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to be admitted to the colony. Henry was an attorney, promoter, politician, and land

dealer, and Mary Austin Holley was his cousin. Austin persuasively sets out the

advantages to be accrued by admitting Henry to the colony, particularly Henry’s

ownership of the steamboat

Ariel

. Apparently Viesca granted both of Austin’s

requests. On April

2

,

1831

, Henry’s application for a land grant was approved, and he

and his family sailed for Texas as prospective colonists in May. Henry spent the rest

of his life in Texas.

Regarding Henry’s steamboating venture: “The

Ariel

, the

fi

rst steamboat used in

Texas waters, was the property of Henry Austin, who brought the vessel to the mouth

of the Rio Grande in June

1829

to experiment with steam navigation on the river. In

October the

Texas Gazette

reported that the

Ariel

had ascended

300

miles up the river

to Revilla and was making regular runs between Matamoros and Camargo. After a

year Austin gave up the project and arranged to visit Stephen F. Austin’s colony in

Texas. In August

1830

he reached the mouth of the Brazos and ascended to Brazoria.

After exploring Brazos waters, he decided that a boat business could not be made

pro

fi

table and decided to sail for New Orleans. The

Ariel

was almost wrecked

attempting to cross the Brazos bar and put out to sea in a damaged condition; it was

forced to return. After three attempts to reach the United States, the ship put back

into Galveston Bay and was laid up to rot in the San Jacinto River” (

Handbook of

Texas Online

: Ariel).

(

$12

,

000

-

24

,

000

)

9

. AUSTIN, Stephen F. Autograph note signed (“S. F. Austin” and with paraph), prom-

issory note by which Austin promises to pay to Dr. M. B. Nuckols

$74

.

66

, one-quarter

on the debt due by Alsbury to Nuckols. [San Felipe de Austin], June

22

,

1828

.

1

p. (

8

.

3

x

20

cm;

3⅜

x

7⅞

inches). Docketed on verso in contemporary ink: “S. F. Austins | Receipt

|

$74

.

66¼

.” One small void to one letter due to ink corrosion, otherwise very

fi

ne.

This is a routine document relating to two of Austin’s Old Three Hundred colonists.

Dr. Milton B. Nuckols (or possibly Nuckels or Nichols; ?-

1830

), was a pioneer physician

from Kentucky, who received title to a league and labor of land now in Matagorda and

Brazoria counties. Austin thought highly of Dr. Nuckols and recommended his

appointment as

síndico procurador

for the colony. At the time of this note Nuckols was

probably running a mercantile business in addition to practicing medicine.

Regarding the Alsbury mentioned in the note, one can only conjecture, since no

fi

rst name is given. There were three Alsbury brothers (Charles Grundison, James

Harvey, and Horace Alderson), all Old Three Hundred colonists, possibly from

Kentucky, like Dr. Nuckols. See

Handbook of Texas Online

for more on these three

Alsbury brothers.

(

$1

,

000

-

2

,

000

)

Austin Signs as Commander in Chief of the Texas Volunteer Army

10

. AUSTIN, Stephen F. Document signed, written in a secretarial hand and signed by

Austin in full and with title and paraph: “S. F. Austin, Comd. in Chief.” Letter of pas-

sage for David B. Macomb to attend the Consultation, giving particulars on

Macomb’s service. November [

12

?],

1835

.

1

p.,

12

mo, contemporary docketing on verso:

1

to

14

. Nov | Consultation |

15

to

7

Dec. | Convention.” Paper browned, modern

archival repairs at folds (no losses), remains of old red wax seal.

This document written in the early phase of the Texas Revolution is signed by

Stephen F. Austin in his brief but highly e

ff

ective role as commander in chief of the

Texas volunteer army. It is exceedingly di

ffi

cult to obtain letters of this type, from this

period and locale, that do not present provenance and authenticity issues. The pres-

ent document is not in the Texas Army Papers, Austin’s Order Book for

1835

, Austin

Item

9

Item

10