Henry Austin to James F Perry, 11-14-1834

Summary: Encloses copy of an address which he drafted. Thinks unnecessary now to circulate it.

Brazoria 14, Nov—1834

Mr J F Perry

My Dear Sir I found your letter at home on my arrival from St. Felipe. I was under great alarm for the course of political matters in this municipality, not daring to hope that so decisive a pronouncement would be made by the people of this Jurisdiction as has been made altho almost unanimous in the upper one, I therefore coincided with McKinney and yourself that something ought to be done, and as the paper you sent me was informal and not as I thought sufficiently explicit, I drew the one enclosed and came to town to consult and arrange with you or McKinney as to the best mode of circulating it for signatures— I now find that McKinney is gone— That there can be no doubt of the Elections going right—I have seen Govr Smith this morning and he assured me he had issued notice to Waller as well as to other Ayuntamientos to hold the Election and if Waller neglected his duty he would order the Polls to be held at the usual places at the usual time I think this spontanious expression of public feeling much better than any that could have been brought about by any open exertions of the friends of Col A.—and as things are in a fair way to come out right our best policy is to avoid everything that can produce irritation and look with a single eye to the Elections, with a sound Ayuntamiento legally installed all will go right.

You must not decline the nomination for first Regidor it will not give you much trouble and the ticket your name is on will be carried by a strong vote which will make us safe— I am glad to learn Stephen is to have a tryal at last for with anything like fair play and legal decision he will come off with flying colors

H Austin [Rubric]

I enclose the paper I drew up to show you I have not been idle.


address to the public

By this Public declaration

Be it Known

That we the undersigned Citizens of the Mexican Republic, and of the State of Coahuilla and Texas; Resident in the Municipality of Columbia, (heretofore called Brazoria) being seriously alarmed by the late unauthorised call of an Election of members to a Revolutionary Congress; Jeopardizing as we believe the security of our families and our dearest rights and interests, and tending, if acquiesced in by the people to the utter ruin of all our hopes in Texas; Feel it incumbent upon us to make this our Public Protest against, and declaration of disent to, the unauthorized doings of a few ambitious agitators of revolutionary measures.

As Republicans, we hold to the immutable republican principle, that in a republican community, no measure involving the peace, security and happiness of the people, should be adopted without the assent of a majority of the people, fairly called for and distinctly expressed—

Yet we have seen as we conceive our most sacred rights and privileges usurped, and sentiments expressed upon our responsibility, which we do not, nor ever have, subscribed to;

We therefore deem it our duty to ourselves and to our fellow Citizens of the other municipalities of Texas, to permit no longer by our Silence, a few aspiring ambitious men—Zealous to promote their own elevation and individual advantage, but reckless of consequences to the great body of the people; to use our names or assume the right of thinking for, or dictating to us the Political course we shall pursue, without our knowledge or consent;—

We distinctly avow our decided disapprobation of the attempt, made by the political chief, to obtain an election of members to a revolutionary Congress—without calling for the sense of the people, or even consulting the Central Committee, appointed by a convention to warn the People of political dangers—

Because we view the measure as an unwarantable assumption of authority TO DICTATE to the people

Because we deem the measure to be fraught with the most ruinous consequences to the people of Texas; as directly at variance with the true interests of our adopted country, tending to confirm all the unfounded suspicions (which have been created by evil minded persons,) of our revolutionary and rebellious dispositions, and destructive of all confidence, both at home and abroad, in the stability and security of political rights and in the rights of person and property in Texas; Which we Consider to be the basis of all public and private prosperity—

Because we conceive that the Genl Govt. by the repeal of the 11 art. of the obnoxious 6 April law—and leaving us until this late period exempt— from the payment of imposts [and] duties, paid by the people of all other parts of the republic, has shown a most paternal regard for our prosperity—

Because we believe that the State Congress has given us all the Elements of good government order and Security under the law, by enacting laws establishing a system of Jurisprudence adapted to our situation with tryal by jury, which if carried out according to the provisions of the law and sustained by the people, would place Justice within the reach of every Citizen, ACCORDING TO THE JUDGEMENT OF HIS PEERS; HIS OWN NEIGHBORS OR EQUALS:

Because we believe that the arrest and cruel imprisonment of our envoy to the Genl Govt—(Col Austin) has been occasioned not by any hostile feeling on the part of the members of Govt but by false and malicious charges, made by evil minded, malignant persons, resident in Texas and laid before the Govt in such a shape that it became its imperious duty to take notice of them

Because we are convinced that however desirable a state Govt may be if obtainable by moral force (constitutional and legal means) that it has become less necessary to our prosperity since the establishment of a system of Jurisprudence which is calculated to give us most of the benefits without the enormous expense of sustaining a state govt

Because we conscientiously believe, that the frequent agitations of political revolutionary measures in Texas, tends not only to bring us into collision with the state and genl Govts without a chance of success in a Contest in arms; but by passing to the United States of the north with exaggeration destroys all confidence there in the security of property in Texas, prevents the immigration of men of Capital and force, renders property valueless, and blights forever the hopes we have entertained of seeing "The Wilderness blossom as The rose"

Therefore we feel it to be a duty from which we can no longer abstain to take this method of making known our disapprobation of any and all revolutionary measures and our dissatisfaction with "the Choice Spirits" who arrogate to themselves the right of thinking and acting for us; Sincerely hoping that hereafter they will have the modesty to leave it to the people to discover their virtues and talents and to wait for a call upon them, whenever their aid or Counsel may be required

And to the end that this expression of Sentiment may not be taken to be that of a small number of Citizens, We have adopted this mode of defining the public feeling by Circulating this decalaration that every mans name may stand in evidence of his views and wishes

Dated in Columbia this________________day of November 1834