THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXIX JANUARY, 1966 No. 3
Stcpke Z Aiustit awd the City f
Austix: Au Amomadg
SAM A. SUHLER
AUSTIN, THE CAPITAL CITY OF TEXAS, WAS NAMED IN HONOR OF
L the principal Anglo-American colonizer of Texas dur-
I ing its rule by Mexico-Stephen Fuller Austin. Notwith-
standing that fact, the claims of Austin and his heirs to the imme-
diate area of the site of his namesake city have been substantially
ignored. The following discussion is an attempt to trace and
analyze the unsuccessful efforts of Austin and his heirs to obtain
an effective claim to the site of Austin.
The City of Austin, situated at 30 15' North Latitude and
97045' West Longitude at a point about two hundred miles up
the Colorado River from the Gulf of Mexico, was established as
the seat of government of the Republic of Texas in 1839. The
site of the city was in a fertile blackland farming country at the
foot and immediately east of the Edwards Plateau, the first range
of hills or elevated terrain encountered in traveling west from
the Mississippi River.a The site was only about a hundred miles
south-southeast of the geographical center of Texas in its present
limits and was even fairly central for the Republic of Texas (1836-
1845), which claimed territory beyond the present state bound-
aries to 42 North Latitude.
The central location of Austin in the territory of Texas was, in
fact, one of the reasons given by the commission, appointed in
1839 to select the site for the capital of Texas, for choosing Aus-
tin.2 The choice was not made with respect to population, for,
'George Finlay Simmons, Birds of the Austin Region (Austin, 1925), viii, ix.
2Report of the Commission Appointed Under Act of Government Dated January,
1839, to Locate the Permanent Site of the Seat of Government for the Republic,
to Mirabeau B. Lamar, President of the Republic, April 13, 1839 (photostat. State
Department: Seat of Government Papers, 1836-1842, Archives, Texas State Library).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed March 6, 2015.