The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 164
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the opening chapter is amply fulfilled as, step by step, the
conquest of a frontier wilderness is unfolded.
Stephen F. Austin, prime agent in that conquest, was born in
Austinville, Virginia, November 3, 1793, and died on December
27, 1836. The Centennial celebration of Texas freedom from
Mexico thus observes also the death of the great colonizer, who,
old and worn out long before his time, quietly lay down to rest
when the immediate struggle for liberty was won. There were
more difficulties ahead, but he had done his great part; and others
would carry forward what he had begun.
In the forty-three years of his life, Austin attended school at
Bacon Academy, in Colchester, Connecticut; studied for a short
time at Transylvania University, in Lexington, Kentucky; resided
in Missouri, in Louisiana, first as subject of Spain and then of
the United States, and in Arkansas; engaged in the study of law,
in newspaper work, in trading, in farming, in land speculation,
and in colonizing a new land; fenced diplomatically with foreign
power in Mexico; suffered in Mexican prisons for the sake of
his colony; took a leading part in the Texas Revolution; went
to the United States to solicit aid for that revolution; served as
Secretary of State in the young Republic of Texas; and died in
Dr. Barker develops his treatment chronologically, revealing the
character and personality of Austin through his activities and
participation in affairs. Nothing important is omitted from the
historical events, but they consistently serve as background for
the man Austin. Having dealt at length with the public life of
Austin, Dr. Barker devotes the final chapter to his private life.
It is clear that the author wishes to impress upon his younger
readers certain sterling characteristics which lend strength to an
individual and which Austin possessed. His illustrative selections
from Austin's letters and other documents are thus discriminatingly
chosen to show both actions and reactions of the Texas colonizer.
His pleasing, flowing style, marked by the exact words in the
exact places, clarify and vivify the man, who is to the author more
real than his actual daily associates:
"I have lived with Austin, in imagination, for many years. I
know him better than I know my friends and companions in daily
association. I know him as a quiet kindly gentleman, loyal to
those who were loyal to him and generous toward those who ob-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/178/: accessed January 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.