DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-1998, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Muster at Gonzales and Battle of Bexar
RECONCILIATION OF STEPHEN F. AUSTIN AND WILLIAM H. WHARTON
Capt. William Russell Description | Wharton's Letter from Bexar | Austin's 1834 Letter from Prison
From Romance and Tragedy of Texas History by Sam Houston Dixon, 1924. Stephen F. Austin and William H. Wharton exerted a talismanic influence in the early days of the Texas colonies, and when these two leaders became personal enemies it was a matter of great regret among their personal friends and admirers. We shall not discuss here the causes which brought about their estrangement. Colonel Wharton doubtless felt that he had sufficient provocation to justify him in the course he pursued against Colonel Austin. But as these two distinguished patriots were laboring to attain the same end their friends deplored the unfortunate disagreement between them and sought a reconciliation. But not until the safety and security of the colonies were jeopardized was it accomplished.
Many of those who participated in the affairs of the colonies recognized that the enmity existing between Colonels Austin and Wharton was a hindrance to harmony, and an orderly prosecution of the programme mapped out by the colonists against the military despotism of the Mexican government. They both had a strong following and their influence over them was overwhelming. There was a discordant element that encouraged the widening of the breach between them. It was this that prompted the best and most patriotic citizens of the country to feel alarmed over the threatened outbreak, and to earnestly entreat their closest friends to bring about a termination of their differences. The colonies were facing a serious problem, that of protecting themselves against the further military despotism of the Mexican government, and they recognized the importance of a united people to bring success to their efforts to thwart the designs of the Mexicans. As time passed and the approach of the evil day was near, it became apparent to all that all factions should unite in a common cause.
The first gun of the revolution had been fired at Gonzales and with many difficulties troops were hastening to that place. It was then that these two patriots laid aside their personal grievances to further the cause of freedom. Just how the reconciliation between Colonels Austin and Wharton was consummated we will let one of the prime agents of the affair tell his own story. It is that of Captain William J. Russell as told in 1874, thirty-eight years after its occurrence. Here is his story:
"Early in the month of October, 1835, and but a day or two previous to the organization of the volunteer army of Texas, at Gonzales, the writer in company with William H. Wharton and William G. Hill, arrived at that place a short time after dark, and seeing a glimmering light in an old-fashioned double-logged cabin, we rode to it. I dismounted and entered the house, and much to my gratification, found Mr. Pleasant A McNeil, of Brazoria. I at once asked him the news. He replied:
'I fear we are to have trouble. There are several gentlemen here (and he named them), each of whom has been, and is, aspiring to the chief command of the army; each one has his squad of friends, but neither seem able to harmonize the majority; so that a few days ago it was agreed to send an express to San Felipe for Colonel Stephen F. Austin, with the hope than sooner than abandon the contemplated and cherished object of driving the garrison from San Antonio, all should unite on him, and, said he in conclusion, Colonel Austin reached here a short time since, very much fatigued, and is in the next room lying down.'
I asked for nothing more, but without ceremony entered the room where Colonel Austin was and found him lying on his blanket with an inch of candle, stuck in a chip, by his side, evidently in feeble health. He greeted me cordially and prepared a seat for me on the side of his blanket. I accepted and he related to me in a few words what he understood to be the condition of matters, and with much feeling expressed fear that he would be unable to reconcile existing difficulties; that it was well known to all that he knew nothing practically about military matters; that there were men of influence whose feelings he regretted to say, were so bitter toward him that he greatly feared they would never consent to abandon their ambitious views for the purpose of harmonizing any difficulties by uniting on him.
Just then he recognized the voice, as he thought, of Mr. Wharton in the next room, and asked me if he were there. I told him he was that we came together. He then spoke of Mr. Wharton as one of the men of ability and influence whose feelings toward him were very bitter, than whom there was not a man who would use greater exertions to defeat any effort to unite on him, without reference to the object to be accomplished thereby he then came to a pause, evidently to have my opinion to what he had expressed, for he well knew that the personal relations between Mr. Wharton and myself were of the most cordial nature. I said to him:
'Colonel Austin, both Mr. Wharton and yourself are sensible and patriotic men and it will not do for the feelings to which you refer, and which I understand, to militate against the public good; we have too much at stake; this must be settled, at least for the present.'
