Stephen F Austin to Provisional Government, 12-14-1835

Summary: Plans for cooperation with Mexican liberals. Important to abide by declaration of November 7, and make no move toward independence. Recommendations concerning Mexia

Confidential Columbia Decr. 14. 1835 At night—

To the provisional Gov.t of Texas,

On my arrival here this afternoon, I met Genl. Mexia and Col. Pettus on horseback starting for San Felipe

The first informed me that the principal object of his journey to San Felipe, was to inform the provisional Govt of the nature of his relations, and of the situation of things in the interior— As these matters are of the greatest importance, he returned with me to this place, and we have had a conference of much interest to the general good of the cause we are defending, but more especially to Texas. He has shown me his correspondence with persons of the highest standing, especially a letter which he recd. a few days since by a confidential express from the interior.

I have not time to write fully on this all important subject, nor will my health (exhausted as I am by the ride down) permit it or to enter into long details, which I will do from my brother in law's or from Velasco; I will therefore at present merely say that the general good seems to require—

First—That Genl. Mexia should return with as little delay as possible to N. Orleans, where his presence is necessary for the furtherance of the plans and combinations that are made and maturing in the interior in favor of federalism, and of Texas. These plans are very extensive and are calculated to cover and secure Texas effectually, provided we adhere strictly, in words, acts, and deeds, to the declaration of the consultation of 7th November last.

2.d That as a part of his troops marched yesterday, [with] Cap Allin's Company, for Bexar, the balance should proceed to Copano by water, for which purpose they have gone to Velasco, and should take the two long brass sixes and two iron ones and the arms and shot, which will be very usefull either in the siege of Bexar or in other operations in that quarter.

3.d That as he has spent $18,000 in this expedition, and places the cannon (the two brass ones cost $400 each), and shot, of which there is a good supply, at the disposition of the provisional Govt of Texas to be used in defense of the common cause, at least one thousand dollars should be furnished him, to meet his present exigencies, for he is without a dollar.

He requests me to say that whether he goes to Orleans, or wherever he may be, he wishes to be considered a citizen of Texas— He has a considerable interest in the country.

I am more and more convinced every day, and especially on calm reflection during a solitary ride down here, that the political position of Texas, should continue as established by the declaration of 7th Novr. last. This declaration secures to Texas everything, and without any hazard, for it satisfies the federal party, and is sufficient to secure their support and cooperation, should the federal system fall, the 5 article is a declaration of independence as a matter of course. I think that a constitution ought to be formed and a permanent Govt. established on the basis of said declarations, and that the provisional Govt. should not legislate any more, if possible to avoid it—

A change of the basis now, to that of independence, w.d give us no more than is secured by the declaration, provided a constitution is formed, but it would injure us abroad by giving an idea that we are unstable in our opinions and it would paralise the efforts of the federal party which are now in our favor, and no doubt turn them against us— Texas ought therefore to adhere rigidly and firmly to the declaration of 7 Nov.r and the public acts should correspond with it, in words and in object, without regarding the opinions of excited moments, no matter by whom expressed. These are my firm convictions, after the most calm reflection.—

Genl. Mexia is compelled to go to Velasco, to make arrangements to start his men to Copano under the command of Col Peraza, in case he does not go himself, from that place, I will inform you of his final conclusions— These will be made with a view to the good of Texas— of this you need have no doubt whatever—

I am told that letters of recent date have been rec.d from persons of high standing and correct information as to Mexican and Texas politics, and as to the opinions with men of judgement in the U. S. which say, "Make no change in your declaration of 7 Novr. and do not even pronounce the word independence in a whisper."

I have given you my opinion frankly— will write again from Velasco— in the meantime I recommend that some provision be made, if any can be, to supply Genl. Mexia with $1000— I go below early tomorrow morning

S. F. Austin [Rubric]

I will add I have full confidence in the good faith and sincerity of Genl Mexia in his efforts and desires to serve the cause of Texas

The address to the Mexican people sh.d be sent into the interior by every possible means—send a number to McKinney for me and Mexia and send them to Goliad Bexar and Nacogdoches and every where—

S. F. A.

I think the situation of Texas, may in a great degree, depend on adhering to the declaration of 7 Novr. and on enlisting the federal party in our favor— I repeat this idea so often, because I am satisfied much depends on it.

I have marked this letter confidential, because I do not wish that part of it that speaks of the interior published in print, but if my opinion will do any good as to adhering to the declaration of 7 Novr. you can make any use of those opinions you think proper

S. F. A.

read and referred to select committee of 5.