The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1

4

Laews, Orders and Coltracts

Spain. lie accordingly undertook the journey, from Missouri to the capital
of the province of Texas. The information collected by the younger
Austin, on Red river, had convinced him that the route by way of Natchitoches,-or
by water from New Orleans, was much preferable to the one
originally contemplated through Arkansas territory; which, added to the
unhealthiness of the situation at Long Prairie, and other circumstances,
caused an abandonment of the farming project at that place; and he met
his father at Little Rock in the summer of 1820. It was there arranged,
that the father should proceed to the capital of Texas, and the son to
New Orleans; the former to see what could be done by an application
to the Spanish authorities of New Spain; and the latter to make some
preparatory arrangements in New Orleans, for facilitating the transportation
of families, furnishing supplies, and he left the governor's house to prepare
for his departure. In crossing the public square, he accidentally met
the Baron De Bastrop, with whom he had a slight acquaintance, in the
United States many years previous. Mr. Austin became a Spanish subject
in Upper Louisiana, in 1799, and De Bastrop went to the governor
with the documents which he had brought with him to prove the fact;
a second interview was thus obtained with the governor, and after several
days deliberation, and consultation with the cabildo, a memorial was
presented by AMr. Austin, asking for permission to settle three hundred
families in Texas; which was sent on to the superior government of the
eastern internal provinces, strongly recommended by the local authorities
of this province.
He left Bexar in January and arrived in MIissouri in the spring, and
immediately set about making the necessary preparations for a removal
to Texas, as soon as he should hear of the success of his application. His
preparations, however, were greatly retarded by ill health, and on his
return in the winter through Texas, he suffered greatly from exposure
to bad weather, swimming and rafting rivers and creeks, and for want
of provisions; for at that time, Texas was an entire wilderness, from
Bexar to the Sabine. Nacogdoches and the settlements in its vicinity
had been totally broken up, and the inhabitants driven off by the expedition
that was sent the year before by the Spanish government against
the revolutionists in that quarter. He reached Natchitoches, on his return,
much afflicted by a severe cold that had settled in his breast, and
which terminated in an inflammation that finally ended his existence in
Missouri, a few days after he had received information of the success
of his application. He left a request that his son Stephen should prosecute
the enterprise, which he had thus commenced, of forming a settlement
in Texas.
Mr. Moses Austin was a native of Durham, in the state of Connecticut,
and much distinguished for enterprise and perseverance. At the age of
(4)

Gammel, Hans Peter Mareus Neilsen. The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5872/. Accessed September 18, 2014.