Stephen F. Austin to George Fisher, January 15, 1834
In 1830, the Mexican government passed a law prohibiting further Anglo-American immigration. They tried to enforce the measure militarily, and also imposed an unpopular tariff on Texans. This led to an uprising called the Anahuac Disturbances. These problems led to Austin taking sides in the latest Mexican upheaval and adopting the cause of Santa Anna in his takeover of the Mexican government.
Anglo Texans held conventions in 1832 and 1833 to petition for immigration to be opened up again, an exemption from the tariff, and statehood for Texas. Austin disagreed with the timing of the petitions, but he was selected nonetheless to go to Mexico City and present the petitions to Santa Anna. Austin thought his mission was a success. He persuaded the government to repeal the immigration ban and at least consider the Texans' other proposals. Then he headed for home, only to be arrested on the journey and brought back to Mexico City, charged with insurrection.
Austin's correspondent was George Fisher, who had taken over as empresario in the Nacogdoches area after Haden Edwards fled the scene. At the time of this letter, Fisher was publishing a liberal newspaper in Matamoros to the displeasure of the Mexican authorities.
Monterey 15 January 1834
Mr. Geo. Fisher
The affairs of Texas,
which have given me labor and vexation
enough for 13 years past are likely, as it
seems to keep me in difficulties for some time
to come. The fact is, that during the last
years of general convulsion, it has been almost
impossible for any one who occupies any
space in Society to keep clear of entangle-
ments of some kind. I have been arrested
by an order from the Minister of War, on an
accusation made by the State Government,
and I leave to morrow, I presume for Mexico.
All I can be accused of is that
I have labored diligently and faithfully
and with pure intentions to cover the Wilderness
of Texas with an Agricultural and usefull [sic]
population and to make it a State of the
Mexican Republic, separate from Coahuila.
This is no crime — it is quite the reverse.
I have sent some claims in that
Comisaria to D.W. Smith, to collect, and as
you are the Comisario I recommend them for
I am much pleased with the
new Comandante General, Don Pedro Lemus,
and I recommend him as a man of high
honor & liberal principles and a Gentleman.
The letters I wrote to Texas from
Matamoros in your favor caused a great excite-
ment there, in many, against me. If you go
Stephen F. Austin to George Fisher, January 15, 1834. Mirabeau B. Lamar Papers #1664. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.