Stephen F Austin to David G Burnett, 04-03-1836

Summary: Statements of embarrassment of commissioners by failure of the Texan government to correspond with them

New York April 3. 1836


The commissioners appointed by the Provisional Govt of Texas in November and December last have discharged the duties assigned to them as fully as their powers and the peculiar circumstances in which they have been placed would permit

It is with regret we are compelled to say that the state of things at home, has embarrassed the labors of the Govt. agents in this country

The undersigned, have not receaved one word from the Govt since the meeting of the convention in March, and the public have been informed through the newspapers that we have been superceded that we have no powers as agents etc. You will at once perceive the bad effect which such things have on the public mind, for, taken in common with many exaggrated accounts of internal dessentions etc., they have had a tendency to weaken public confidence and to paralise our efforts—

In our communications from New Orleans and Nashville and Louisville and Washington City, we informed the Govt. of our proceedings, and that it was all important for some one to be furnished officially with the declaration of independence and with full instructions— For the want of these documents we could do no more in Washington than to prepare opinions to sustain the declaration of independence made by Texas— We feel every confidence that [as] soon as a diplomatic agent, properly authorized appears at W. [Washington] all will be done, that the nature of the subject will permit.

A loan is in progress in this city, but we are convinced no loan will succeed to a large amount, except on the basis of a positive sale of land at a price not exceeding half a dollar an acre— but only 10 per cent is to be advanced, the balance is not to be paid untill the govt approves of the transaction, and give to the lenders the option of taking land at twenty five cents pr. acre— Nothing can be done on this subject without full powers to sell land at the best price that can be obtained for the prices of land will vary according to the news from Texas and the state of the money markets here

We refer you to the proceedings of the meeting in this city, on the 26th and to the pamphlet published here on the subject, for information as to public feeling in favor of Texas— it is warmly enlisted and is becoming more so every day—

We shall attend a public meeting in Phila- on the 2d next month, and then proceed homeward, for, altho we are positively orderd by the instructions of Gov. Smith not to do so untill directed by that Govt we are compelled to believe that an order for our recall has been issued and detained by miscarriage.