Fisher to Lorenzo de Zavala 10 Feb 1830. In Spanish. From New Orleans, Fisher writes to de Zavala in Mexico covering the following: It will not be necessary to to go to New York to get financial help for their joint empresario venture, emigration to Texas is so rapid that it will be the most populous state in Mexico in a few years. Fisher points out the necessity of going to Texas to lay boundaries and manage land titles, there are considerable squatters on the land already, he advises Zavala to issue titles to settlers already there. Fisher advised against turning the venture over to a company. Fisher says in the letter
[It is thought that Fisher may have been appointed to collector at Galveston by Zavala in his capacity as Minister of the Treasury.]
Manuel Mier y Terán to
Fisher. 24 May 1830 Matamoros. [Terán suspends the customhouse at
Galveston, instructs Fisher to keep him informed.]
Austin to James F. Perry 11 Jul 1830.....San Felipe de Austin......Fisher the collector of Galveston has recd orders from Govt to suspend the custom house at Galveston for the present the reason assigned is that no custom house is wanting, owing to the exemptions from duties and other laws in favor of Texas.....
Austin to Governor Viesca 17 Jul
Exmo SoR. Habiendome significado el Ciudo Dn Jorge Fisher su intencion y deseo de establecerce como colono en una de las Empresas de colonozacion que tengo contratado con el Supremo Gobno de este Estado, ó en alguna otra parte de Tejas como igualmente de solicitar V. E. para un aumento de tierras y habiendo me solicitado poner en conocimto de V. E. sus circunstancias, debo decir, que es casado, padre de familia con ----- hijos, de muy buenas costumbres, y calidades y virtudes personales de acreditada industria, y mucha aptitud en negocios posea varios idiomas entre ellos el Castellano y Yngles y considero que puede ser muy util en estas colonias en donde hay escasez de personas inteligentes que entienden con perfeccion arabos idiomas. Por cuyos motivos le recomiendo á V. E. como acreedor á un aumento, mas V. E. resolbera lo que sera de su superior agrado en la materia. Villa de Austin á 17 de Julio de 1830-Exmo Sor-E F A--
Austin to Gen. Manuel Mier y Terán. 17 Sep 1830. In Spanish "no de oficio" from Austin's blotter. ....it pleased me very much to learn through your letter that Col. Juan Davis Bradburn is coming to Texas, to take charge at Galveston.....It is not in the interest of Texas, considering the present state of things, to have an administrator appointed for Galveston who is not a native Mexican. Besides, he should be a man with much patience and prudence; the one who appeared here [Fisher] does not seem to me to have those qualities.........I have read with no little surprise the letter which Mr. George Fisher wrote to you, a copy of which was sent to the comisario here. In it mention is made of the African slave trade with the Island of Cuba, of contraband trading, smuggling, etc. Such a letter could harm us very much with the government of Mexico, it could produce false impressions, as the things mentioned are untrue....when this man arrived here, I treated him with frankness and gave him the consideration deserved by a government agent (as I thought he was); but he has returned the favors badly. For that reason, I told him yesterday that all friendly relations between us were ended....."
Minutes of the San Felipe
Ayuntamiento 5 Oct 1830.
"And since Fisher has been acting as secretary to this body he has endeavored to take advantage of their total ignorance of the Spanish language, and cause the body to declare by its official act that the members were partisans, and entered into the views and feelings of political parties, without informaing the members....when they had always manifested to Fisher that as adopted citizens they owed obedience to the Constitution and laws...........Unaquainted with the Castillian language, they could not prudently enter into political questions which they could not understand."
Austin to Lucas Alamán 18
Oct 1830. In Spanish.
James Breedlove to Austin 12
Nov 1830 Mexican Consulate, New Orleans.
