From the Arkansas Gazette, April 30.
A gentleman who has lately been on an exploring tour in the Province of Texas, passed through this place a few days ago, and has communicated to us the following interesting facts relative to the situation of that country.
He represents the condition of the people as miserable in the extreme; industry is scarcely known among them; and business of every description at a stand. Although possessed of one of the finest and most fertile portions of the globe, yet agriculture is entirely neglected, and, to a person accustomed to civilized life, they present a picture literally bordering on starvation; bread stuffs are very scarce and dear, and, like the natives of the forest, they depend almost entirely on the chase for a scanty subsistence. At St. Antonio. (sic: San Antonio) a place which has once been a wealthy and populous city, nothing but wretchedness was visible. That place is garrisoned by about 75 soldiers, who were nearly destitute of amunition (sic). The people of that place have once been in a state of ease and affluence, but in consequence of the soldiers of the Spanish and Republican armies having been quartered on, and pillaging them, for several years, together with their own indolence, they are now reduced to the most abject state of poverty. This remark is also applicable to La Badia (sic: Bahia) and the other principal posts which our informant visited.
The Spaniards appeared totally ignorant of the affairs of their own country, or even of the province in which they resided. Neither the Governor, or any of the Spanish officers, knew what government they were under — all was conjecture and report. The people of Mexico, and the provinces, were much divided into political parties: one part was in favor of calling a member of the family of the king of Spain for their king — and another was for chusing (sic) a king from among themselves — some were for an absolute, and others for a limited, monarchy — some for an aristocratical, and others for a republican, government. But it was the general wish of all, that their government should be independent of Spain.
General Long and his party, who it will be recollected were made prisoner at La Badia, were at Mont el Rey, on parole — they had not been received into the Mexican service, but it was expected they soon would be. They were treated with the greatest respect by the Governor and authorities, were paid for their services, and it was said that Gen. Long would be appointed Governor of La Badia.
Our informant visited Mr. Austin's settlement, near the mouth of the Colorado, and spent considerable time in exploring the country is the neighborhood, of which he speaks very favorably. He represents the settlement as populating very fast; two or three hundred settlers have already arrived, including several families, upwards of 100 of whom would make crops this season. Their situation, however, was not a very pleasant one at the time our informant left there, and for a considerable time before: they were entirely destitute of breadstuffs, (indeed, it was even doubtful whether they would be able to procure corn enough for seed,) and were under the necessity of subsisting on venison, wild turkies, &c of which they found an abundance. The influx of settlers was so great in that part of the country, that a scarcity of provisions is looked for next winter. A vessel from New Orleans had been expected for a long time up the Colorado, with provisions and supplies from the settlement — but it had been ascertained that she had mistook the mouth of the Brassos for the Colorado, and attempted to ascend that river, but not finding sufficient depth of water to cross the bar, she put back to New Orleans. On her arrival there, the captain described the mouth of the river which he and attempted to ascend, when his mistake was discovered. — The vessel was then put under the command of another captain who was better acquainted with the coast, and immediately dispatched to the relief of the settlement; and just as our informant left there, news of her being on the coast, and near the Colorado, was received.
Some doubts existed as to the extent of the privileges which would be allowed to the settlers in Mr. Austin's grant. The governor of St. Antonio was very friendly to Mr. Austin, and rendered him every assistance in his power, but said he expected orders from the Mexican government to permit no more than three hundred and sixty families to settle in the grant, being the number originally stipulated for — and that they must all be Catholics. Mr. Austin had gone to the city of Mexico for explanations on this and other subjects relative to his grant.
"From Texas." Nashville Whig, Wednesday, June 12, 1822, p. 3, col. 4.