SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved

Green DeWitt
Green DeWitt

DeWitt Colony Papers
Documents and Correspondence
1824-1826
1827-1828
1829-1834
1835
1836

James Kerr
James Kerr
1824
Trimble to Austin 26 Jun
DeWitt to Austin 6 Dec
1825
Cox to Austin 21 Apr
DeWitt's Petition 7 Apr
Austin to Emily Perry May
Bastrop to Austin 16 Jul
DeLeon to Austin 24 Jul
Austin to Saucedo 18 Aug
Norton to Austin 15 Oct
Austin to Emily Perry 28 Oct
DeWitt to Kerr 12 Nov
1826
Notes on Settlement 183?
DeWitt to Austin 9 Mar
Austin to Political Chief 18 Mar
DeLeon to Austin 19 Mar
Austin to Saucedo 8 May
Saucedo to Austin 17 May
Austin to Saucedo 19 May
Norton to Austin 29 May
Saucedo to Austin 29 Jun
Kerr to Austin 15 Jul
Austin to Saucedo (2) 17 Jul
Kerr to Austin 18 Jul
Kerr to Austin 30 Jul
Kerr to Austin 8 Aug
Kerr to Austin 18 Aug
Kerr to Austin 23 Aug
DeWitt to Austin (2) 3 Sep
Saucedo to Austin 21 Sep
Austin to Bexar Ayunto 7 Nov
Kerr to Austin 11 Nov
Kerr to Austin 12 Nov
Austin to Saucedo 21 Nov
DeWitt to Austin 1 Dec
Norton to Austin 13 Dec
Smith Appointment 14 Dec

WILLIAM TRIMBLE TO AUSTIN.  Hemstead County [Arkansas] June 26th 1824 Dear Sir I have formed a fiew days acquaintance with Green Dewit beside the Recommendation of those of my neighbours who have been long acquainted with him and I am indused as a friend to his character to say that he is a gentleman in whome every confidence can be placed and any favour you can do him will be kindly Received and remembered by your friend and humble svt William Trimble  Judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit for the Territory of Arkansas Stephen F Austin and any person to whome it my be handed


GREEN DEWITT TO AUSTIN.  San Felipe de Austin Decr 6th 1824 DEAR SIR Since I saw you at San Jacinto I have concluded to proceed on to the seat of Government; and called to see you, but not find[ing] you at home I have taken the liberty of troubling you with this note, and be---the favor of you to write me and direct your letter to the care of Mr. Hickman at Monterey where I shall wait the arrival, please inform me the shape in which my papers are forwarded and to what Department; also your passport; and any thing more that you can consistantly do to insure a permission of the settlement petitioned for which I wish to locate some where in this Province; your compliance will ever be remembered by your friend and Humble Servant
G. DEWITT [Rubric] Col STEPHEN F AUSTIN


NATHANIEL COX TO AUSTIN.  New Orleans 21. April 1825 Col STEPHEN F. AUSTIN DEAR SIR The Bearer of this Mr Kerr is from Missouri and moving to your Country with all his family, both [White?] and Black---he has been here some time waiting a passage---As we have never Exactly understood the nature of your laws relative to Slavery I could not answer many of Mr Kerrs' inquiries on that head, but have assured him slaves have been taken there and held---I hope will find no difficulty with his, as it would ruin an helpless family should he loose them. Mr Kerr has been only known to me a few weeks but I am fully convinced he is a worthy man, and I hope he will be found a Valuable Citizen of your infant Republic---Genl. Lafayette has just left us. You will learn from Mr Kerr with what enthusiast he was received among us---he has gone to St Louis I have not heard from Mrs Hawkins very lately NATHANIEL COX


AUSTIN LETTER TO SISTER EMILY PERRY.  May 1825 Brother started a few days ago to San Antonia and will be absent about six weeks-- I have nothing new---The Season has been very wet so far---too much so---tho the crops are very good---Mr Green DeWitt I am told has obtained permission for the Settlement of 400 families from Missouri on a River in this Province called the Guadalupe about 70 miles west of this---it is a fine country, very well waterd and very healthy---he will be on shortly from the interior and I will write by him---in the meantime see the lawyers and set about the Mine a Burton property without delay and also the Little Rock business you need not wait for me- it will be four or five years at least before I shall have the means of going to Missouri---Remember me to Mr Perry and the children and write often to your ever afctionate brother.  S. F. AUSTIN Mrs E. M. Perry


BASTROP TO AUSTIN 16 Jul 1825 [Bastrop relates to Austin the accusation by Peter Ellis Bean of wrongdoing by misappropriation of funds by DeWitt in Missouri.  Bastrop's influence at the suggestions of Austin to aid DeWitt in approval of his petition is thought to have been instrumental.  Bean's accusations were investigated by the Jefe-Politico who relied primarily on Austin to investigate and apparently nothing came of the affair according to a letter of 17 Oct 1825 from Austin to Governor Rafael Gonales]
Saltillo 16 de Julio de 1825. Sr. Don ESTEVAN AUSTIN San Felipe MI ESTIMLADO AMIGO Y DUEÑO. por una carta de V de Enero popo me recomende V mucha a su amigo de Witt; para cumplir con su encargo me empeñe con el Sr Govor lo que fue admittido como Empresario sobre el rio Guadalupe pero ahora le ha acusado Pedro Elías Bean habitante de Nechas, como un profugo de los estados unidos, por haver defraudado los fondos publicos en el Misuri, conviene que con empeño averigue V. este negocio, y si es verdad haga V que traspase su contrato al colonel Mayland, que es su compañero en ese asunto, y que no venga a Texas, que mas antes le interne y que vaye a las californias, ó Tabasco, donda estan haciendo nuevas colonias. V conoce, las consequencias de este asunto, V y yo tenemos muchos enemigos, que no buscan otra cosa que el flanco que podriamos presentar para batirnos, y hacernos perder nuestro influgo, no tengo necesidad de estenderme mas, V es hombre instruido y me entiende. Desde, muchos meses no he tenido carta de V ni respuesta a deferentas que le he escrito. He seguido siempre a empeñarme (como es de mi obligacion) a procurar el beneficio de Texas, y de las nuevas colonias, viendo que acqui no pude lograr por la rivalidad que existe entre Cohaguila (o por mejor decir Saltillo) y Texas cosa alguna, me dirige a Mejico donde todos los negocios presentados por mi y que no quisieron tomar en consideracion, han sido debatidos en el senado y algunos han pasado otros quedan pendientes y los restantes reservados hasta la secion de Enero venidero, tendre la satisfaccion de haver procurado el beneficio de la parte del estado que represente. Sin sus cooperacion de mis compañeros en este Honorable congreso; conviene que en tiempo pienzá V, a hacerse un partido on su colonia, para que se asegura la eleccion de mi sucesor en un buen sujeto, porque dela secion venedera, depende el Ser de Texas y de las colonias. Si no de los---estan nombrados Ileve el diablo la cargade miel y los mieleros, son sus enemigos, y mortal de todo extrangero, porque estos les hacen sombra, en sits negocios particulares. Salude V a su hermano y a todos los amigos y disponga V de su afectisimo. SMB BASTROP


