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in a month.  I am now left alone, in this faraway land, and cannot help feeling lonesome.

Spent an hour or two with Governor Smith, who expatiated very freely on Texian affairs, and particularly on the state of parties.  Abused Austin; said he is Mexican in his principles and policy, and that he ought to be hung!  Thinks Austin was opposed to the meeting of the consultative convention, and that the expedition vs. Bexar was got up in order to defeat it, and attributes the foolish or wicked terms of the capitulation to his policy.  Blames Austin for the dissentions which have arisen between him (Smith) and the Provisional Council.  In short, Austin is, with him, the evil spirit which has instigated all the mischief which afflicts the country, and is to be made the scapegoat of all others' faults.  Archer he thinks honest, but too philanthropic; he wishes to carry the war to the walls of Mexico.  Wharton he thinks is "ABOUT RIGHT" -- "Are you there, old truepenny?"  (My impression of Governor Smith is that he is a strongly prejudiced party man.  Too illiterate, too little informed, and not of the right calibre for the station he has been placed in.  Organs of self esteem and combativeness large; perceptive faculty good; intellectual small; little reflection or imagination; no reverence.)[36]

Waited on Mr. John R. Jones, the Postmaster General.  Invited to take tea with him.  An excellent supper.  His wife a plain, good looking woman; has lived here five years, and she is very much pleased with Texas; came from Missouri.  Introduced by him to a Squire Thompson, a member of the Council.  A plain, illiterate, farmer looking man; very illy qualified, I should judge, for the business of government.  Like most of the Texians that I have met with he has a Munchausen-like idea of Texean prowess and of Mexican imbecility and insignificance.  I fear it will prove a fatal error.

San Felipe is a wretched, decaying looking place.  Five stores of small assortments, two mean taverns, and twenty or thirty scattering and mean looking houses, very little paint visible.  No appearance of industry, of thrift or improvement of any kind.  On the west side of the Brazos, which is here about ----- yards wide, and on a prairie of great extent.  The opposite side of the river is low, and overflowed flats extend a great way, which causes the place to be unhealthy.

Wednesday, February 17, 1836

Delivered letters this morning to D. C. Barrett, Esq., one of the Council.[37]  He is from Western Pennsylvania.  And to Col. ----- Jack,[38]  of Columbia.  Introduced to Governor Robinson and to Thomas J. Chambers.  This gentleman is a native of Orange County, Virginia, which he left very young.  A spirit of adventure carried him to Texas, and thence to Mexico, where he resided three years.  He was, before the Revolution, appointed Chief Justice of Coahuila and Texas,


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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas