The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

rhe Publicatio# of
Austit's ouisvill Address
REBECCA SMITH LEE
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN, WHO BY TEMPERAMENT PREFERRED THE
pen to the sword, was the author of an extraordinary num-
ber of reports, descriptions, explanations, and letters con-
cerning Texas, both in regard to the Austin Colony and to the
emerging republic. Many of these appeared in print during his
lifetime, but it seems that he cared little about receiving credit
for their authorship. Indeed, at times he preferred not to be
identified.'
One notable exception to Austin's habitual reticence about
personal recognition for his writings was the care he took to
have his address delivered at Louisville, Kentucky, in the spring
of 1836 published over his name and widely circulated. This
solicitude is revealed in several letters he wrote to his cousin,
Mary Austin Holley. The letters have not heretofore been easily
accessible to scholars and so have been overlooked. The import-
ance which Austin himself attached to the address makes it
worthwhile to re-examine in the light of these letters the cir-
cumstances of its delivery and publication.
We may begin with the Consultation of Texas held at the
town of San Felipe in November, 1835, to decide what atti-
tude Texas, then a part of Mexico, should adopt toward the
dictatorship of President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.2 A
1After assisting Mary Austin Holley in the composition of her first book about
Texas, Austin preferred "not to be known in it." Mary Austin Holley to Orville
Holley, December 24, 1831, Mary Austin Holley Papers (Archives, University of
Texas Library). Holley's first book was entitled Texas. Observations, Historical,
Geographical and Descriptive, in a Series of Letters, written during a Visit to
Austin's Colony, with a view to a permanent settlement in that country, in the
Autumn of 1831 (Baltimore, 1833). Holley's second work on Texas was an enlarge-
ment of her first; it bore the much shorter title, Texas (Lexington, Kentucky,
1836).
"Walter Prescott Webb and H. Bailey Carroll (eds.), Handbook of Texas (2 vols.;
Austin, 1952), I, 403.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed October 20, 2014.