Stephen F Austin to Thomas F McKinney, 10-18-1834

Summary: Deeply grateful for mission of Grayson and Jack in his behalf. Asks destruction of a letter written October 6. Robertson Colony

Mexico October 18. 1834.—in the city prison

T. F. McKinney,

My much esteemed friend. It is difficult for me to express to you the satisfaction I have derived from the arrival of Messrs. Grayson and Jack on the 14 instant—2 You must have experienced the desolate situation of a long imprisonment far removed from your friends, with even a doubt that some of them had forgotten you or were indifferent as to your situation, to be sensible of the pleasure I have recd from hearing from you all in Texas, and knowing that I still occupy a place in your remembrance, and in your regard. I sincerely thank you all— No new ties were needed to bind my heart and affections to the people of Texas, I can however never forget this last act of kindness—it came at an interesting moment I had borne all with calm fortitude up to the beginning of this month. At that time I heard so many unfavourable rumors, and one in particular, that my friends at home (except my own family), were careless about me and were indifferent as to my fate that my spirits began to sink The idea of being cast off contemptuously by those whom I had, at least, tryed to serve faithfully was worse than death. I am now entirely relieved from that idea— and am in better spirits than since my arrest Nothing could have depressed them but the above idea

I hope the representations brought by Grayson and Jack will have a favourable effect The only objection is that they are in the English language Nothing should be sent in that language It does great harm I think I now understand the rumors that have reached me of unfavourable impressions against me in the cabinet, on account of representations from Texas Those Impressions were made, but they proceeded from communications that were intended to benefit me, and had quite a contrary effect owing to the high toned and inflamatory language used. I am convinced that no representations have been made against me, and no unfair means used against me by any persons who belong to Texas, and I acquit all persons of such a suspicion I say this because in my letter to my brother in [law] of 26 August I expressed a doubt on the subject I regret that I entertained any such doubt I was induced to believe amongst other things that the minister of relations Lombardo was personally hostile to me, and that Col. Almonte had made a very unfavourable report about me and Texas— all this I now find to be quite incorrect Almonte's report was favourable, and the minister is not my enemy

Under all these false impressions I wrote on the 6 of this month by Capt. Offutt on the subject of representing All those letters were written under erroneous impressions made by false information, and I wish Mr. P. [Perry] and W. [Williams] to destroy all my letters of 6 October and not to show them to any one whatever

How much difficulty have I been involved in by the excitements in Texas You know how much I have been opposed to most of the events of the last two years It will be a lesson to me for the future, and I hope that hereafter the people of that country will not abuse or suspect me or any one else, who advises, Fidelity to Mexico, and opposition to violent men and measures—which has always been and now is my motto, and I hope will in future be the motto of all Texas

I am pleased with the representation from Brazoria or Colombia signed by Waller and Wharton. I shall return to Texas, as a farmer determined to have nothing more to do with the public matters of this, or any country for I wish for harmony This is too important a matter for individual and public happiness and prosperity to be suspended or jeopardized by stickling etiquette, and under this view I am the first to say that no obstacles to personal harmony with all men will be raised by me on account of the past political events, altho I am the only one who has suffered by them The Whartons have heretofore taken a hostile attitude, or at least an unfriendly one towards me They never had any cause, as I think, to do so. However be it that W. H. W. [Wharton] is a friend or foe, the representation above mentioned is calculated to benefit me and was evidently intended to do so and I therefore thank him so far as he had any agency in it, and authorize you to tell him so—and also that I look on that measure as a step on his part towards personal harmony, if he intended, it as such, I meet it with corresponding feeling, and if we do not shake hands as friends in future it will be his fault not mine John [Wharton] is of course included in these remarks.

I am weary of a troubled life I wish for a calm and quiet one on a farm along side of my sister and her flock of little ones The society of new countries is thin and bad at best—why should it be made worse by dissentions that separate families who might enjoy each others society as friends and neighbors and thus cast a rose or two upon the thorny path of human life? I am weary of such things—if I know myself I am made for social intercourse and enjoyment of friends and neighbors.