MARTIN DELEON TO AUSTIN.  Billa de Ntra Sra de Guadalupe de Jesus Bitoria 24 de Julio de 1825 SOR. TENTE CORON DN. ESTEBAN F. AUSTIN Mi caricimo Amigo y sor de mi respeto con particular agrado, recevi la apreciable de V fha 14 del presente de mano de sus portadore.s los Seres. DeWitt y Brown este ultimo me communico qe. tenia los efectos q V. me prebiene aloq. le resolbi q los condujera aeste punto para q. Abista destos y los mios biesemos sinos conbenia ono tratar; aloq. conbino El Sor. deWitt me propuso q. si yo gustaba de reservar para mi poblacion et tereno q. ay desde el paso, q hase sobre el Rio de Guadaupe el camino de Atascosito fixando por este hasta elpaso del aRoyo pla Beca y destos dos puntos para la costa hasta atoca las leguas Vorales; que asi conbiniendo, el sedaria por contento con las Tierras, q ay. de dho. camino por aquel biento hasta el camino q ba de Bexar para Nacodoches acuya propuesta le conteste no serme posible acceler a causa no ser suficiente el primer tereno para el numero de familias q tengo prometido al govierno estabecer; y Si; desde el paso nombrado de Anastacio mas ariba del referido de Atascosito sobre el mismo Rio de Guadalupe camino q pasa de la Ballia para Nacodoches fixando por esta senda hasta el ya nombrado a Rollo de la Baca v desde ayi por ambas riberas de dhs aroyos y rios hasta colindar con las leguas litorales cuya distancia es toda la estencion del tereno---Questando a la marcha, para el Govieruo, boy apedir seme sefiale para elleno corespondiente al plan de poblacion q me propuse y desempefiar aeste fin la obligacion ya contraida Con el mismo govno. Aprecio sumamente las manifestaciones q me hase en su apreciable q. contesto de su sincera amistad; beo con placer en ella sus armoniosas miras para con sus colindantes Me es palpable el interes particular q V siente para con migo agradesco afectoso las luces q V sedigna participarme; Mas laprudencia de V no estrafiara sin duda la resulucion dada por mi al Sor. dWitt en bista dela justicia q. me basiste y q. le tengo sinificado a dbo. Sor. afiadiendo aq. desde punto de mi recidencia para la costa apenas parece haber tereno util la distancia como de siete leguas y de alli hasta las lagunas de, las Ballias no se encuentran ni aguajes ni abrigos ni maderas aun para lefia---Quedo prepetuamente reconocido a su generosas ofertas y heserme pocible sin faltar a mis forsosas actuales ocupaciones lograria la satisfacion de la, bista personal deV en su misma casa para cumunicarnos mas estrechamente pero Reserva esta satisfacion para la mas facil oportunidad MARTIN DE LEON [Rubric]


AUSTIN TO SAUCEDO.  San Felipe de Austin 18 de Agosto de 1825 [From Austin's Blotter, August 26, 1824] Sobre el Asunto DEWITT.  Con este lncluyo a V. S. el resultado de la averiguacion liecha por mi en el asunto de De Witt en cumplimiento con el oficio orden de V. S. fecha 28 de Julio popo. V. S. me instruyra si con esta queda determinado mi comision. en la materia---Dios y Libertad--San Felipe de Austin 18 de Agosto de 1825---Sor Gefe del Departamento de Texas.


JAMES NORTON TO AUSTIN.  New Orleans 15th October 1825 DEAR SR Since My first acquaintance with you in this city, I have had the desire to emigrate to your colony; but circumstances of a private nature, and some pecuniary embarrassments, have hitherto precluded it. Moreover, not having, had the pleasure of an interview, or even of correspondence with you, I have been deterred by what, I have always denounced as falsehood and detraction. Capt. Zepeniah Butler, with whom I went to the river Brassos, has expressed his wish to become a citizen. from the just motives, which have ever influenced me in regard to your character as a gentleman, and your justice, as an officer of the government; and not only, that; (though a primary consideration) but the excellent quality of the soil, on which your colony is founded. I perceive however, not withstanding your justice, and judgement in managing the local affairs of your colony, some difficulties will arise among the evil disposed, which being transported into other communities abroad, tend, (though but partially) I hope, (to injure your rising prosperity), and that of your great, and arduous undertaking. I mean, if possible, to visit next summer the settlement, which you have spent so much time, and money to establish, and flatter myself, that, I shall find, that it even exceeds in every thing my most sanguine expectations: but before that time, I sincerely solicit you to write me, and transmit whatever inteligence you may deem proper to communicate, or entrust to one, of whom you have bad so short an acquaintance. I forbear to write any thing relative to the abusive and vindictive publications of a certain individual, as the papers containing them will be handed to you by Capt. J. T. Field, who is the bearer of this: they are relative to the abuse of the Buen gobierno del establecimiento. JAMES NORTON. [Addressed:] Colo Stephen F. Austin San Philipe De Austin Texas U. M. S.