Fisher to G.B. Cotten 29 Nov
1830 [The Lamar Papers no. 99]]
I have done the same with the two acts of the Ayuntamiento of Austin relative to the same subject, the one of the 5th Oct. 1830, and the other of the 16th of the same month, published by order of the Ayuntamiento, in the same paper. The shortness of time does not permit me to answer in full, neither to the one, nor the other, but I will attend to them, and rectify some voluntary or involuntary mistakes made therein, and a full detail of the transactions in question shall appear in due course of time.* Meantime you will be pleased to publish this communication in your said paper in both languages, for which purpose I accompany you a translation, and to remit me by mail to this place, six copies of said paper in which this communication is published, and six copies of the Gazette No. 45 of the 23rd Oct. 1830, charging we in account with the customary prices for its publication, and for the twelve above specified copies, and drawing your order for the same on me, payable in this place or at San Felipe de Austin. God and Liberty. -Matamoros, 29th November, 1830. Jorge Fisher To Mr. Godwin Brown Cotten, Editor of the Texas Gazette, in San Felipe de Austin. *This detailed account is now ready for the press, and will be published as soon as circumstances permit.
Austin to Samuel Williams
13 Jan 1831 Leon Vicario [Saltillo]
Fisher to Editors of the
Matamoros Advertiser 9 Feb 1831. [From The Lamar Papers no. 106]
Matamoros, 9th February, 1831. Messrs. Editors of the Advertiser of the Port of Matamoros, Dear Sirs: I enclose you a copy of a communication, which under date 29th November 1830, I remitted to the Editor of the Texas Gazette (a paper published. in San Felipe de Austin) to be published in said paper, and the necessary period for its publication having elapsed, without having been published, I conclude, that by the influence of persons interested in the affairs to which it refers, this public and impartial medium of vindicating my good name and reputation in the same paper where it was calumniated, was denied to me, therefore I beg you will have the goodness to insert the same in your worthy paper, should you think it proper, conferring a favor, for which will be obliged to you. Your most obedient Servant JORGE FISHER.
George Fisher to Governor of
Coahuila y Tejas 19 Feb 1831
Partial translation: "........George Fisher . . . having finished his defense against the slander published in the Texas Gazette No. 45 of last Oct. 23, as ordered by the constitutional Ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin, against the good name and reputation of Fisher, has made reference to various decrees passed by the Honorable Congress of Coahuila-Texas, as well as to other governmental orders prepared by the Supreme Government in, matters bearing upon that defense.....These have been used as proofs....but since he lacks some of the documents mentioned, he begs that Your Excellency be pleased to order that notarized copies be given to him. These he can use as protection, in the manner most fitting......"
Austin to Samuel Williams
12 Mar 1831
Austin to Samuel M. Williams 2 Apr 1831. Leona Vicario.....I wish you to take the copy of the oficio that Jorge [Fisher] wrote about the free negroes, and burn it, that is I mean the copy that was signed by me, in case I ever signed any which I do not recollect to have done, and carefully keep the copy and letter on that subject which is in his hand writing don't neglect to do this before you forget it, and send him no papers of any sort--you did very right in not sending those he wrote for......
Mier y Terán to Austin. 3 Apr 1831.......Es efectivo qe. á nombre de V. se la prevencion de qe. en Tejas no se recibian hombres de color libres; pro ignoraba qe. habi sido diposicn de Fisher. Este individuo no tiene ninga influencia en el concepto qe. he formado de los asuntos de Tejas y en las quejas qe. dirijio pr. los acaecimtos con la municipalidad de Austin se la contexto qe. no eran asuntos de mi incumbencia, y pertenecian al Gobo del Estado á qn di conocimto pa qe. obrara pr. las vias legales......
Broadsheet by Fisher Summer 1831. Victoria, Tamulipas. Consisted of a letter to editors of the Texas Gazette of 14 Jul 1831, certificate of 3 May from Genl. Terán stating closing of the Galveston customs house was not due to mismanagement of Fisher, statement by Fisher that his actions and reports were in interest of both colonists and the government.
Mier y Terán to Austin 20
Nov 1831 Anahuac.
Notes taken from Col. James
Morgan, New Washington 27th April 1853 regarding an incident at Anahuac while Gen. Terán
was visiting from Matamoros. Nov 1831. The Lamar Papers No. 2481.