He sprang from his blanket and, greatly excited, grasped me by the hand and asked if I thought Mr. Wharton would listen to an advance of that nature coming from him. I told him I had no doubt of it; if he did not I shall tell him plainly he was not the man I believed him to be. With a lip quivering with emotion, still holding my hand, he said:
'Captain Russell, all I have and all I am, except my personal honor, which at all hazards must be saved, belong to Texas, my own dear Texas. Go then as a messenger of peace, and with the solitary reservation of my personal honor, make any pledge in my name that may be necessary to secure the object, and I will endorse it.'
I left him, passed to the room where I left Mr. McNeill, and found that Mr. Wharton and Mr. Hill had entered the room. I asked Mr. Wharton out in the yard and told him I had a message for him, and enjoined silence on his part until the message was delivered in full. When I had concluded the message which, in brief, I appended my own views, the first words uttered by Mr. Wharton were:
'Great God! is it possible for that man to entertain sentiments so elevated? From my heart I honor him. Return to him; tell him anything for me you may deem necessary. We all have the same great object in view, and no man shall excel me in the performance of any duty deemed necessary to accomplish our purpose.'
I understood the impulsive nature of Mr. Wharton well, and before leaving him said:
'Mr. Wharton, perhaps no man knows better than myself that occasionally there are feelings entertained, or lurking in the breast of men, which silence best, and it mav be which silence only, can express. I therefore deem it proper to stipulate that you return to the room from whence you came. I will go for Colonel Austin, take him to the room-that you meet, take each other by the right hand, and not a word to be uttered by either of you until the silence be broken by others present.'
I proceeded for Colonel Austin, told him how they were to meet, and conducted him to the room where they met with a silent grasp of the hand, encircled by William G. Hill, Pleasant D. McNeil and William J. Russell, with the servants of Colonel Austin and Wharton and William J. Russell, named respectively, Isam, Abraham and John, as lookers-on. Here indeed was exhibited a tableau upon which I have often thought an angel might have looked with approval. Of the eight persons above named, the writer is the only survivor; and although he has often thought of giving the incident to the public, it is quite likely that it would be delayed until he, too, had passed away, but for the suggestion of some friends, who being apprised of it insisted that it be given to the public.
There are those still living of that comparatively small band of patriot brothers, some of whom have said to the writer within the past week, that but for the personal reconciliation above described, there would have been no organization of the army at that time; and had that happened, no one could say what disastrous consequences might have followed. If this opinion is correct, it furnishes but another in the long and interesting catalogue of incidents with which the true history of Texas is full, and which, though of but apparent trifling importance at the time, have developed into result.
I may be permitted to add that my acquaintance with General Stephen F. Austin dated back to 1828, and I am clearly of the opinion that his true character has never, in general, been fully understood, nor properly appreciated; and hence, not only his memory, but the true history of Texas, has suffered and will continue to suffer to a greater or less degree."
The meeting of Colonels Austin and Wharton present a scene full of pathos. It was the midnight hour. The little log cabin was but dimly lighted, but within its walls was being enacted a scene that foretold the destiny of a nation. It was just such personal sacrifices as this that enabled the Texas colonists to resist the onrushing tide of Mexican cavalry, and put to flight the trained and seasoned troops of Santa Anna. Colonel Austin and Wharton realized the urgent necessity for unity of action and laid aside their personal grievances that victory may crown the little Texas army then forming. The call for unity was urgent---the enemy must be struck before he formed his line of battle. The success of the Texans depended upon the vigilance and faithfulness of the leaders and it was of inexpressible importance that these leaders labor in perfect harmony.
The self-sacrifice and patriotism displayed by Colonels Austin and Wharton have few equals in history. When they grasped each others hands and looked into each others eyes, words were not spoken, but tears dimmed their sight and wetted their cheeks. Words were inadequate to express their joy. These things told the story more forceful than words. Tomorrow a commander was to be chosen to lead this little band of volunteers to the fortress of the enemy. It was not a time for rivalry. When the next day's sun rose over the little camp at Gonzales, the clouds of discord were dispelled and with one voice Colonel Austin was proclaimed commander to lead the gallant volunteers to victory. There was no strife, there was no withholding of confidence. The scene of the previous night had settled all controversy, all conflict, because it had been made known to the little band of volunteers that Colonel Wharton had pledged his support to Colonel Austin. All ambitious rivals for leadership withdrew and joined the ranks which soon marched to Bexar and victory.
