The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 92
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
dogged his heels and he again turned his face westward. With hope
unabated and eyes undimmed, at the age of fifty-four he began the
memorable journey to Texas. It is needless to dwell further upon
the particulars, for they are but the petty incidents that give human
color to the transaction. Moses Austin was clay in the hands of the
Mighty Potter, who through him, was unfolding His high purpose
to open the door of this Wonderland to civilization. There had been
sporadic forays and irregular settlements, from the United States,
along the border, but up to this time, there had been no defined
and organized program, "to go up and possess the land."
On his arrival at San Antonio, he presented his application to
the Spanish Governor, to introduce 30o colonists, which after some
parley, was received with favor and forwarded to Monterrey for
approval. On his return he met his son, Stephen F. Austin, at
Natchitoches, La., to whom he gave full information, concerning
his plans. He died at Potosi, Mo., a few days after he had learned
that his application had been granted. While he got more than a
vision from Nebo's Heights, yet, like Moses of old, he did not live
to enter into possession of the Promised Land, but his sceptre passed
to the stronger hands of his son, Stephen Fuller Austin, the greatest
empire builder America has produced.
Stephen F. Austin proceeded, at once, to carry out the contract.
He arrived at San Antonio, on August 18, 1821, and learned that
Mexico had declared her independence of Spain on February 24.
He selected, for his colony, the territory between the San Jacinto
river on the east and the La Vaca on the west and extending from
a point ten miles from the coast northward to the San Antonio Road,
embracing the fairest and the richest portion of Texas.
In December, 1821, he reached the La Bahia crossing on the
Brazos (afterwards the location of his town of San Felipe), with his
As the country filled with colonists, trouble began between them
and the Mexican government. The causes were economic and racial.
The settlers relied upon the provisions of the colonization contracts
and sought to better their fortunes by settling the cheap and fertile
lands of Texas. They were willing to accept Mexican sovereignty, but,
like Aeneas and his companions, they brought their household gods
with them, their language, their customs, local laws, respect for
order and organized government. Without doubt they expected to
establish an Anglo-American and not a Mexican civilization, for that
was the only kind that they knew or understood. The English his-
torian William Kennedy, who visited Texas in 1837, makes the
The North Americans are the only people who, in defiance of all obstacles have
struck their roots of civilization deep in the soil of Texas. Even as I trace these
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/112/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.