Austin, Stephen (Fuller)


Austin, Stephen (Fuller)

biographical name

(born Nov. 3, 1793, Austinville, Va., U.S.—died Dec. 27, 1836, Austin, Texas) U.S. founder of the first legal colony of English-speaking people in Texas when it was still part of Mexico. He was raised in the Missouri Territory and served in its legislature (1814–19). The economic panic in 1819 led his father to conceive a plan to colonize Texas on land obtained from the Mexican government. Austin continued the project after his father died (1821) and founded a colony of several hundred families on the Brazos River in 1822. He maintained good relations with the Mexican government. He tried to induce the Mexican government to make Texas a separate state in the Mexican confederation; when this attempt failed, he recommended in 1833 the organization of a state without waiting for the consent of the Mexican congress, and he was imprisoned. Released in 1835, he traveled to the U.S. to secure help when the Texas revolution broke out in October of that year. He is considered one of the state's founders. The city of Austin is named for him.

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