Stephen F Austin to Mrs Mary Austin Holley, 01-07-1836
Summary: Describing the purpose of his mission to the United States
I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you soon, but it is not certain, as I may not be able to visit Lexington until I return from the Eastward as we are very much pressed for time. I am bound to Washington, New York etc. in company with Docr. B. T. Archer, and W. H. Wharton Esqr. We are commissioners for the Texan Government. Our principal object is to raise money means and men to sustain our cause.
The War for Liberty goes on prosperously, so far, in Texas. It must,
and will, end in Independence—
a full Declaration will be made in Federal system totally
destroyed. The Texans may, therefore, for the future, be considered an
independent people, intirely separate from Mexico. We are young to set up for
ourselves, but we are the sons of that great nation which has astonished the
world by its deeds, and progress in the cause of liberty, light and truth.
When I left Texas there was not an enemy within our limits, nor east of
the River Bravo del Norte. Gen. Santanna, however, is marching on in
person with all the force he can collect to anihilate us. We have no fears,
but we must be ready for him. We need all the aid we can get in men and
money, provisions, arms and ammunition.
Large contributions have been made in the United States for the
extension of Christianity over the South Sea Islands by means of Missionary
societies. Is not our cause quite as important and sacred? We are trying
to banish from our homes religious intolerance and despotism, and to
establish in the place of it, liberty and freedom of conscience. How many
thousands of pious families of all denominations might find a home and
become the proprietors of the soil in Texas—the best soil and climate
accessible to north Americans—if religious toleration were once firmly
rooted there! Religion, morality, the arts and sciences, the great sources
Our fate will probably be decided in three months. Santanna is making a great effort. If he fail, it must be his last. Now is the time to aid us— now is the time of salvation. We need everything—provisions and money— and men well armed, officered, and provided. Their expenses will all be refunded at the close of the war, with interest, besides donations in land, The opening is a great one, if it were only a matter of speculation—it is glorious in its cause. A new republic is about to rear its independent banner over a country but lately a wilderness— There is magnificence in the idea—prosperity freedom and glory in the results.
We shall stop one day at Louisville. I should like much to visit
Lexington. Some of my much cherished schoolmates and companions of happy
days still reside there: John McCalla, Pierce Butler the Todds etc. please
remember me to them. Tell my Cousins E_________ and H____________
I hope it will not be long before they can live in Texas with such comforts
as they merit. If we weather the storm untill
but it must be prompt.
There is a Louisiana Battalion; a Georgia Battalion; a Mississippi Battalion; an Alabama Battalion; and a Tennessee Battalion; why can there not be a Kentucky Battalion? It would be a fine opening for a military man of standing—a Lafayette service. They might go by land from Natchitoches, or by water from here. The former I prefer, as Mexican cruisers are on the coast. We are fitting out some to meet them, but our money is rather short.
I have written hastily and must close, for I am at the end of the paper, but not at the end of the subject. It is a copious one, and I am perhaps rather enthusiastic in the view I take of it. My whole heart and soul is devoted to it. I am well.