JAMES E. B. AUSTIN TO MRS. EMILY M. PERRY.   San Felipe de Austin Oct. 28th 1825. MY DR SISTER, I receivd your much esteemed favour of the 1 of Septr in due time, I am much pleased to hear of the great aquisition you have made to your family besides the personal gratification it is to myself to have another Nephew---this letter will probably be handed you by a Mr De Witt who has promised me he would call on you on his way to the upper part of the State---he is one of the gentlemen who have obtained permission to settle an additional number of families in this Department---his Grant is on the River Guadalupe between this and San Antonio---there is a flattering prospect at this time of this Department being shortly filled up by American Emigrants; this Govt have authorized four New Colonies to be settled which will be done immediately. one lies above this on the Rivers Colorado and Brasos which if settled will be a perfect safe guard to us against the Indians---the other 3 are East and West of us---so that this colony will be nearly nearly the center---None of the other Colonys are so rich in land as this. Neither have they such an outlet for their produce as this---So that it is of much importance to us that they should Settle as soon as possible---I have seen some Distressing tales told of us in some of the News Papers of the U. S.---particularly in the Arkansas Gazette that Paper has always evinced a most Deadly hatred towards the settlement of this Colony and its "Barking Editor" catches from every dirty Buck Skin Scoundrel that has been driven from the Country for his Villanous acts something to insert in his "Invaluable repository" of truth and information to prevent any one from emigrating to this Colony---but his admonition to the publick has a different effect from what he wishes-for it only tends to keep fools and men that are much better in Arkansas than here away Wise men and men useful to Society pay no attention to him I think C. Ashley furnishes all the matter he can procure against us-You must pay no attention to any tales of this kind---Crops are good notwithstanding that we had an unusual wet Season last spring, and some, Overflow---I shall start down the river in a few days to establish myself permanently We will build a Cotton Gin as soon as possible; much cotton will be planted next season Stephen begins to think of getting him a wife "dont" be surprized to hear of the Event of Events! sooner than you imagine. I think if Stephen gives an Example I will promise to profit by it, tho at this time I have no Idea of the kind---When I get down below I shall not have so many opportunities to write you tho that must be no excuse for you Write me often you can always find matter that will be interesting to me, if you can find nothing else give me a touch of the News of the day the mines abound in it---Stephen wrote you a few days since---and will write again by Mr. DeWitt Give my respects to Brother James with my congratulations on the recent Birth of a son---Kiss little Mary for me "dont" let her forget me---tell Joel and Austin to study hard and be good Boys---My respects to Mr. and Mrs. J Perry also to Mrs. Perry---all my acquaintances generally---I refer you to Mr. Dewitt for all general information respecting the Colony.  Mrs. Emily M Perry JAS B AUSTIN


GREEN DEWITT TO JAMES KERR.  TRINITY, November 12, 1825 Major James Kerr: DEAR SIR---I arrived at this place a few days since and after resting two or three days, proceeded on my journey; but after traveling a few miles, was agreeably surprised to meet Colonel Haden Edwards and Frost Thorn, my partner, wbich saves me a long trip, as I shall not go by Nacogdoches, as was contemplated when I left you. They are on their way to San Felipe de Austin, where I hope you will have the pleasure of seeing them. Whether you meet Colonel Thorn or not, should he call on you for one or two hundred dollars in Guadalupe land office-money, you will please fill his order....... It would be well for you to let it be known that all who apply for settlement must produce certificates of good character and industry. You will complete the survey of the town and permit its settlement accordingly....I shall proceed on my journey tomorrow and hope to return in April next. Yours respectfully, GREEN DEWITT.


NOTES ON SETTLEMENT OF THE COLONY  183?  This document is no. 1642 of the Lamar Papers titled "Anonymous.  Notes upon the 'first settlements on Matagorda Bay' and other colonies." The first person references and comparison of the periodic use of capitals and the lower case for surnames to archival letters by James Kerr suggest that he was the author.

First Settlements On Matagorda Bay.

On the west bank of the Garcites [very small herons with white faces Saguine’s ancestors first settled here--note in document], and is called to this day old La Bahia and about one and half League above its Mouth are to be seen the ruins of a fort and vilage, said to be the first settlemt of La Salle, and is that settlement no doubt which some have represented as founded on the Lavaca river or river of cows---La Salle or the Jesuits who came with him built a Mission on the Margin of the Bay del esspiritu Santo and about 800 yards from the Mouth of the Guadalupe river--Some of the forts and other ruins are remaining to this day.

1824.  Martin Dileon [DeLeon]---Obtained a consession or grant from the Most excellent Deputation of Texas to found a Town on the Margin of the rio Guadalupe under the stile of "Guadalupe de Victorio" and authority to Introduce 41 Mexican famalies, who should have lands corresponding to them. But no definate bounds was given.

1825---Genl. State Colonization Law passed by the Legislature of Coahuila & Texas.

25 March   Contract entered into by Dewitt to introduce 400 famalies in the following bounds (limits) "Begining at a point on the "Lavaca river contiguous to the colony of the Citizen s. f. Austin and 10 Leagues in a right line from the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico Thence up the west bank of said Lavaca to where the San Antonio road to Nachogdochces crosses-Thence with said road westerly to a point 2 Leagues west of the Guadalupe river---Thence S. Easterly, and parallel to said river leaving open the said distance of two Leagues to a point 10 litteral Leagues from the Gulf of Mexico Thence Eastwarly, and pararllel to the Coast leaving open 10 leagues---to the place of beginnig.

---One of the conditions entered into by Dewitt was to respect all legitimate Claims within his limits.

