The Texas NavySamuel M. Williams to Bartlett Sims, July 1, 1832 - Page 1

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Loyalty to Mexico

In this letter, Samuel M. Williams, Stephen F. Austin's chief lieutenant, writes to militia captain Bartlett Sims of Bastrop asking him to rally support for the Mexican government to counter the Anahuac Disturbances. At the time, Austin was away in Saltillo attending a meeting of the legislature.

By 1832, Austin's colonies were home to 8000 people. As the leader of Anglo-American Texas, Austin was determined to maintain the stability needed for the new communities to develop and prosper. Austin promoted harmony with Mexican authorities and constantly sought to remind the settlers of the need to act as loyal Mexican citizens.

The following year, Austin traveled to Mexico to present a petition from Texas asking for relief from the ban on American immigration and other reforms. Austin was arrested, thrown in prison without charges, and held against his will for 28 months. When he finally returned home, he found revolution inevitable and committed himself to the cause.

Samuel M. Williams would follow a similar path — within three years of writing this letter, he and his business partner, Thomas F. McKinney, would risk their lives and fortunes to purchase ships and arms for the Texas Navy.

Samuel M. Williams to Bartlett Sims, 1832July 1st 1832

  Dear Sir

              This once happy and [pros]
perous country is now a perfect [charnel?]
house of anarchy and confusion and it
appears as if every bad passion was uniting
for the complete destruction of the country.

              But one possible course is now left
to save us all. We must be firm and
faithful to this government that has
done so much for us and every man
must now take that side and stick to
his oath.

              You must not spare horse
flesh nor labor nor pains nor fatigue[.]
[R]ouse up the Curtises, the Burlesons,
the  Bartons, and all the other adopted
sons of this government. I call upon
you in the name of our father and
protector, Stephen F. Austin, fidelity
to Mexico, acts and deeds, are now

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Samuel M. Williams to Bartlett Sims, July 1, 1832. Mirabeau B. Lamar Papers #147, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

 

Page last modified: June 24, 2019