The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911

The Release of Stephen F. Austin from Prison. 155
THE RELEASE OF STEPHEN F. AUSTIN FROM PRISON
[The autograph letter printed below is found among the Lamar Papers.
At the time when it was written, the writer, Peter W. Grayson, was at-
torney general, and M. B. Lamar, the recipient, was vice-president of the
Republic of Texas.
"The Prison Journal of Stephen F. Austin," printed in THE QUARTERLY,
II, 183-210, presents a narrative of his movements from December 10,
1833, to February 13, 1834, the date on which he was placed in the Ex-
inquisition prison, and of his life in that prison from February 13 to
April 29, 1834. The Journal ceases abruptly on the latter date, although
Austin continued in the same prison until June 12, 1834. Additional in-
formation concerning himself while in prison is found in a letter which
he wrote to James F. Perry, August 25, 1834. It is printed in Edward,
History of Teas, 211-220. The important features of the letter below are:
(1) the light it sheds upon the efforts of the colonists to comfort and aid
Austin; (2) the nature of the evidence put forward against Austin by
the prosecution, and (3) the statement of the successive steps in his
release from prison and his final liberation and return home.-E. w. w.]
PETER W. GRAYSON TO MIRABEAU B. LAMAR
Columbia [Texas] Feby 14 1837
Dr Sir
The request you have made of me to give you some account
of the imprisonment in Mexico of our lamented fellow citizen
Genl Stephen F. Austin with the circumstances attending it as
I had occasion to observe them, during my stay there with him,
I take the first leisure to comply with, assuring you that it gives
me much satisfaction to furnish all the little information in my
power with respect to the interesting life of the individual whose
late untimely death1 we have all been left to deplore. I may in
passing take this occasion to express to you the pleasure I felt
on learning your determination to collect and throw into the
form of biography the many interesting incidents connected with
the first settlement of Texas, and its various succeeding interests,
in all of which the deceased is known to have borne so conspicu-
ous a part.2 For such an undertaking the present seems plainly
'Austin died December 27, 1836, while secretary of state of the Republic
of Texas.
'The reader will perceive from this letter that General Lamar was plan-
ning to write a book. The scope of his efforts contemplated a life of
Stephen F. Austin and a history of Texas. It was not his good for-

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101054/. Accessed April 20, 2014.