Stephen Austin

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Stephen F. Austin, 1793-1836, colonizer; the "Father of Texas"

Stephen Austin (1793-1836) was an American who led the settlement of Texas.


When his father Moses Austin died in 1821, he took over a Spanish land grant to bring American settlers (and their slaves) into Spanish Texas. Under the terms of a special act in 1824 and additional contracts in 1825, 1827, and 1828—all granted by the newly independent Mexican government—Austin handled the settlement of more than 1,200 American families in Texas.

In 1835 Austin urged Texans to join "Federalists" (a Mexican political party) in revolt against the centralist dictatorship of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. During the Texas Revolution (1835–36), Austin briefly commanded Texas volunteers and then went to the United States to gain support for the Texan cause. He served as secretary of state of the new republic.


  • "the people of Texas have too much of the spirit of their fathers to lay down beneath the feet of military despotism, and debase and damn their blood and their education; it is to be broken up, because it will not do for the United States government to interfere with a usurper, a base, unprincipled, bloody monster, who sets the laws of civilization and of humanity at defiance, who desolates Texas under the bloody flag of a pirate, and whose avowed intention is to excite the Indians and negroes, and crimson the waters of the Mississippi, and make it the eastern boundary of Mexico." [1][2]

Further reading