On 6 Nov after the election of Austin as Commander in Chief and his appointment of Wharton as Judge Advocate General, Wharton wrote the letter below from headquarters in the middle of the siege of Bexar:
WHARTON TO PUBLIC 6 Nov 1835 Being informed by Genl S F Austin in writing that in his letter of August 25th 1834 he had no intention to charge me with any thing dishonorable nor in any other letter he ever wrote I therefore retract my card in answer to his letter it being founded on a misconstruction of his letter. All differences between us are satisfactorily adjusted & peace prevails between us. Wm H Wharton Camp above Bexar 6th November 1835
Wharton is likely referring to the letter below which was written by Austin to his brother-in-law from prison in Mexico. The letter is an eloquent expression of Austin's consitent political position and it or its contents was probably widely distributed among Texian leaders.
AUSTIN TO JAMES F. PERRY Prison of the Acordada City of Mexico 25 Aug. 1834 To JAMES F. PERRY Dr BROTHER, I write you more for the purpose of informing you that I am still in the land of the living, than to communicate any thing agreeable as to my situation.
I presume you are already informed that I arrived in this city on the 13 Feb. last, and was shut up in one of the dungeons of the inquisition where I remained three months in close confinement, incomunicado, that is locked up day and night with very little light except candles and not allowed to speak or communicate with any one, not to have books, pen, ink, or paper-The President Genl. Santana put me in communication soon after he resumed the Govt. in May-The treatment I recd from the vice President Gomez Farias was in the highest degree rigid and marked through out by strong personal feeling which I attribute in part to the result of an interview I had with him the first of October, in which he was highly offended at me because I stated that the affairs of Texas required the prompt attention of Government for the people there had taken the position, that if the evils which threatened that country with ruin were not remedied by the Govt, the people of Texas would remedy them of themselves without waiting any longer, on the ground that self preservation rendered such a step necessary and would justify it. The vice president construed this into a threat, and a personal insult, and we both parted in anger, and in very great irritation-I wrote the letter of 2d October to the Ayuntamto--became cool again-persevered in getting the remidies-reconciled the vice president and parted with him on the 10th December in harmony and with the best of feelings and the most sincere respect. The Ayumtamto of Bexar changed the face of things and revived the passion of the vice president by sending my unfortunate letter of 2d October.
Individuals who were unfriendly to me because I opposed a territory for Texas, and others who were unfriendly to all foreigners, improved this opportunity to inflame the minds of the vice president and his ministers against me, so that on my return to Mexico as a prisoner, he was the most violent and bitter enemy I had. I believe him to be an honest man and a true federal democratic republican in principle, but he believed, or was led by others to believe, that the political situation of Mexico required something like a Robespierre system, or reign of terror. No one was executed, but hundreds were banished and imprisoned. Whether this system was the result of the vice president's own inclination, or whether he was led into it by his councellors and friends, I cannot say. Some think it was all his own policy, and others that he was forced into it contrary to his wish, by the power of circumstances, and by the exciteinents of the day. His administration was unfortunate for the nation, and for the federal party, for no one who has any sence of justice, or of common humanity can approve of an illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary system of banishment, and imprisonment. The religious prejudices of the people were also alarmed by the measures of that administration to a great degree-hence the reaction that is now operating all over the nation, and which some think will shake the federal system, tho I am not of that opinion, for I do not believe the President Santana has designed to change the system, or to do anything more than to get a Congress together in Jany next, with the character and powers of a national convention freely elected by the people in order to reestablish or revive the Constitution, which has been so dreadfully outraged by all parties, that none respect it. A great personal animosity is said to exist between the President Santana and his friends and the vice president Gomez Farias and his friends. I believe, there is no harmony between them and much hatred.
