From the Arkansas Gazette.
INTERESTING FROM TEXAS.
(Hempstead county was in the SE corner of Arkansas near the NW boundary of the Mexican state of Texas.)
A gentleman who arrived here a few days since from Hempstead county, has communicated to us the following interesting particulars in relation to the present situation of affairs in the Province of Texas, and of the distressed condition of the late emigrants to that country.
Just before he left Hempstead county, our informant conversed with two or three respectable and intelligent gentlemen, who had just returned from Mr. Austin's settlement at the mouth of the Colorado, and from an extensive exploring tour through most of the principal parts of the province of Texas. — About the time of their leaving the settlement, a letter (date not recollected) from Mr. Austin was received there by his brother that the prospect of obtaining a confirmation of his grant was very doubtful — indeed, it was next to a certainty that it would be in such a way, as, in all probability, to be rejected by Mr. Austin. One of the conditions on which the grant was to have been made, was that he should settle 300 families within certain limits, in a stipulated time, and it is now required that the settlers must all be Catholics! — a requisition not easily complied with.
None but Catholics are permitted to settle in the province. It is said the inhabitants will be required to reside in villages, each of which to be under a local commandant, who will be appointed by the Imperial Government, and each village to support one or more priests, according to the number of inhabitants. Every inhabitant is required to take the oath of allegiance, to swear that he is a Catholic, and that he will support and defend that religion — none other being tolerated. — Slavery is expressly prohibited thro'-out the Mexican Empire, and its dependencies.
The situation of the late emigrants to that province, and indeed, of many of the old inhabitants, was truly to be commisserated. Their crops had entirely failed, in consequence of an excessive drought which had prevailed throughout the province for several months. It is said that not one drop of rain had fell in the settled parts of the province since the 24th of May last. Water, for ordinary family purposes, was extremely scarce; and in most places the cattle were suffering from thirst as well as hunger. The grass in some places was completely parched up by the sun, and had a large proportion of the cattle that had been driven into the province, had died of hunger; those that remained, were so poor as to be of little or no use to their owners. The cows produced but a small quantity of mild, and even that was rendered unwholesome and unfit for use, on account of its being tainted with some vegetable production of the prairies, on which the cows feed.
Afflicted with disease, and suffering with hunger and thirst, the distresses of the inhabitants, and particularly the late emigrants, was truly deplorable, we had almost said incredible. In consequence of the drought, deer and other game was very poor and scarce. — No bread-stuffs could be obtained, without packing it from 70 to 100 miles, where they were obliged to pay $2 per bushel for it. But few could afford to live on corn at this price, and a very large proportion of the inhabitants, in consequence of their extreme poverty, were compelled to subsist altogether on meat, and that was so poor as to be considered unwholesome. When our accounts left there, the inhabitants in many places were subsisting on the flesh of Mustangs, (wild horses,) and even that was scarce. Their sufferings thus far through the season have been distressing enough — what they will be the ensuing winter, may be easily conjectured. All the late emigrants were anxious to return, but many would be prevented from doing so, in consequence of the loss of their horses, which had died of hunger. The horses that remained were too poor to perform a journey back, and even if they were, it would be almost impossible to find subsistence for them on the road.
The Mexican country was in a very unsettled state, and the rich Spaniards were leaving the country as fast as possible, with their valuables. For or five Spanish gentlemen recently arrived in Natchitoches, on their way to New Orleans. They were from Mexico, where, in consequence of the troublesome times, they had sold off their property, and purchased about 1000 mules, which they were carrying into Louisiana to dispose of. a large proportion of the mules were laden with packs, and it was supposed the gentlemen had a large amount of specie and bullion with them.
Five Schooners arrived at Mr. Austin's settlement some time since, but, on returning down the Colorado, three of them were wrecked on the bar, and entirely lost. Our informant did not understand what their load consisted of, or whether they afforded any relief to the suffering inhabitants.
The Baron De Bastrop was appointed Surveyor General of the province of Texas. Our informant saw a letter in Hempstead county which stated that Governor Trespelacies (sic - Trespelacios) had arrived at San Antonio.
"Interesting From Texas." Nashville Whig, Wednesday, September 25, 1822, p. 3, col. 2.