Dewitt and Dileon disputed about titles and the latter petitioned Govt.-& the Govr. of the State by Decree of of 6th. Oct. 1825---Confirmed him in the possession given by the "Most excellent Deputation of Texas" & notified DeWitt or his agent of the same; & also that, the bounds for said Colony would be defined by reason of a Commissioner who would be sent on for the purpose, & the colony be conducted, and the settlers to receive their lands in conformity with the Colonization Law passed 15. March 1825.

---Note Dewitt Claimed according to the Grant Made to him. & Deleon Claimed in addition to the coast lands or the 10 litteral leagues—viz----On the Lavaca to a point one League above the crossing of Anistacio road (old La Bahia road)---thence in a straight line to a point on the Guadalupe river Two Leagues above said road---thence---to the head of Coleto Creek, and down the same &c &c. Hence people were afraid to settle this disputed territory under either of the Empresarios. However under Dewitt there was 31 settlers found by the Commissioner (Dn. Jose Ato. Navarro) 1831---When be arrived at Gonzales & he made a representation to the Govt. who ordered him to put him in possession of the Lands corresponding to him, and ordered & decreed, that the remaning vacant lands should be in, & belong to the Colony of Deleon----

(Note Dewitt's time for recieving settlers expired 26-March 1831.

Oct. 15---Dewitt Commissioned me Jas. Kerr surveyor of his Colony and constituted me his agent, and notified the Govt. of the same, and he returned to Missouri to bring on his family & settlers. &c.

1826. January 6th. I arrived at the place. now Gonzales with a few individuals, and found there a Mr Berry from Deleon's, with his famaly who had been there a few days I with Mr E R Weightman (who I Deputed a Surveyor Laid out and, established the Tow[n] of Gonzales, and done some other surveying-built cabbins, cleared land, and planted corn.

July 2d---The Settlement destroyed by Indians, & Mr. John Weightman killed.

26th. Dewitt arrived at the Mouth of Lavaca with some famalies, and we established our selves at "The Lavaca Station"---Now Leonardo Mauso's ranch & 21 miles up---Laid Lavaca, and made some arrangements to resurne the settlement at Gonzales [note in document—Named after the then Govr. of the State at the date of the Grant]

See Powell next page [below]

1827.   planted Corn on the Lavaca and Some of our men done the Same at Gonzales, & Capt. Lockhartt resumed surveying there. Thos powell landed at the Mouth or La Vaca about the time DeWitt did with a quantity of goods--&c. One Olivares, who Stiled himself "Doctor Olivares" a great imposture Came on the Same vessel with powell. They quarreled, and Olivares Went to Bejar and made a thousand false representations against Mr. Powell, and asserted that he Powell had brought nothing into the Country but Contraband goods, and the contest between Dileon and DeWitt having created some previous excitement; The Chief Department Jose Antonio Saucedo ordered Dn. Rafiel Manchola Commandant of of the post of Goli[a]d, and Son-in-law of Dileon, to proceed with all his troops to the Lavaca and make an examination of mr. powell and his good---He being the friend of his fatherinLaw, &c, and finding some tobacco & powder, pretended to Condemn to whole cargo, and removed the same to Victorio and placed it in the care of DeLeon subject to the Order of the Govt.---Dewett went to Bejar and obtained an order for Some of the provisions say flour Sugar Coffee and Corn.

1827---Mr powell returned with another Cargo, Much of it being Contraband the Secret got to Bejar, and Genl. Bustemente being there, sent a Major-------with troops to examine the premises, and finding much Tobacco---took it off. Note this happened in Sept. or Oct. & Genl. Bustamante having previously (in april and may) been in victoria, where he was well treated by Dilion, was now willing to do-all for him in his power, he therefore Ordered the Chief of Department to remove Dewitt and settlers from Lavaca to Gonzales—alledging that we was on the Lands of Deleon and to prove this the Chief Ordered me to run the 10 litteral League line, which being done showed our "establishment" to be 21 miles from the mouth of the Lavaca and consequently within the 10 Border, latteral Leagues.

Bustamante the Northern Indians---In this year 1827, the empresarios---addressed Genl. G. and remonstrated---against the introduction of N. American Indians---and recommended the repeal of Section [blank in document] of the colonization Law; and informed His Excellency that should many of those notions get into the Country, they would be hard to manage, & could not be put out---He replyed that "the Mexican Nation had men and money enough to do any thing"----

NOTE Austins Colony of 300---Under the National Law of 1823—give Austin discretionary power as to the quantity which may be given to the settlers.

1827, as I believe in this year, powers got his Grant—for the 10 border leagues extending from Lavaca to Las Nueses, with the Same Condition of Dewitt, "to respect all legal Claims within his limits—Hence he & Deleon went to Law. The Govt. sustained Deleon in his limits as before mentioned—and give as an indemnity to power & Hewitson 8 leagues each. This latter is hearsay with me, but I have had reason to believe it.

1832. Fernando Dileon appointed Commission to his fathers Colony who---extended tittles &c. At some previous date this Colony was augmented by an addition of 150 foreigners—that is Martin Deleon got a new grant to introduce that number in addition to the first 41.---

Note his time expired on 29h. april 1835, previous to which day---the whole No. and 9---or 12 more filed their petions---&c---but half or more remains unfinished.