But to return to my own affairs, which I presume are much more interesting to you than the family political quarrels of this republic I remained in the inquisition untill the 15th of June, when the military tribunal to whom my case had been referred decided that they had no jurisdiction over it, and I was removed to this prison, and my case was delivered over to a civil tribunal or juez de letras in whose hands it slept, untill the 12th of this month, when he also decided that he had no jurisdiction over it, and it was then sent to the federal district Judge who soon dispatched it by deciding that be had no jurisdiction over it, as I did not reside in his district. The matter was then sent to the Supreme Court of the United Mexican States in order for them to decide what court or tribunal ought to try me, and there the case rests at present. So that after eight months, I do not know as yet what court is to investigate my case. I have long since requested to be delivered to the authorities of the State of Coahuila and Texas, and I presume I shall be finally sent to the district court (federal judge) of that State, but when, is quite uncertain for these things move very slowly.
The President Santana is friendly to Texas and to me. Of this I have no doubt. he would have set me at liberty long since, and in fact issued an order to that effect in June, but some statements arrived about that time (as I am told for I have seen nothing) from the State government of Coahuila and Texas against me, which I understand have contributed mainly to keep me in prison so long. It is said that the report of the State Govt. on the subject is founded solely on statements of persons who live in Texas-who those persons are I know not-it is said they are North Americans by birth I have even been told, that if I am not imprisoned for life and totally ruined in property and reputation, it will not be for the want of exertions or industry on the part of some of my countrymen who live in Texas. Whether all this be true or not, I do know not, I am unwilling to believe it. I have also been told that no efforts were left untry during the last winter and spring to prejudice the members of the legislature and State Govt. against me at Monclova-I cannot believe these things-I wish you to inquire of Oliver Jones'---he is an honorable mail, I am confident he has had no agency in such matters, and I shall rely fully on what he says about them.
Chambers was at Monclova-I have long since been told that he was my enemy-he said that he was not. He has taken upon himself in his pamphlet of April 1833 3 all the credit (if there be any) of having been the first to discover and propagate the idea in Texas of separating from Coahuila, and the first to call public attention to that point, and to excite public opinion in favor of that measure and of the Convention etc. [No copy of this important pamphlet by Thomas Jefferson Chambers is known to exist] I was told that he was opposed to my appointment, as the public agent to come to Mexico, on the same ground taken by W. H. Wharton and others, which was that I would not use energy enough with the Govt.-that I would be too passive and humble, and not display independence and firmness etc, and also that I was opposed to a State, and would defeat it, and would not obey the instructions, or regard the wishes of the people as expressed by the Convention etc, etc. Now, what I cannot understand is, that these same men, who at that time were violent political fanatics in favor of a State, and of high handed measures with the Govt. and who abused and opposed me, because I was too mild too passive, too luke-warm-the same men who were the first, as they themselves say, to create an excitement in favor of separating Texas from Coahuila, and who in fact contributed very much to involve me and my friends in all this difficulty, and in the labyrinth in which I am entangled, by compelling me, as it were, to yield to public opinion, or what I believed to be, and what I now believe was the public opinion at that time, and which public opinion was first excited by these same men (The fact is that the excitement in the colony at that time in favor of the State placed me in the alternative of yielding to them, or of opposing them by force by means of party divisions, or of leaving the country. I was disposed to adopt the first, or the last of these alternatives rather than the other of organizing a party or creating party divisions in the Colony). That these same men should now attack me, as it is said they have done, because I faithfully, fearlessly, and firmly represented the wishes of the Convention and of my constituents, as these same men said those wishes were when I left there, instead of concealing or counteracting those wishes, as these same men said I would do--That these same men should now try to ruin me and perpetuate my imprisonment, and should rejoice and exult at my sufferinus, is what I cannot understand, and am unwilling to believe, for it would be the same as to believe that all their show and display of zeal for the public good, their pretended patriotism, had in fact no other definite object but to create confusion, out of which they hoped to derive some benifit. or at least to involve me in difficulty or total ruin. This I cannot believe, altho such a thing was told me I cannot yet believe it.