He found there Bradburn at the head of the Garrison, which was occasionally augmented by the troops destined for Nacogdoches, being landed here. - A small schooner, commanded by Spillman, ran from Anahuac to Matamoras, which brought the soldiers to Anahuac. With the remnant of goods brought from Harrisburgh, he Morgan & Ried, opened a small store at Anahuac; which was increased by Ried's going to New-York and returnig with his supplies to Anahuac. Ried, on arriving in the waters of Galveston found Fisher and Terán, anchored at the Red-fish Bar, having previously been up to Anahuac where Terán was well recd. - and a dinner given him, Burnett presiding. Terán on leaving Anahuac, his vessel was damaged and detained on the Red fish Bar, and there it was that Ried met him as he Ried came in with his new good. During the absence of Ried while he was in N. Y. laying in his goods, a Custom House had been established at Anahuac, George Fisher who came with Terán, the Collector, so that when Ried met Terán an Fisher on the Red-fish-Bar Fisher demanded Duties, which Ried was unwilling to pay as he had known nothing of the law, no customs having ever been demanded in the country until then. After much discussion, Ried agreed to pay one thousand dollars, to which Terán consented; and the vessel was accordingly permitted to sail for Anahuac where the one thousand dollars were to be paid. On their arrival there however, Fisher seized upon the vessel, placed a military guard around it, and said no goods should be taken out of it until the duties according to the regular rates of Mexico, were paid, which would have amounted to some five thousand dollars or more, which amounted to a prohibition and which the owners could not pay. - This caused great excitement at Anahuac. The people were anxious to get the goods and were also indignant at the perfidious and high handed conduct of Fisher. They demanded that the goods should be delivered to its owners; Fisher still held on. There was, however, a party of Americans in favor of the Mexican Govt. headed by Harden, the Alcalde, and Williams on the Trinity,
Correction: Fisher and Terán having settled upon one thousand dollars duties the schooner sailed to Anahuac. There, Fisher seized upon the vessel, took out the goods and placed them in a ware-house, and refused to deliver the goods unless the customs were paid according to a regular appraisement as The law directed, which would have amounted to 5000 - or more. Ried & morgan objected to this and demanded their goods. Fisher refused to deliver them, & read the law upon the subject, which was, that if any dispute should arise in such cases, the goods should be surveyed & valued by two Commissioners, one to be chosen by the owners, and the other by the Collector and in the event of disagreement between them a third Commissioner was to be appointed. Ried & Morgan, not being able to help themselves, had to submit to this. In making the appraismt, however, the goods were placed at a value which displeased Fisher, who said he would not abide by the award. - Morgan now becoming excited, swore that he would have his goods and that the appaismt should stand; and made some demonstrations of hostility towards Fisher, who immediately shut the doors, and fled to Bradburn for protection. Bradburn came. Morgan told him of the agreement with Terán, and of the impossibility of meeting the demands of Fisher. Bradburn, said he was bound to lend the aid of the Garrison to Fisher if he required it, whereupon, Morgan told him that he would arm his negroes and resist his force, aided by the people who were ready to take up arms in the case. To avoid extremities, Bradburn prevailed upon Morgan to desist from breaking open the doors & making a forcible seizure, until monday morning, at which time he pledged himself that the affair should be amicably settled. To this the owners agreed---when monday came, Fisher was absent, and Capt. Ximenes, commanding a Mexican armed Schooner was appointed to act in his place. Under his managerat, the affair was settled by the owner's paying duties of 2000, double the amt. agreed upon by Terán. This ended this affair. Other difficulties were constantly arising under the administration of Fisher - so that he was compelled by his unpopularity and the general disgust of him, to remove his office Galveston Island for the security of his person.
G.B. McKinstry Notes on
Troubles Leading to Texan Revolution. Re: Late 1831. Lamar
In September 1831 I was in Matamoras and had several conversations with Fisher, he in one our conversations related to me the plans of Genl Teran Viz. to estabh a line of military posts on the Coast from Brazos Santiago to the Sabine and a corresponding line of posts, in the interiour, say from Bexar to Nacogdoches in December of this year Genl Teran arrived in Galveston Bay and brought with him George Fisher as collector of Galveston and and the port of Brazos, The first act of F was to send an order to the "deputy" who was acting at the time under the authority of Bradburn to require all masters of vessels arriving at this port to go to Anahuac to enter and clear their vessels and merchants to visit that place to Bond their goods, the merchants of this place held a meeting and appointed Branch T Archer & George B McKinstry to present a petition from them to the collector of Galveston (Fisher) his answer was the Commt Genl had given him these instructions & he could not change them
Before leaving Anahuac A & McK entered into a secret understanding with Travis & some others to resist to the utmost the unlawful proceedings of the military & Custom House Officers and then return to Brazoria they in connection with Jno Austin C. D. Sayre and some others sent to New Orleans for a quantity Powder Lead and flints which were made use of at the Battle of Velasco. From Judge McKinstrey [Endorsed] From Judge McKinstrey Anahuac, Velasco &C-
Austin to Mier y
Terán. 8 Jan 1832 San Felipe.
