The Father of Texas
Stephen Austin is known as the “Father of Texas” for a good reason. His bravery, resilience, power, and perspicacity permitted Texas to achieve its independence from Mexico and ultimately become the most powerful and free state in the United States. Let’s look at the man who made it all possible.
Stephen Austin was born in Virginia in 1793. He moved to Missouri in 1814 to start a lead mining operation. After that business failed, he turned his attention to law and was admitted to the bar in 1820. In 1821, he heard about Mexican land grants and decided to move to San Felipe de Austin, now present-day Austin, Texas.
Stephen Austin quickly proved himself to be a capable leader. He helped his father survey the land and negotiate with the Mexican government for permission to settle on it. When Moses Austin died in 1821, Stephen took over as head of the colony. He faced many challenges in those early years, including hostile Native Americans and a Mexican government that was increasingly suspicious of the growing Anglo-American population in Texas.
Austin applied for and received a Mexican land grant and began settling Americans in Texas. He advocated for American settlers’ rights with the Mexican government and worked tirelessly to turn Texas into a successful colony. When the Mexican government began cracking down on immigration into Texas, Austin led an expedition to deliver a petition directly to the Mexican president. Unfortunately, he was arrested and spent nearly two years in prison in Mexico City before he was finally released.
Keep the Story of Texas Alive!
After his release from prison, Austin continued his work settlement work in Texas. In 1835, he helped draft the Texan Declaration of Independence from Mexico. When war broke out between Texan settlers and the Mexican army, Austin commanded troops at the Battle of San Jacinto, which resulted in a decisive victory for the Texans and secured their independence.
Stephen F Austin is rightfully considered a hero of the Republic of Texas. His courage and determination helped Texas win its independence from Mexico and, ultimately to, become United States State that everyone wished they’d been. Every Texan owes a debt of gratitude to Stephen Austin for his role in making our great state what it is today.