The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926

Book Reviews and Notices

The Life of Stephen F. Austin: A Chapter in the Westward
Movement of the Anglo-American People. By Eugene C.
Barker, Professor of American History, University of
Texas. (Nashville and Dallas: The Cokesbury Press.
1925. Pp. XV, 551.)
The charm of Barker's Life of Stephen F. Austin may be
glimpsed from the closing paragraph of Chapter VIII:
"Though his efforts were absorbed in other directions, Austin's
interest [in education] did not flag. From Mexico in 1833, sur-
rounded by desolation and death, and himself recovering from an
emergency treatment which barely averted cholera, he instructed
Williams to locate for him, and not sell a beautiful tract of land
on the east bank of the Colorado, at the foot of the mountains,
as a retreat to which he could go and get away from trouble. 'I
mean to go and live there. It is out of the way and will do for
an academy scheme with which I can amuse myself and do good
to others.' With rare appropriateness that tract of land now
contains the Capital City and the University of Texas, and Austin
lies buried in the land that he himself chose for his last peaceful
Ninety years have passed since Austin died at Columbia, worn
out in the service of the commonwealth he had builded in the
wilderness. At the age of forty-three his quiet efficiency and un-
tiring zeal had not only created an Anglo-American state in the
no-man's land of Texas, but had shaped the relations between
Anglo-Saxon and Latin America for three generations, and
changed the map of North America more than the map of Europe
was to be altered by the great World War. Yet this is his first
biography. He was a modest, unassuming man. The deep im-
press made by his personality and labors on the course of American
history was not understood in his own day; and ours has produced
but one historian qualified by temperament and training to know
and understand the patience, personal courtesy, perseverance, firm-
ness, tact, fortitude and infinite capacity for taking pains, which
were the essential elements of Austin's genius. For the writing
of this book Eugene C. Barker has prepared himself through a


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed December 1, 2015.