.....Tal vez recibirá V. E. informes que los habitantes de Brazoria han rehusado pagar los derechos maritimos, etc. si llegasen semejantes informes, suplico que no se dé credito á ellos hasta verme, porque no hay tal cosa. Las ordenes espedidas por Fisher en 24 de Novbre relativas al comercio del rio de los Brazos, causaron disgustos como era de esperarse, por ser impracticables, pero ahora todo se ha allanado por la llegada de un encargado de la aduana en la embocadura, del rio para despachar los negocios alli, y en Brazoria, en lugar de forzar á los capitanes de buques e interesados hacer el viage de cincuenta leguas cuyo transitu es enteramte impracticable lo mas del tiempo, hasta Anahuac para despachar los asuntos......
Austin to Mier y Terán. 5 Feb 1832 en la
casa de Lynch.
....El reglamto hecho por Fisher en 24 de Novre fue absolutamte impracticable, y de consiguiente se lo atribuyó a sentimientos personales en el, y esta idea causó los correspondientes resentimtos en el pueblo e su contra.....á V.E. en persona, una de ellos és la remocion de Fisher del empleo de administrador de Galveston.....como en efecto ha hecho ya, y si es posible remover a Fisher eria en mi opinion muy conducente á la preservacion de la harmonia.....
Austin to Samuel M. Williams 9 Apr 1832....Leona Vicario....Genl Terán has evidently been deceived very much by the arts and management of Fisher but he will soon be convinced of that, if he is not already, and all will end right....
Austin to Samuel Williams
1 Jul 1832 Leona Vicario.
Fisher to Austin 16 Apr
I think my dear Colonl that I had reason to expect to be treated by you better than you have done, especially when yourself solicited and I acquiesced in the presence of our Mutual friend Dr Mauricio Hebenstreit in Matamoros, a reconciliation, and burrying into oblivion the past reciprocal acts of recrimination, at whose table we dined on said day. I was expecting and believing that from that moment a new era comenced to exist between us, and that in future a most cordial disposition towards the interest of Texas and the best understanding between us was to commence. But low behold what must have been my feelings at the receipt of the letter of which under No. 2 1 send you a copy? I ask what would have been yours? and what supposition could you form, upon the investigation that said letter was directed to Mangino. With what view and intention? My dear Sir do not believe that I am of yesterday and that I cannot guess at things if you do, you are sadly mistaken.
It is very well known to you and to you only, that had I been disposed, I could and can yet shake the foundation of your Colony, and your individual welfare, you also know that I had more than sufficient reasons for doing so, for you very well know that you was the Instigator and promoter of all the mobs against me in Tejas, that I should have had no difficulty with no person but lived in perfect peace and quietness in Tejas, with my family. The unjust persecutions put on foot by your associates through your instigation have destroyed that peace, have ruined my interest, have kept me separate 3 Years from my family, and their happiness destroyed, My defenseless and abandoned children cry unto heavens for vengeance for such acts of injustice. I alone possessed more than a common share of patience and forbearing have said nothing to justify myself of the many foul charges alleged against me, and why? is it becose it is not in power? No, it is because I would not [s]trew firebrands into your colony altho you charged me with it in your letter directed to Col. Bradburn from Brasoria on the 24th Dbre 1832. You know very well that you have done me infinite injustice and have ruined my and my families happiness and fortune, and yet when I am ready and willing to forbear and to forgive at your own request in presence of our mutual friend, you are still, after agreeing to it, disposed further to persecute me,--Is this just? is it generous? is it noble Do you suppose that you can keep me in that way out of Tejas, upon which country I have as much right and claim as you or any other man has or can have You are mistaken. I never shall give up my claim on Tejas, and not even the assasins dagger will intimidate me to return and live there, in any vocation or under any circumstances.
