The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907

A Letter from Mary [Mrs. Moses] Austin. 343
A LETTER FROM MARY [MRS. IVIOSES] AUSTIN.
The writer of the letter given below, Mary, widow of Moses, and
mother of Stephen F. Austin, had a remarkable life and was de-
scended from remarkable people. She was born January 1, 1768, at
Sharpsborough Upper Forge (one of the iron mines of her grand-
father Sharp) in the mountains of New Jersey; married (Septem-
ber 28, 1785, -in Christ Church, Philadelphia--where her grand-
mother and great-grandmother had been married before her)
Moses Austin, of Durham, Connecticut, and went with him to
Richmond, Virginia, thence to the lead mines in the wilderness
of Wythe county, and finally, in 1798, to Missouri, where she
lived until her death-January 8, 1824--with the exception of
about eighteen months spent among her relatives in the East
while her daughter was in school in New York. The letters she
wrote her husband during this time are most interesting.
The father of Mary Austin, Abia Brown, was a prominent man
in his community, being justice of the peace of Sussex county
(an office at that time-1772-corresponding in dignity with
justice of the supreme court now); member of the council of
safety during the war; deputy from Sussex in attendance at the
Provincial Congress at Trenton (October, 1775); and deputy in
attendance at the Provincial Congress at New Brunswick (Jan-
uary-March, 1776). He died in 1785 when only forty-two. His
wife, Margaret, was the daughter of Mary Coleman and Joseph
Sharp; thus uniting in her veins the blood of those two prime
movers of the Quaker migration to America, Anthony Sharp and
Robert Turner, both prosperous English merchants of Dublin,
Ireland, and, next to William Penn, the richest and most prom-
inent men who helped to found the colonies of New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. Of them Judge Clement says, in his History of
the Settlement of Newton (New Jersey), "Anthony Sharp and
Robert Turner, both Quakers, and both men of fortune, were the
guides in this, and not only gave their advice as to the details
of the movement, but also covered the doubtful points by con-
tributions of their means." They both suffered persecution and
imprisonment in England and Ireland for conscience's sake; and

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/. Accessed May 28, 2015.