I was told before I left the colony, that no matter what I did or how I acted, some persons there would seek my ruin if they could. I am unwilling to believe that such baseness exists in all nature. That men should err in politics, become convinced of their error, and change their opinions, is a common and natural thing and amounts to nothing at all except a mere error in judgment which we are all liable to, and have all committed during our lives-but, there is a vast difference between an honest error in judgment or opinion, and an honest change of that opinion; and a secret or malicious design or plot to ruin another, by weaving a political net around him for that express purpose. Neither the public good nor patriotism, can have any influence in such a designnone but a base and corrupt heart could, or would have any hand in such a foul plot. I am unwilling to believe that any persons in Texas are influenced by such low and degrading motives. However time will show. There is an investigating and discriminating power in the public eye, that sooner or later will penetrate the most complicated mysteries, and arrive at the truth, and public opinion will then award justice where it is due. To that eye, and to that opinion, I am ready and willing to submit my actions, my reputation, or my life. In common with my friends at San Felipe, and in other parts of Texas who took a part in the State question, I possibly may have committed the error, which is often committed in all countries, of paying more attention to popular excitements, than they deserved. Both my friends and myself were precipitated into the measures of the Convention, by the circumstances of the times, That measure was adopted to avoid greater evils, than those which then afflicted the country, as well as to seek for a redress of existing ones; but whether my friends and myself committed an error or not, on that occasion is not now so important a question, because good, and very great and, permanent good has resulted to Texas, and to the Mexican nation from those measures, and from my exertions and sufferings, and no one can say with truth that he has been injured by us. We have persecuted no one, and used no efforts to undermine or to distroy any one.
Neither S. F. Austin nor one of his friends have made charges before the Government, or before the public against any one, on account of the past transactions. Their object, and their only object, was the public good of Texas, and of the Mexican republic, and not the ruin of this, that, or the other individual. Their object has been accomplished. The public good has been promoted, and no one has been injured or calumniated by them. They have not established news papers to abuse and calumniate a companion who acted with them in those measures, and in consequence of having done so, is incarcerated in a distant dungeon, unable to defend himself or to repel calumny. [Thought to refer to John A. Wharton's Advocate of the People's Rights] They have not attempted to reach the ears of the Government by entering the back door of the Government house, and infusing suspicion and poison into the minds of the high authorities for the purpose of perpetuating the imprisonment of a fellow citizen, and of one too who has labored faithfully and with pure intentions to benefit every body he could, who has in fact devoted the last 13 years to the advancement of Texas and of its inhabitants. They have not attempted to shuffle off any of the responsibility upon the shoulders of others. Their conduct has been open, public, frank, and candid, and marked by good f aith, as the conduct of all men is, who labor solely for the public good. They harbour no low, vindictive and malignant feelings of envy or revenge. If they have committed any errors, they were honest ones, and they are free and frank to confess them, without attempting to shake them off upon their former companions. In short, the object of S. F. Austin and his friends was the public good of Texas, and of Mexico. They acted in good faith in the whole matter. Their object has been accomplished. The Government have remedied the evils complained of in Texas, and which threatened that country with ruin, and those who last year acted in good faith, and with pure intentions in favor of separating from Coahuila, are now opposed to it, because the reasons which made a seperation necessary no longer exist, and Austin, and his friends will therefore now be the first to oppose such a separation, or any other measures, that tend to disturb the established and regular order of things. They will discountenance all men, whomever they may be, who attempt to attack the Mexican Government, or any of its authorities, by word or deed.
S. F. Austin's motto always has been Fidelity to Mexico, opposition to violent men or measures. That motto will continue to be the basis of his political faith, and the rule of his actions. He also owes duties to the citizens of his colony, and to Texas, which he has never shrunk from executing, so far as he could. If proofs are needed to establish this fact, let them be sought for in the last 13 years, and they, will be found. His present incarceration and persecutions are proofs. The heaviest responsibilities, the risk of his liberty, of his all, were presented to his view on the one hand, and his duty, or what he believed to be his duty to Texas, on the other~-he adopted the latter and did not hesitate to risk the former. And is he to be persecuted, calumniated and abused for having done so, and that too by some of the same men, who were the most active, as they have boasted, in precipitating him into the measures which have led to his present entanglements? At one time I am abused for being too Mexican, too much the friend of Mexicans, too easily deceived by the Mexicans, too confiding in them, opposed to the separation from Coahuila, and in favor of keeping Texas forever bound to the State of Coahuila and Texas. The people are excited against me to a fury, because I am too Mexican. I yield to the popular opinion, am appointed to represent that opinion, accept of the appointment in good faith; and truly, firmly and fearlessly represent that opinion, as it was my duty to do as an agent, and for having done so, I am calumniated and abused by the same men who, as they say, were the first to excite that popular opinion!! I cannot compreliend these matters.