GREEN DEWITT TO AUSTIN.  New London Ralls County Mo March 9th 1826 DEAR SIR Permit me to Introduce to your attention Col Elijah Stapp and Mr William Duncan; who come to Texas for the purpose of selecting lands for a number of families; who intend to megrate from this County to that Country, they are particularly bound for the Guadalupe or San Marco, as their intention is Mills Cotton Gins etc---I did not pass by the way of Mine a Burton on my return home---but I sent your letters to Mr. E Bates, by your Cousin (Mr Austin) he also told me that Mrs Perry and the rest of your friends in Mo. were well. Any favors you render the above Gentlemen will be gratefully remembered and acknowledged---I shall leave Missouri the first of next Month with my family for Texas for the news of the day I refur you to Col Stapp. G. DEWITT Col STEPHEN F AUSTIN


AUSTIN TO POLITICAL CHIEF.  San Felipe de Austin, March 18th, 1826. I received, the day after my arrival from Galveston, your Lordships communication bearing date of the 16th of last February, in which you say to me that the citizen Martin de Leon, Empresario of the town of Guadalupe, has presented himself at the Capital complaining that the Alcalde of the Colorado District, regardless of the consideration due him as Empresario, sole Justice of his District, maliciously and violently gave orders to one Briche to attach a cart and oxen and a load of corn, which he had sent to that settlement in charge of his son Sylvestre; and that for no other cause than a mere complaint made by Thomas Grey against his son. You instruct me further to cause the attached property to be returned to its owner at the town of Victoria, without delay, at the expense and risk of the Alcalde, if he has, indeed, commissioned Briche to execute the attachment, or of any person who may appear to have been guilty of the offense. You, finally, order me to cause the Alcaldes of the Colonial Districts in my charge to abstain from issuing illegal judicial writs, particularly of the scandalous character of the one alluded to. At the issuance of said attachment, I was absent at Galveston, on the mission intrusted to me by your Lordship; upon the reception of your said communication, I sent for the Alcalde and Grey, to inquire into the matter, and from the prior circumstances, and the declaration of the witnesses, the facts appear to be as follows: Grey bought an ass from Martin de Leon, paid for it, and left it with the bell mare; afterwards Grey sent for the ass by a certain Bison; De Leon refused to deliver it, claiming 25 Dollars or a cow and a calf for the Expense of keeping the ass, and furthermore declared to Bison that he owed nothing to Grey. When De Leon's cart arrived at the Colorado, Grey appeared before the Alcalde, complaining that De Leon owed him the value of the ass and refused to deliver it, although it was claimed by Bison, and claiming from the Alcalde, a writ of attachment on De Leon until the case should be disposed of in law. The Alcalde issued the writ, which was executed; and the cart was attached for the purpose of securing a judicial hearing for the parties. Agreeably to the provisional law existing in this Colony, Sylvester De Leon might have stopped the attachment by giving security for his appearance before the Alcalde to answer Grey's charges, but, instead of doing so he returned to the Guadalupe. The provisional law by which we are governed provides, that, whenever a person who is indebted to another is about to leave the country or to remove his property out of its jurisdiction, then, at the request of the plaintiff, the Alcalde shall issue a writ of attachment of said property to prevent its removal from the jurisdiction until the case is lawfully disposed of, the plaintiff being, in all cases responsible to the defendant for the damages accruing from said attachment if it should appear that the process was illegal, or without foundation; the defendant being always at liberty to stop the attachment by giving security for his appearance before the competent authority. In this case of De Leon, Grey declared upon oath, before the Alcalde, that De Leon owed him the value of an ass, which he refused to pay, that he had property within the jurisdiction which he was about to remove. Grey applied to the Alcalde for a writ of attachment, agreeably to the regulations on the subject matter, and the Alcalde was in duty bound to issue the writ; in doing, so he did not overstep the limit of his power, nor commit an abuse of authority, as your Lordship remarks in your communication; on the contrary, he did what the law compelled him to do. The only laws we have for our government in this country, are the provisional rules approved by the Political Chief of Texas, and which His Excellency, the Governor, in his communication of February the 12th 1825, ordered to be observed until the general laws were published! I think that if we have no other laws than these, the fault can, be attributed neither to me, nor the Alcalde of the Colorado. I have repeatedly applied for copies of the law of the Country, but I have, as yet, received no instructions from the government beyond a recommendation to administer justice and preserve order in the Colony. Owing to the total absence of laws and rules, I was compelled by necessity and my feeling of duty, being in charge of the chief magistracy of this jurisdiction, to frame some plain and provisional rules to preserve order and establish some kind of system; I did so with the consent, approbation and assistance of the Commissioner, and they have also received the sanction of the Superior authority; I therefore consider them as provisional laws, and cannot cease to do so without declaring that the Supreme Powers who sanctioned them, have exceeded their authority and overstepped the circle of their prescribed duty. This principle once Established, the only question that remains to be settled in the case of the Alcalde of the Colorado and De Leon is the following: Did the Alcalde follow said rules, or did he not? In my opinion, formed upon the inquest I have made, he has followed them; he was compelled by said rules to act as he did, and had he not done so lie would have deserved punishment. In this matter, in consequence of your Lordship's order, the Alcalde finds himself between two fires, without a possibility of escaping both. Your Lordship's order condemns him to a fine and cost which will ruin him, and, had he failed to follow the provisional rules, the plaintiff would have had sufficient incentive for complaint and suit against him for a dereliction of his duty in the administration of justice according to the existing laws. Said provisional rules are very plain and clear. It was De Leon's duty to, and he ought now, according to said rules, give security for his appearance before the Alcalde there and then to answer Grey's complaint, and if it appears that he is indebted, then he should pay, and in case of unwillingness on his part to abide by the decision of the Alcalde, he [could] bring the case before me, as local judge of the whole jurisdiction, and, as such, having power to inquire into the conduct of the Alcaldes within his limits; then, in case of dissatisfaction with my decision on the subject, lie could carry the suit before the corresponding superior courts of justice; In this manner he will not deviate from the path laid down by law, and by the very essence of the system of government which controls us, and, which, Establishes a distinction between the judiciary and Executive powers. The Alcalde's writ was a judicial process, and agreeable to the rules in force here. Your Lordship's order was Executive, and annulled an act of a judiciary officer, imposing a ruinous fine on him; and this on the mere representation of one of the parties without giving the other a hearing, without any inquiry into the facts in question, by the local authority; and, consequently, without the possibility of ascertaining whether the act of the Alcalde was legal, or not. An other difficulty presents itself in thus reviewing the subject. What means had Grey at his command to obtain his money from De Leon, if it is, indeed, due him? De Leon is the sole judge and Commanding officer of the Militia of Guadalupe, and consequently, Grey would have had to present his complaint against Martin de Leon before judge De Leon for his decision, or to proceed against his property found in another jurisdiction. He adopted the latter course.