To injure Tejas and to slander the Caracker of the inhabitants I not need to go to Mejico it is the last place where I would go to- You ought to know that in Matamoras in 1830 and 31. I had the management of the printing press, which I can get again at any time. should I wish it.- What better medium than this to injure Tejas and slander its inhabitants. Did I ever say any thing in that paper injurious to Tejas? Did I ever defend my own cause when I could do it? Why? Because I did not wish to reveal certain things, and persons compromitted. But can I forever forbear new persecutions, and torments? You offered to me peace at Matamoros, I accepted, I run a dense vail over the past, you have and opened the half healed wound. Will you quit, or will you continue? Will you have peace or war? You can have either, I leave it to your own choice and discression. You have persecuted me you have ruined me, you can finish your work, and I will mine with subscribing myself. GEORGE FISHER
No. 1. Sor. Coronel D. Estevan Austin-Mejico Marzo 11. de 1833-Mi muy querido amigo,-Hoy sale de esta capital D. Geo. Fisher a encargarse nuevamte de su antiguo destino en Galveston por disposicion del goblerno. Yo me guardaria bien de reconiendarlo á V. si su conducta aqui no hubiera sido la de un celoso partidario de la rebolucion nacional que ha terminado y en la que prestó servicios importantes. De ello tiene documentos y por ellos ha ganado la confianza de los patriotas. Con respecto d nuestro querido Tejas su porte ha sido el mejor, pues lejos de calumniar ha defendido á sus habitantes de algunos ataques injustos que les ban querido dár los enemigos conocidos de su prosperidad. Fisher me ha dado palabra de cultivar la mejor armonia con V. y con todos los colonos y maneiarse de modo que por su parte no haya motivo de recordar disgustos pasados. Si fuere asi, como lo espero, me prometo que V. interpondrá su poderoso influjo para que todos eosos arnigos le guarden las concideraciones á que es acredor, supuesto qe. lo pasado fueron meras equivocaciones y compromisos que produjo la conducta de Terán y Bradburn. En fin amigo, Fisher hablará con V. y en la calma yo jusgo qe. todo se arreglará como se lo pido á V. El dia 20. debo empesar en mis funciones de Senador y tanto en el Senado como en cualquiera otra parte puede á V. disponer de la buena voluntad qe. le profesa su afmo. amigo.-J. Antonio Meja.
No. 2. Sor. D. Jorge Fisher-Casa de V. Enero 15. de 1832. -Estimado ainigo-Seria faltar il los viuculos de la amistad si no coplara a V. á continuacion aqui, una carta del Sor. W. Keene dirijida at Sor. D. Rafael Mangino, la que por una casualidad vino á mis manos. Y impuesto V. de su contenido conocerá quienes sus amigos y hará el uso qe. á sus fines particulares le convenga.-"Mejieo á 27. de Nov de 1832-Muy Sor. mio y amigo. Refiriendome á la conversacion qe. yo tube con V. el otro dia, respecto a Jorge Fisher, de Tejas, lo considero justo remitirle á V. la adjunta copia del P. D. de la carta del Coronel Austin, del proplo pais dirijida á su corresponsal en esta capital, i fin de que V. vea en su traducion; que se pueda sacar por medio de algun confidencial de V.; lo fundado de mi vituperacion del caracter de Fisher, pues mirando el buen nombre de un hombre con su mas sagrada propiedad, no Puedo cousentir en bulnerarlo, sin hallarine apoyado en los fuertes indicios, á lo menos de su Criminalidad.-Disponga V. de su antiguo amigo y S. S. q. b. s. m.-R Keene
P. S. extracted from a letter of S. F. Austin to a Gentleman in Mexico under date of Oct: 4, 1832
I understand from Matamoros that Geo: Fisher has gone to Mexico to slander Tejas. That man does not merit the confidence of the Government nor of any one. On his first arrival here he said more to create a bad impression on my mind against Alaman, Fagoaga, Tagle, and others, whom he called Escoceses, than I ever heard from any other source. He has been a Guerrero man, a Zavala man, and an acordada man etc a Jalapa, etc a Bustamante and other sorts of man; as the case required. I fear he is a bad man. At Matamoros he told me that General Terán was to blame for all the difficulties about the Custom House, that he only obeyed orders. To others he said diferently. Such a man can do nothing but harm in this or any other country where he is listened to."
