AUSTIN, Stephen F. (1793-1836). Suplemento al Noticioso General, Num. 101...Remitido...El amigo de la Verdadera Union. [Mexico City:] Imprenta de Doña Herculana de Villar y socios, 23 August 1822.
2o (292 x 201 mm). 4 pages. Heading on page 1, text printed in two columns. (Light dampstain, central fold with repairs at bottom affecting a few letters in some 8 lines, these neatly supplied.) Full green morocco gilt slipcase.
AN APPARENTLY UNRECORDED DEFENSE OF AUSTIN'S TEXAS SETTLEMENT, DENYING PLANS TO ANNEX TEXAS
A lengthy, detailed and impassioned defense of his motives and actions in settling American emigrants in the Province of Texas, written while Austin waited in Mexico City for the Mexican government's new colonization law. Here, Austin attacks his detractors, reviews the privileges granted his late father Moses Austin, and denies the U.S. has any "plan of acquisition" for the province of Texas. Austin insists that, contrary to a recently published article critical of him, all his actions have been under official authorization: "When the Governor of Texas communicated this Province to...[Moses] Austin...it was left to the charge of his son Stephen Austin in order to carry out that establishment, and comply with the conditions and requirements which the Governor had made..." Having fixed on a site for the new settlement "between the Colorado River and the Brazos." Austin "gathered the stipulated number of families" and brought them to Texas. He recounts that when he "visited the Province of Texas for the first time, in the company of that Commission named by that government, they did not find anything except an unpopulated desert, excepting the two small towns of Fernando de Bejar and la Bahia, which were infested with wild Indians..." In spite of that, "at the risk of his health, goods and in danger of his life, he began the settlement of the families," who set to work clearing the land and planting crops.
The Mexican provisional government, which came into power upon independence, had declined to endorse Austin's original commission, deciding to pass a general colonization law instead. In April 1822, Austin had gone to Mexico City solely to lobby the government on his behalf. In the midst of these efforts, Austin avers that his character is "recommended by important persons in the United States, by the Governor of Texas [Martinez], and by many others." He forcefully denies that either he or the U.S. have any plan to annex Texas, and observes that if a recent newspaper critic "were more familiar with the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and public opinion...with respect to the extension of their territory, you would see that such a proceeding is incompatible with...their laws and...opposed to the common interest of their nation." No American armies are based in the West, and "both Louisiana and Florida were acquired through friendly treaties," he points out. Such an "illegal acquisition would not succeed," he contends.
It was some months before Austin was able to secure passage of a new colonization law, which was signed by Emperor Iturbide on 3 January 1823, allocating land to the new settlers, and setting the compensation due to "Empresarios" like Austin who recruited settlers. Not in Streeter Texas or other standard sources, APPARENTLY UNRECORDED.