I do not wish to make complaints against Martin de Leon: but my duty towards these new Colonists compels me to say, that, according to statements made to me it appears that he has treated a resident of this district, named Edward Dickenson, with injustice and cruelty. Dickenson's brother, who was killed by the Indians near Bexar, gave to De Leon a kettle, which he promised to deliver to him; on his return he was killed. Edward went to Bexar to obtain his deceased brother's property. De Leon claimed from him the kettle, which was then at Bexar, and which he promised to leave with Señor Sandoval; but he departed from Bexar prior to Sandoval's arrival, and left it with other property in a house under lock and key, in charge of Nixon to be delivered to Sandoval when he arrived. A thief entered the house and stole the kettle. On the arrival of Dickenson at Guadalupe, on his way from Bexar to this town, De Leon arrested him and seized upon his property; or, to express it more clearly, put him in jail, took from him his rifle and a bag of wool, and detained him for 32 days. Dickenson made his complaint to me and presented an account against De Leon, as follows: $12 for a rifle, $5. for a sack of wool, $23. for one month's board, paid to Hardy, and $18 for one months detention, in all $53, without speaking of the forcible and violent manner in which he was detained. I do not say that Martin de Leon, went beyond the limits of his powers by taking from Dickenson all his property, detaining him for one month a prisoner, and sending him away on foot, without a real for his travelling expenses, because I have not heard what De Leon has to say in the matter, but I hope that Your Excellency will be pleased to give me your instructions respecting the course to be followed to ascertain the facts of the case. I consider it to be my duty to do so, because this business has created a great deal of excitement here, against De Leon, and some apprehension about the security of persons and property. Considering all the features of the transaction between Grey, De Leon, and the Alcalde of the Colorado, I find myself in an exceedingly delicate and embarrassing situation. I presume that my conduct, since I entered Texas, has been a proof of my obedience and submission to the lawful authorities, and this is the first order which I have not executed as soon as circumstances permitted, without hesitation, or delay. Like the Alcalde of the Colorado, I am between two fires. On the one hand duty, as well as honor and inclination, urge me to obey faithfully the orders of the Superior authority; on the other, the same considerations cause me to doubt if my compliance, will not amount to an injustice, or produce fatal consequences. Our people, thus far, have been contented to live under the existing provisional rules, convinced that they were approved by the Superior Authority; but your Lordship's order causes them to doubt their legality, and whether they are bound to obey them. Thus I run the hazard of finding the only rules and laws by which I could hope to succeed in preserving good order in the Colony, and keeping bad men in subjection destroyed and annulled by the very authority that sanctioned them and this without supplying their places by any others. It will be believed that if the rule under which the Alcalde of the Colorado attached De Leon's property is not lawful, no other rules are so, since they were established by the same authority. The amount of money in litigation with De Leon is nothing, nor ought the ruin of the Alcalde of the Colorado, or any other person to have any weight if they are guilty. The difficulty lies in the disorganizing principles that may be created, and, also, in the belief that cannot fail to exist in the minds of the settlers, that the Executive, or political officers unite in their persons all the executive and military political and judiciary powers that were formerly vested in the Governors and the Spanish Government. Therefore I beseech your Lordship to decide that De Leon's case shall follow the course prescribed by the existing provisional rules, and to excuse my hesitation in executing your orders to the effect that the Alcalde shall return, at his expense, the attached property to De Leon on the Guadalupe; considering that my delay has been caused by the doubt herein submitted, and not by a want of respect for the Superior authority. God and liberty. ESTEVAN F. AUSTIN. San Felipe de Austin, March 18th, 1826.


MARTIN DE LEON TO AUSTINBilla de Bitoria 19 de Marzo de 1826 Sor Dn ESTEVAN AUSTIN  Muy Sor Mio y amigo resevi la de V. fha 10 del coriente por lo q. me beo precisado qe. al momento regresar al mismo coreo haserle ber aV por esta qe en union de amistad puede V. mandar pero atendiendo el agravio qe se me ha echo por haberse detenido mi carga por lo q. vuelvo a insitar aV. q el contenido de los asuntos ha tiempo para concluirse pero la ejecucion de poner mi carga aqui espero de su retitud le berifique dentro de 8 es lo mas qe puedo esperar motivo aq. estoi sin un grano de mais para mi jente A loqe. le agrego q desde el 12 el ppo. estoy comprando el almud de malz sobre un ps almud y estos mismo costos y gastos qe estoy sufragando lo hande bonificar los seflores qe. detubieron mi carga el coreo me gana un ps diario ban dos biajes esto le prebengo aV. para su inteligencia Todos estos costos,qe se agan se ande agregar sobre el. espediente qe sea formado qe esten en conosimiento los dhos. seftores qe todo, el tiempo qe dilaten en poner mi carga en mi casa son mas costos y gastos qe ago y areglado a nuestras leyes el qe salga conpleses el qe gasta todo ygualmente la grandicima falta de mis buelles para elfin de labransa esto me parese qe. es uno delos primeros Costos de bonificar. este dano, y los mas qe se sigen por lo qe. suplico ala bonda de V se sirva de decirme si se ade agrecutar la orden de nuestro gobernador como la prebiene el oficio y de no ser asi espero la resulucion de V. para mi gobiemo quedo su. atento servidor y affmo Amigo qe. S. M. B.  MARTIN DE LEON