In my letter to the Avuntamto of Austin from Monterrey dated 17 January last, and in ail my letters written since my return to this city (I wrote you in May, and Oliver Jones and Williams in June) I have earnestly requested of my friends not to suffer themselves to be excited on account of my arrest and imprisonment. I have also advised and recommended the most prompt obedience and submission to the authorities of the State and Genl. Government, and an expression in writing, by some public act of the gratitude of the people for the remidies that have been applied by the State and Genl. Govts, to the many evils that.were threatening Texas with ruin. I have advised the people of the colony to discountenance all violent or disorderly politicians or men, and especially all political adventurers and all political fanatics. I now repeat the same advice, and will add to it a rule which if strictly followed will be the means of preserving peace and harmony in Texas, and of advancing its prosperity rapidly. The rule is, to discountenance in the most unequivocal and efficient manner all persons who are in the habit of speaking or writing in violent or disrespectful terms, or in the language of contempt or defiance of the Mexican, people or authorities.
This rule is a necessary consequence of the motto before stated. I have no doubt that motto will be adopted, and publically avowed and sustained by all my personal friends and I hope it will also be by all the friends of Texas, of good order, and of common sense. I earnestly recommend that it may be. It will become a sound and distinguishing centre of union and operate as the magic of a name often does, by which unity is given to a party or to a whole community. I do not believe there is any anti-Mexican party in Texas but if there be, the adoption by the people of the motto and rule above stated, will soon detect and mark it, and render its members harmless, for there is so much honesty and sound sense in the mass of the people that a revolutionist need only be known to be put down.
A gasconading and silly letter dated Brazoria 4 May was published in the Bulletin newspaper of New Orleans, and republished in the Telegrafo in this city. It has injured me very much and I presume it was written by some enemy of mine for the express purpose of injuring me. T disapprove of such things very much and thank no man for putting, my name into the news papers in such equivocal terms. I am a Mexican citizen, I have never failed in my duty as such, and I never will--
I fear the first pronouncement by the State Government made at Monclova in June against the President Genl. Santana has had a bad effect in Texas. It was a very precipitate and imprudent step and has produced an answer from Saltillo quite in character, that is a counter pronouncement. I hope that the authorities of the colony have paid no other attention to either of these two pronouncements, or to any others, than to say officially and in the most respectful terms, that those authorities will recognize and obey the President of the United Mexican States Genl. Antonio Lopez Santana, untill he is constitutionally deposed from that high station, which he occupies by the legal vote of the nation; and that those authorities recognize no other mode of deposing a President, except the one prescribed in the general Constitution of the nation, which every citizen has sworn to obey, and which those authorities will obey rigidly etc, etc. I again and again advise Texas to keep clear of the political family quarrels of this republic. A dead silence is the best possible course for Texas.
The President Santana has been accused by his enemies of having turned Congress out of doors on the 31 of May, and of having trampled upon the national representation etc. This whole question turns upon the construction of the 71st article of the general constitution, which says that Congress shall close its sessions on the 15th day of April each year, but may extend the sessions for 30 days more, if the two houses think proper or if the president requests it. Now, on the 15th day of April of this year the sessions were closed as the above article prescribed, and Congress decided that the session should be extended to 30 days more (exclusive of feast or holy days) as said article prescribed they could do. The said thirty days expired, and Congress attempted to continue the sessions beyond that time. Had they any constitutional power to do so? If they had not, was it, or was it not the duty of the President, under his oath of office, to prevent Congress from doing an unconstitutional act? The whole question turns upon these constitutional points. It will be remembered that the judicial authority have no power to annul an unconstitutional act of Congress, and that the president is bound by his oath of office to prevent any unconstitutiowd acts from being committed by any person, or by any authority-should it be necessary for Congress to meet after the expiration of the 30 days the constitution Article 110 clause 17 and 116 clause 3 says they may be called in extra sessions by the council of government, and the executive and there is no other mode prescribed in the constitution for getting Congress together after the expiration of the 30 days. Men of judgment can easily decide, I think, by examing these constitutional points whether the President, or Congress were in error. I fear these things have not been understood in Texas, and that the people have been excited to take part against the President. What they ought to have done, and ought to do in future, is to take no part at all in such matters and to preserve a dead silence. Neither yea nor nay, pro nor con. Stick to the CONSTITUTION and close their eyes and cars against all kinds of Plans, and Pronunciamentos, and against all inflamatory advice, from all quarters
Santana is friendly to Texas and to me. My personal friends have cause to be grateful to him. I know not how you are all getting along in Texas. It is a long time since I have heard from there except indirectly, or by rumors which now and then reach my prison. I have no letters since 15 April-I reed one from you and Emily dated in March. I do not know who are Alcaldes anywhere in Texas-I hear that all is peace and contentment which is the only consolation I have recd to soothe my imprisonment.