Aunque firmó el mismo Keene esta post data la tachó toda su firma despues.Quedo de V. como smpe su affo. amigo y sego. Servr. Q. B. S. M.-M. M. Zires.
NOTE BY THE SUBSCRIBER. On my arrival in Tejas I never mentioned the name of Alaman Fagoaga and Tagle, to Col: Austin as bad men or to create bad impressions, and the last one I do not even know and much less could I say any thing against him. I always was and will be a Guerrero man, or of that party, because they are the Democrats of this country- I never was a Jalapa nor Bustamante man, otherwise Gral Terán would not have applied the 4th. Art of the plan of Jalapa against me, suspending me from my office barely because my appointment was made by Guerrero. At Matamoros I never told other wise and never will, but that I acted under the orders of Gral Terán, and the difficulties arising from the Custom house affairs were through Col: Bradburn, Col Austin and others who interpreted the law in a different mode, and wanted the people to believe that I had discressionary powers granted to me, and that I was abusing of them and only acted by caprice, malice or revenge.- Let these charges against me be substantiated before the competent tribunals and then it will be seen how I acted and in virtue of what orders.-altho I could have done great deal of harm, had I been malicious enough or revengefull yet I never have done any nor will do it to the people of Texas.- A mans character may be slandered he may be persecuted and ruined, and sacrificed yet time will reveal the truth and the instigators and promoters, what will ultimately gain by such proceedings? Monclova, 16th. April 1833. JORGE FISHER. [Rubric)
Austin to Nacogdoches
Ayuntamiento 30 May 1833
Mr. George Fisher will leave here shortly to enter upon his duties of Collector of Galveston Bay with only sufficient number of Troops for necessary Guards etc. Whatever Ideas and opinions may have heretofore existed as to Mr Fisher they should now be consigned to oblivion and forgotten. He returns as an officer of the Govt and as such it is the duty of the People to respect and sustain him. I will also observe that I have invested very minutely all the past transactions in which he was concerned and have formed the opinion that the excitements which unfortunately grew out of them were produced by misconception and suspicion too hastily entertained and not from intention to do wrong or injure any one. I believe there were misconceptions on both sides and probably as much on one part as on the other-Mr. Fisher will make a usefull collector his knowledge of the English language will give more facilities in his intercourse with the people than could exist with a collector who was unacquainted with that language. I therefore particularly recommend the utmost harmony and that lie be sustained in the discharge of his duties by all, regardless of the clamour of a few Transient Traders who would involve the honest farmers in difficulty with the authorities if they could increase their own profits thereby.
The political events of the past year necessarily produced a temporary and partial disorganization in the regular administration of the Govt all over the nation which as a matter of course extended to Texas everything is now settled down again upon the constitutional basis and the regular operation of the laws and of all the legal authorities has been restored. The temporary and provisional measures which the peculiar exigencies of the times may have rendered necessary to pursue the public tranquility and protect persons and property are consequently ceased all over the nation and I have assured the Comd. General that they will also cease as a matter of course in Tejas. I therefore particularly recommend that what ever temporary deviation of the Militia or in any other matter should be corrected without delay and everything restored again to the legal basis as has been done all over the nation. The Genl Congress adjourned on the 20th of this month and as there will not be another regular session untill January next-my Journey to Mexico was rendered measurably useless. I have also been very much debilitated by Dysentary or Cholorina which prevails here. These considerations determined me to postpone my trip to the Capital for the present and I forwarded the memorial of the convention through the Comt General. Since then my health has improved and an opportunity haveing very unexpectedly offered of a passage to Vera Cruz by sea I have concluded to embrace it and shall depart in a few hours.
I will close by assuring you that I have the most unlimited confidence, in the patrotism liberality and Justice of the Govt and I rely with full confidence upon the people of Tejas to sustain firmly all the authorities both federal and State and to obey the laws strictly. By so doing they will procure a State Govt and keep away large and unnecessary military Garrisons and obtain everything that a reasonable people ought to expect or a just and liberal Govt ought to grant. I recommend that the people of Tejas should be mild calm and firm in favour of making a state of Tejas by legal and constitutional means and by no other. To the Aymt of Nacogdoches. S. F. Austin A true copy of the original. Nacogdoches 10 july 1833 Adolph Stern [Rubric]
SONS OF DEWITT