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Stephen F Austin

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Stephen F. Austin Often when individuals reflect on the history of Texas, many great names with acts of heroism come to mind. However, when asked to explain the interpretation, and accomplishments these heroes achieved, we draw a blank. One hero in particular is Stephen F. Austin. This individual has acquired the title as "Father of Texas" and yet many people don't understand the impact and importance this man was, and still is, on the state of Texas. Stephen F. Austin was born on November 3, 1793. His father, Moses Austin and mother, Mary Brown, set high expectations for him since birth. Through the years, Austin traveled from place to place due to his Fathers work and acquired knowledge of his father's business, a mining operation. At the age of ten, Austin was driven to school and ultimately graduated from college. He had spent some time working for his father and spending some time in the military. Stephen was discharged from the military as a senior level sergeant upon completion of his term. During this time in Stephens life, his father, Moses, departed to San Antonio to petition for a land grant from the Spanish territory. The land grant gave authorization for 300 families with a total of 200,000 acres to be separated amongst themselves. Before completion of the land grant, Moses Austin passed away. This left Stephen to follow his father's dreams and continue to pursue the colonization of a territory from the Spanish. Austin had a difficult time getting the land grant, promised to his father, due to the new Mexican Government. The land grant promised to Moses Austin was during the Spanish rule of the territory and the Mexican government wasn't going to honor this agreement. Austin had to travel to Mexico City to overturn their position. Austin had some talent for peacekeeping and managed to convince the government. The petition was granted to Austin and he headed off to colonize an area near the lower Colorado and Brazos rivers. The Mexican Government had made Austin the empresario for his colony. It was his position to manage all portions of the colony, such as: control of immigration, law enforcement "Texas Rangers," supervision of construction of school, roads, and the division of land among colonist. Soon the colony was growing beyond what Austin had imagine. The American immigrants were flooding the area and expanding their culture. This began to dominate the region which frustrated the Mexican Government. In efforts to reduce this, the Mexican Government passed a law prohibiting further American immigrants from entering Texas. This outraged the colonist and demanded this ban to be lifted by Austin. He wished to maintain peace between the colony and Mexican officials, however, his colony had made their choice. Once again, Austin journeyed back to Mexico City, where he proposed the recommendations from the colony. Austin was very convincing with is argument with the immigration law. He had acquired a great deal of knowledge concerning law and politics during his schooling which resulted in Austin discovering a "loop-hole" in the Mexican government. Mexican officials lifted the ban against immigration but would not allow the colony to separate from the government. Due to the trouble and hassle Austin had brought about with the arguments, they imprisoned him. Despite all that happened, the people of Texas was not happy with the outcome and the cooperation of the Mexican Government. This began the Texas Revolution against Austin's wishes. Austin wanted to maintain an alliance with the Mexican officials but the people of Texas wanted differently. Stephen had no choice but to follow through with Texas's Independence. Stephen F. Austin deserves plenty of credit for beginning the colony that soon was dominated by American immigrants. This would have never happened if he had not followed in the footsteps of his father. Austin put himself in many situations where his life could have been in danger, and yet, he still did what the people of the colony asked of him. His strong skill in law and politics ease every situation he encountered with the Mexican Government. Stephen F. Austin is a hero and truly is "the Father of Texas."

Works Cited

Flynn, Jean. Stephen F. Austin, the father of Texas. Eakin Press, 1981.

Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924-28).

Eugene C. Barker, The Life of Stephen F. Austin (Nashville: Cokesbury Press, 1925; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1949; New York: AMS Press, 1970). Rupert N. Richardson, Texas: The Lone Star State (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1943; 4th ed., with Ernest Wallace and Adrian N. Anderson, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1981).

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