AUSTIN TO SAUCEDO.  Sn felipe de Austin 8 de Mayo de 1826 [Austin's Blotter August 26, 1824] Gefe del Departamento sobre los Gastos erogado en levantar el plano de Galveston. Ympuesto de loq, V. S. me dice pr oficio fha 10 de Abril po po sobre la remision al Gobno superior de la cuenta q. presente de los gastos errogados pr mi en levintar el plano topografico de la Ysla puerto y Bahia de Galveston y si me conviene recibir la satisfacion de esta suma en tierras, tengo decir q. me conviendra recibir la referida cantidad de 281 pesos 6 rrs. un grano en Tierras y por esta peticion pido q. le Gobno me conceda un sitio de tierra de temporal en los limites de esta Colonia en el abono de dhos gastos y q. se autoriza el Sor Comisionado de la nueva Colonia ponerme en posesion de ello y expedirme el correspondiente titulo. Co lo q. contesto al citado oficio de V. S.--- Dios y Libertad Sn felipe de Austin 8 de Mayo de 1826 ESTEVAN F AUSTIN

Sor Gefe del Departamto de Texas. C Jose Antonio Saucedo
Sobre las familias esperando el Comisionado Mas q 50 familias poblidores han Ilegado y estan aqui para recibir posesiones de sus Tierras y hay agentes ahora esperando pa escojer Tierras pa dos cientas familias q. estan comprometido emigrar a esta Colonia po quieren haber una certeza antes de Salir del lurgar donde abora viven, de modo q. el numero q. requiere la ley pa q. vione el comisionado esta completado lo q. comunico a V. S. en cumplimto con su oficio sobre la materia fha o de Abril po po y en cumplimiento con el mismo oficio recomiendo James Kerr, pa el empleo de Agrimensor de la Colonia de Green De Witt sobre el Rio Guadalupe y tambien recomiendo Seth Ingram y Horacio Chrisman pa Agrimensores de esta Colonia demi cargo con loq. contesto a su citado oficio de V. S. Suplicando q se sirva V. S. embiar el comisionado dela Nueva Colonia a brevidad posible con instruciones amplias y detalladas sobre el costo q. deben pagar los Colonos pa sus Tierras, observando al mismo tpo. q. conviene muchisimo los intereses y la, prosperidad comun. de la Colonia en general q. viene el Comisionado dela primera Colonia Baron de Bastrop pa concluir su comison antes q. se empiese a repartir dar posesiones de Tierras en la Nueva Colonia pa evitar la confusion q. indubitablemente sucedera si se mezele los asuntos dela una con los dela otra.---
Dios y Libertad S F de A---8 de Mayo de 1826---EFA Sr Gefe del Departamt C Jose Ano Saucedo


SAUCEDO TO AUSTIN.  Bexar Mayo 17. de 1826. El Exmo. Sor. Vice Govor a nombrado comicionado pa el reparto de tierras enla Nueva colonia del cargo de V. al Ciudadano Gaspar Flores cuyo individuo tan luego como reciba las instruciones y ordenes q. le debe comunicar el Gov- pasara ha esa, a cumplir con su Comicion, y respecto a los Senores q. V. me propone para Agrimensores dela citada Colonia, el Comicionado ha su arribo les confirira el correspondiente nombramiento y yo ejecutare lo, mismo para la del Rio de Guadalupe en el Sor. James Kaerr cuando en aquel Establecimiento halla el numero de familias competentes y pase aponer en planta el Reparto. El Sor. Baron en el Entre tanto este empleado en la legislatura del Estado es imposible pueda pasar ha concluir los asuntos pendientes en la primera colonia, y portanto es necesario que los Colonos tengan un poco de mas paciencia mientras q. se da la constitucion y queda espedito para restituirse ha este Departamento, cuya. falta en mi concepto no puede confundir la creacion dela postrera colonia cuando por el contrato q. celebro V. con el Gobno deve haberse demarcado el terreno q. hade colonisar; todo lo q. digo aV. para su. inteligencia y por contestacion a su oficio de 8, del corriente. Bexar Mayo 17. de 1826. JOSE ANTO SAUCEDO. Sor. Tente Corl Dn Estevan Austin


AUSTIN TO SAUCEDO.   Sn Felipe de Austin 19 de Mayo de 1826 [From Austin's Blotter, August 26, 1824] Gefe del Departamenlo sobre el orden del Alcalde de Colorado a Briche Yncluyo a V. S. la orden original del Alcalde del Colorado i Briche pa tomar posesion de los efectos de Martin de Leon q. V. S. me encargo remitir en oficio fha 27 de Abril po. po---Esta orden fue dada en virtud de uno de los articulos de los reglamentos provisionales q. nos rijen de q. hable en mi oficio del 18 de Marzo po. po. el objeto era averiguar la materia delante del Alcalde antes de dar juicio. Briche no era comisionado pa decidir ni dar juicio ninguno en la materia, su orden f ue tomar posesion. y traher los efectos a la casa del Alcalde pa q. alli se disponga de ellos pr el mismo Alcalde segun la justicia requiere, y si De Leon debia a Grey q. se le paga de los mismos efectos, y si no le debia entonces quedera Grey responsable a De Leon pa todos los atrasos causados pr su demanda---Por exemplo supongamos q. un vecino de Laredo viene a Bexar y contrata deudas con un comerciante de alli prometiendo pagarle en tal tpo, llega el tpo y el comerciante manda un Agente a Laredo pa cobrar su dinero po el deudor en lugar de pagarle le dice q. no debe nada al comerciante, y q. no quiere pagarle, y al mismo tpo echando mil injurias contra el. Vuelva el dho Agente dar cuenta al comerciante del resultado de su comision y en poco tpo despues el dho deudor manda a Bexar un atajo de mulas ?no puede el comerciante entonces pedir de la justicia una orn pa, q. se detiene las mulas o suficientes de ellas hta averiguar la materia en judicio? y si el hombre de Laredo debe al comerciante y habia rehusado pagarle ?No puede el Alcalde mandar q. se le paga de las mulas detenidas? y mas particularmente si el referido deudor era Juez unico, Empresario y Comandante dela Milicia de Laredo, y ademas de esto un hombre no acostumbrado de observar la buena fe ni tener respecto pa su palabra en sus contratos y promesas particulares. Siento q. este asunto de ninguna importancia en su. principio ha tomado un aspecto tan serio. Si Martin de Leon hubiese venido a verme en un momento todo hubiera sido acomodado, pero pr el odio q. tiene a los nuevos pobladores y su genio natural y dificultoso quiso persentar sus quejas mal fundadas y pervertidas al Congreso del Estado con el objecto principal de disconceptuar la opinion de los nuevos pobladores y para gratificar su sentimiento particular---El Alcalde no dio orden a Briche usar de armas, dio orden pa tomar posesion de los efectos de deLeon y traherlos a. su casa y Briche conociendo el genio de los Leones considero necesario usar una fuerza armada en caso de resistencia y si esto abuso la orden del Alcalde es culpa suyo y no del Alcalde---Para evitar iguales dificultades en lo futuro he suspendido algns articulos de los reglamtos provisionales segun tengo dho en mi oficio 8 del presente y tambien he dado orn a los Alcaldes de esta colonia no entremeterse en ninga manera en asuntos o quejas judiciales qdo [quando] uno de los partes es nativo del pais y q. en tales casos deben ocurrir a mi los partes en derechura pr. q. ningo de los Alcaldes entienden una palabra en Castellano---Dios y L Sn Felipe de Austin 19 de Mayo de 1826---E F A 


