Stephen F. Austin to James F. Perry, 03-10-1835

Summary: Still detained by delay in passing amnesty law. Plans for furthering commercial advancement of Texas. Tariff exemption and trade with Chihuahua. Policy for Texas past and future

Mexico March 10. 1835

Dr. Brother, I fully expected to have been on my way home before this. I am however still on bail and cannot leave until the amnesty law is published and when that will be is uncertain. It was sent to the President yesterday, and it is said that he will send it back to congress to be altered. If so it may be a month before it finally becomes a law. Inform Grayson of this—he will be surpised for when he left we both calculated the law would be published in a few days. This is a measure in which many thousands are deeply interested and one that the Govt and three fourths or more of both houses and all the influential men are anxious should pass, and yet it has to travel the usual snails pace of public matters. This example ought, of itself, to be a proof to some of those who are so ready to blame me at home, of the delay and difficulty of effecting anything here. They know but little of these matters and of the mental torment I have suffered, to get anything done for Texas At this time the feeling in favor of Texas is much better and more favourable than it ever has been, and I believe that if the attention of Govt and of congress was not distracted by the disjointed state of the times, something material would be done for Texas, however it is really not so very important whether anything is done or not if a deal calm and union can be preserved in that country, migration—good crops—no party divisions—no excitements—no personalities should be the political creed of every one in Texas.

The Chihuahua road should be opened by some means and must be, I think the Genl Govt will aid—the state of Chihuahua will aid I have heard from there on the subject In this matter, and probably in others Chihuahua and Texas will have the same interest.

The political character of this country, seems to partake of its geological features—all is volcanic If there is sound judgment and common sense in Texas, the convulsions here will not affect that country The prosperity of Texas should flow onward like the silent current of a river—nothing from this quarter can, or will, impede its progress. This has always been my view of the subject, and hence it is that I have uniformly adopted (when left to my own judgment, or not contrould by circumstances) a silent, and conciliatory course. That policy has settled Texas, and if pursued a few years longer will secure its happiness and prosperity.

Spain I presume will acknowledge the independence of Mexico very soon— the island of Cuba will then be open to us— it is the best market for beef cattle, oxen, hogs, horses, mules, corn, lard beans, peas etc in the world. I am trying to get a premium on Texas cotton shipped to Vera Cruz and Tampico—an exemption from duties and many other things in favor of Texas. The state question was taken up in the house of representatives a short time since and information called for from the executive—it is now before the cabinet, and gaining friends dayly. My opposition has had a most salutary influence, and placed Texas on high ground. The project of a territory is now totally dead, so much so that its advocates are now in favor, of a state. Even Bradburn is now an active and warm advocate in favor of a state. There has been a great change since Grayson left in favor of Texas. Don Lucas Alaman, and Gutierrez Estrada the present minister of relations, are two of the best friends Texas has in Mexico. They are educated honest and honorable men, and as a matter of course have many enemies. Almonte is another friend of Texas, and an active one. He is printing an account of that country. He says it is favourable. I have not seen it, nor any part of it.

There is a "fuss" at Vera Cruz—the garrison of the castle mutinied tied their officers, and are bombarding the city. All the rest of the country is. quiet. To say how long it will remain so would be the same as to say when Vesuvius will or will not explode—all this is of no consequence to Texas, if the people there will keep down party divisions and personalities and make good crops. I wish that all the unquiet spirits in Texas would organize themselves into a corps and explore a good route for a wagon road to Chihuahua—in that way they can be usefull to Texas— much more so, than they, or any body else are aware of at present.

The Chihuahua road is a great object for Texas, a vast link in its prosperity, and no efforts should be left untried to open it as quick as possible— its influence will be known after it is opened, and not before.

I recd a letter from you not long since—the bad health of Emily afflicts me dreadfully—we have as yet recd nothing from Texas but trouble and suffering, but I still hope that some better times are in store for us—as ta my personal enemies I disregard them— I am laboring for their good, as. much as for my own—honest men will say whether they repay me as I deserve, and to honest men I leave the matter, with a clear conscience. Tell Emily to keep up good spirits and laugh at all the slang of my enemies. They are only injuring themselves.

Love to all the children—keep up the school and give them a good education. I hope you have not neglected to put a family on the league west of the Bernard—attend to this for if you have neglected it it may cost you very dear, also on all your other land—do not neglect this as others have done—comply rigidly with the law in every particular—as to settlement and payments.

I am in tolerable health and very good spirits—tho much older in both respects than when I left home two years ago.

Remember me to your neighbors and to Grayson and Jack and Bell and McKinney in particular. Tell McKinney that I shall have to draw for a thousand dollars on Gregory on the letter of credit that Grayson brought me. This trip will cost me about $10,000 dead loss besides my imprisonment, and after all to be abused and calumniated by some of those I have been laboring to serve is not quite as agreeable as it might be—but such is man and human nature.

Farewell may heaven bless you and prosper Texas

S. F. Austin

I send this by New Orleans. I wrote you on the 5 and Burnett on the 7 by mail.