The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly

PENNSYLVANIA AND THE INDEPENDENCE OF TEXAS
JAMES E. WINSTON
On September 28, 1785, in Christ Church, Philadelphia, Moses
Austin of Durham, Connecticut, was married to Miss Maria Brown
of Morris county, New Jersey, a descendant of Robert Turner, one
of the distinguished founders of Pennsylvania. Moses Austin
became a prosperous merchant, being at one time a member of the
importing firm of Stephen Austin and Company of Philadelphia.
Later a branch concern was established at Richmond, Virginia.
From Richmond the father emigrated to Wythe county, in south-
western Virginia. Here on November 3, 1793, was born Stephen
F. Austin, the greatest of Texas empresarios. The son of the
Connecticut Yankee and of the descendant of Pennsylvania Quak-
ers was, in later years, to lead a colony of Anglo-Americans into
one of the provinces of Mexico which, in the course of time, was
to throw off the control of the Spaniard and, as an independent
republic, seek admission into the family of states of the American
Union. But the Austin family did not long remain in their new
home. The father was a man of keen business instincts and of
bold enterprise. Bitten with the spirit of the pioneer, his eyes
turned to the West and his thoughts traveled across the great
App.alachian mountain system to the plains beyond the Father of
Waters, where rumor said great lead mines lay buried, ready to
yield their treasures to him who would risk the. dangers of a
western wilderness in their exploitation. So turning his back upon
his Virginia home, the father, accompanied by wife and son, made
the perilous and tiresome trip to what is now Missouri. Moses Aus-
tin's Journal remains, a vivid narrative of this journey.1 This was
in 1798 when the young Stephen was but five years of age. Here in
what is now Washington county, the father began to develop "Mine-
a-Burton." Business reverses came and Moses Austin soon found
himself a ruined man financially. A man of less courage and per-
severance would have given up the struggle, and either settled down
Y"Memorandum of M. Austin's Journey, 1796-1797," Amer Hist. Rev., V,
518-542.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/. Accessed September 23, 2014.