go on the mission, I am convinced that no unfriendly feelings deter him—but his private affairs will not permit his leaving home.

Nothing was done, of course, as to the appointment of another to go in his place.

The reports about new disturbances in the interior, and that Genl Filisola had returned with the troops that were ordered to Texas, are all incorrect and unfounded The Genl arrived at Matamoras on the 24th ult° as we learn by letters recd, here last night.

Santa Anna was elected president and Gomez Farias vice president by large majorities and they have entered upon their respective offices All is quiet, so far as I can judge from Genl Filisola's com- munications, and also from his general character I have confidence that he will be the friend of liberal principles, and of Texas I leave here to-morrow or next day for Goliad and thence to Matamoras, and shall see the Genl as soon as possible The rains have been very excessive in this part of the country and all travelling has been suspended for the last week, but there is now a prospect of good weather

The legislature of the state was to have adjourned on the last day of April.

Mr. Sawyer arrived from Monclova a few days since and brings information that Fisher was there on his way to Matamoras He has been continued in the office of Collector of Galveston, as I am informed by Sawyer, who says that he speaks favourably of the Colonists etc etc

I will endeavor to procure their co-operation at Goliad and write from there

S. F. Austin

N. B. You must make up your mind to answer regularly the correspondence of the chief of Department or be fined and probably totally ruined. You can at least acknowledge the receipt of his official letters, even if it is in English.

To L. Lesassier Alcalde of Austin