Show this to P. and W. [Perry and Williams] without any delay that they may know my wishes as to my letters of 6 October and distroy them. Remember me to Mrs. McKinney and to Col Groce and all his children and to my friends in genl.

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

7 oclock at night

just as I had sealed this and was about sending it to the post office I rec.d the oficio of the chief of that department informing me of my election as a member of the state legislature of Coahuila and Texas. No event of my life has afforded me more gratification, not because I desire office, or to have anything to do with public matters, far from it— I sincerely wish to avoid them—but situated as I now am I should be worse than cold hearted and insencible not to feel the greatest degree of gratitude and thankfulness for this distinguished and unequivocal evidence of the confidence and esteem of my fellow citizens and fellow laborers, because it is a vindication of what is dearer to me than life or liberty—of my reputation I thank them I hope it may be in my power to thank them by some act, some service more substantial than these words This hope is all that can diminish my repugnance to entering again into the confused and entangled public matters of our adopted country I believe however by the laws my election is nulo because I have a causa pendiente and I think it quite doubtful whether I shall be at liberty before January or February My case is before the judiciary, and the executive cannot interfere with it I have no doubt the president Santana is friendly to me and to Texas I therefore advise you to prepare to go to Monclova so as to be there by the first of Jany- or before.

I rec.d Williams letter—cannot answer it or the chiefs by this mail which will close in an hour and so will my prison for the night U. debe visitar a mi hermana amenudo, y debe ser mas prudente y mucho menos estremoso en todo—lo digo como amigo. qe le ha dada bastantes preuvas qe lo soy verdaderamte—basta

Many strange things have occured during the last year of revolutions all over Mexico which deserve the name of Anarchical phynomina The Robinson business may be classed in the number W. should go to Monclova in person. He should collect all the oficios of Teran and the Govr- of the state by which R. was banished I saved him and those who came with him from those orders—these in addition to the April law rendered it impossible for the Govt- to regrant that Colony to him or extend the time to the Nashville comp.y Secretary Santiago del Valle I presume will recollect that he was much hurt at me for requesting that the time should be extended to the Nashville Co. for he said I knew it was impossible as they were all citizens of the U. S. and the April law was then in force It could not be granted to R. or extended to the Nashville Co. this was impossible I enquired if it could be done and gave offense by making the enquiry It was applied for by a french Co. and others and would have been granted to some one, had I not procured it just as I did I thought it was my duty to Texas to try and keep it out of the hands of those foreign companies, for they have only done harm or at least as yet have not contributed much to settle the country. They would have had no sympathy for the old settlers my object was to settle that country so as to form a barrier against the hostile indians My intentions were good and had the genl good in view Why am I now abused for doing what it really was my duty to Texas to do Chambers and Williams both know the history of all that matter. The fact is I deserve the thanks of the people instead of their abuse, as to the upper Colony.

I am of the opinion that the the rough answer given to Noriega and some other things of like character that I never knew anything about untill a week or so ago, have or will prolong my imprisonment six months at least, beyond what it would have been under a different course Thus I suffer for the hot headed acts' of others as I have done in many instances my general character is mildness and I have pursued conciliation as a system— but at moments I have been goaded into impatience and even passion Is it not rather strange that those moments, and they are few, are never forgotten all my mildness and prudence is over looked and merged in the recollection of some one or two rash expressions or an isolated act that of itself may appear intemperate, without knowing all the circumstances This is not just Ben Franklin or Job wd. have had their moments of ruffled temper in some situations I have been placed [in] Remember me to the chief H. Smith, I hope he will not take it amiss if I advise him to sign Enrique and not Henry I am pleased with his appointment and Burnetts—give Burnett and the good Dr. Miller a shake of the hand for me—in fact to all—all—everybody—

S. F. A.