AUSTIN TO SAUCEDO.  Sn Felipe de Austin 19 de Mayo de 1826 [From Austin's Blotter, August 26, 1824] Gefe del Departamenlo sobre el orden del Alcalde de Colorado a Briche Yncluyo a V. S. la orden original del Alcalde del Colorado i Briche pa tomar posesion de los efectos de Martin de Leon q. V. S. me encargo remitir en oficio fha 27 de Abril po. po---Esta orden fue dada en virtud de uno de los articulos de los reglamentos provisionales q. nos rijen de q. hable en mi oficio del 18 de Marzo po. po. el objeto era averiguar la materia delante del Alcalde antes de dar juicio. Briche no era comisionado pa decidir ni dar juicio ninguno en la materia, su orden f ue tomar posesion. y traher los efectos a la casa del Alcalde pa q. alli se disponga de ellos pr el mismo Alcalde segun la justicia requiere, y si De Leon debia a Grey q. se le paga de los mismos efectos, y si no le debia entonces quedera Grey responsable a De Leon pa todos los atrasos causados pr su demanda---Por exemplo supongamos q. un vecino de Laredo viene a Bexar y contrata deudas con un comerciante de alli prometiendo pagarle en tal tpo, llega el tpo y el comerciante manda un Agente a Laredo pa cobrar su dinero po el deudor en lugar de pagarle le dice q. no debe nada al comerciante, y q. no quiere pagarle, y al mismo tpo echando mil injurias contra el. Vuelva el dho Agente dar cuenta al comerciante del resultado de su comision y en poco tpo despues el dho deudor manda a Bexar un atajo de mulas ?no puede el comerciante entonces pedir de la justicia una orn pa, q. se detiene las mulas o suficientes de ellas hta averiguar la materia en judicio? y si el hombre de Laredo debe al comerciante y habia rehusado pagarle ?No puede el Alcalde mandar q. se le paga de las mulas detenidas? y mas particularmente si el referido deudor era Juez unico, Empresario y Comandante dela Milicia de Laredo, y ademas de esto un hombre no acostumbrado de observar la buena fe ni tener respecto pa su palabra en sus contratos y promesas particulares. Siento q. este asunto de ninguna importancia en su. principio ha tomado un aspecto tan serio. Si Martin de Leon hubiese venido a verme en un momento todo hubiera sido acomodado, pero pr el odio q. tiene a los nuevos pobladores y su genio natural y dificultoso quiso persentar sus quejas mal fundadas y pervertidas al Congreso del Estado con el objecto principal de disconceptuar la opinion de los nuevos pobladores y para gratificar su sentimiento particular---El Alcalde no dio orden a Briche usar de armas, dio orden pa tomar posesion de los efectos de deLeon y traherlos a. su casa y Briche conociendo el genio de los Leones considero necesario usar una fuerza armada en caso de resistencia y si esto abuso la orden del Alcalde es culpa suyo y no del Alcalde---Para evitar iguales dificultades en lo futuro he suspendido algns articulos de los reglamtos provisionales segun tengo dho en mi oficio 8 del presente y tambien he dado orn a los Alcaldes de esta colonia no entremeterse en ninga manera en asuntos o quejas judiciales qdo [quando] uno de los partes es nativo del pais y q. en tales casos deben ocurrir a mi los partes en derechura pr. q. ningo de los Alcaldes entienden una palabra en Castellano---Dios y L Sn Felipe de Austin 19 de Mayo de 1826---E F A


JAMES NORTON TO AUSTIN.  To Col. S. F. Austin, New Orleans 29th, May 1826 SIR Since I had the honor of seeing you in the City of New Orleans I have never relaxed in my good opinion of your settlement in Texas: but pecuniary embarrassments together with other circumstances have hitherto prevented my making a visit there since I went down in the Schooner Lively which then belonged to you. The Rob Roy, Capt Jno F. Field who is charged with the note, will arrive at the mouth of the Brassos (weather permitting) in about ten or twelve days. By said vessel on her return I should be happy to hear from you as I as well as Capt. Z. Butler who sailed the Lively after our first arrival here in 1822 have still a great inclination to become Citizens of your Colony: which the settlement of our private interests in this State has hithe.---to prevented, yet with you we hope that our inclination has not been lost sight of ; Capt Field is in a certain measure acquainted with the embarrassments which have heretofore prevented us from being with you which I hope will not be the case this Summer. The Rob Roy sails with a full freight and passangers for the settlement all of which I exerted my feeble interest to forward with a firm belief that I was enhancing the interests of the Colony which has been my constant study since I had the honor of your acquaintance in this city. Accept Sir, my sincerest regard for your welfare and that of your Colony: to the enterprising settlers of which I tender the warmest sentiments of respect and flatter myself with the reality of one day becoming a neighbor and friend among them---JAMES NORTON.

Next page--1826 continued


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