The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910

THE QUARTERLY
OF THE
TEXAS STATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
VOL. XIII. APRIL, 1910. No. 4.
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for mzews
expressed by contributors to THE QUARTERLY.
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN AND THE INDEPENDENCE OF
TEXAS
EUGENE C. BARKER
The personality of Stephen F. Austin looms large in the history
of Anglo-American Texas. During the first decade, while on the
one side he smoothed out the real or fancied grievances of the col-
onists and on the other persuaded the Mexican government against
its better judgment to hope for the abiding loyalty of its adoptive
citizens, he held the fate of the colonies in the hollow of his hand.
And one who studies his carefully preserved correspondence cannot
doubt that he fully realized and keenly felt the responsibility, or
that his polar star, to use a metaphor of which the men of his day
were fond, was always the ultimate good of the colonists. Al-
though he may at times have erred in the means for attaining his
end, there is a fine consistency in his aim to subserve, as he under-
stood them, the best interests of the people whom in a peculiar
sense he felt to be his own. It is the purpose of this paper to ex-
amine his attitude toward the most vital question that Texas ever
faced-that, namely, of independence. And from the view point
just stated it is not difficult to forecast his position at any given
moment.
For the purpose of this examination Austin's career falls into
three periods. In the first, which may extend from 1821 to 1832
he perceived the best interest of Texas in unswerving allegiance to
Mexico. This happened to be the period in which he was laying

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 13, July 1909 - April, 1910. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101051/. Accessed September 18, 2014.