Amongst those who have befriended me in my misfortunes I hope that my family and personal friends will never forget Don Victor Blanco, and his brother in Law Don Ramon Musquiz of Bexar.
I sent you duplicate powers of attorney to sell any of my property, and attend to my affairs. I rely on you and S. M. Williams to save my property from the wreck that seems to have.been intended for me. I hope you have kept up the Chocolate bayou stock f arm and have one hundred cows there by this time at least.
Should I ever return I will make your house my home, untill I can build a house and improve a farm. I will never again take any part whatever in public matters of any kind. On this point my mind is fixed.
Remember me very particularly to H. Austin, send him this letter, also show it to J. H. Bell, to Capt. Wiley Martin, D. G. Burnett and such other of my friends as you think proper. I wish them to know my opinions on these matters, and I wish them and all Texas to adopt and firmly adhere to the motto and rule I have stated in this letter. I have been led into so much difficulty and Texas has been so much jeopardised in its true and permanent interests, by inflamatory men, by political fanatics, political adventurers, would-be-great-men vain talkers, and visionary fools, that I begin to loose confidence in all persons except those who seek thei r living between the ploughhan[dles]. Show this letter to S. M. Williams it is strange, but it seems that I am blamed for all he says, or writes, or does. He ought to have nothing more to do with politics or public matters, but stick closely and exclusively to commerce. No one can prosper or be happy who has any thing to do with public affairs.
I sent you two miniatures from Monterrey by Peter and Joseph Powel and two books and some seeds which I hope you have received.
I am much pleased that you have employed Mr. Pilgrim to teach the children. I hope you will keep him if you need funds to pay him sell some of my land for that purpose. I hope Eliza will continue Stephen with Pilgrim--he can board at your house and be as well attended to, as at home. I am now in tolerable health, but have suffered very much with rheumatism. I feel the effects of the first years of the settlement in Texas. The damp close air of the dungeon in the inquisition and want of exercise brought on the rheumatism.
Remember me to all the old settlers and all others who think me worth inquiring after. Farewell may heaven bless and preserve you Your Brother S. F. Austin
Aug.6. The above is principally the copy of a letter I wrote you yesterday and sent by mail. This copy is rather more correct than the other P. D.-August 26-1 wish you to show this letter to T. F. McKinney and if he thinks proper, or thinks it will do any good he can inform his friends at Nacogdoches of my opinions. The fact is that public opinion has been disjointed and led astray in all parts of Texas ever since January 1832. McKinney and many others know how much wretchedness the political excitements in Texas have cost me, and how much I dislike all inflamatory politicians. But I could not stem the current-it would have been worse than useless, it would have augmented the evils, to have attempted it. But now the thing is different. The farmers of Texas have been or ought to be, alarmed by the inflamatory events of the last two years and I think they -will now adopt the principles of the motto I have always followed and now recommend to all Texas-that is to the honest and sound part of the people-as for the balance that is mere demagogues and political fanatics-they will disappear, before sound public opinion, as the gnatts and mosquitoes do before the rays of a bright and unclouded sun. The farmers need only proclaim with one unanimous voice Fidelity to Mexico, opposition to violent men or measures, and all will be peace, harmony arid prosperity in Texas. I hope the State question is totally dead and will so remain. Another important matter is to bury all personal animosities and vindictive feeling---no one has as much just cause as I have to entertain such feelings. I am the only one who has sufferedl the only one whose total ruin has been attempted and intended-and I -will be the first to forget it all, and even embrace my personal enemies, provided they meet me on the basis established in the above motto. I have no object but the good of Texas, and of Mexico and will make any sacrifice to that object. S. F. AUSTIN I send this by New Orleans.
Muster at Gonzales and Battle of Bexar
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
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