The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986 Page: 240
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
arrived was less than four thousand, most of whom were French, with
some Spaniards and very few settlers from the United States. Long
before most of the Austins moved on to Texas, the flag of Spain had
come down in Missouri and that of the United States welcomed Ameri-
cans from the east in ever-increasing numbers. Somewhat fortuitously,
Stephen Austin was to become the leader of Anglo-Americans who
would reenact the same process in Texas.'
Moses Austin indicated his aspirations for his son in a letter written
to the principal of a school in Connecticut where Stephen Austin began
his formal education at the age of eleven:
I have a dispossition that Stephen should go through the Classicks. In short, I
wish to make him a scholar ... [but with] as little time spent in Greek and He-
brew as is consistent with the regulations of the Acady. If his talents will jus-
tify [,] I wish him for the Barr [,] but I have so many times in my life blamed
Fathers for pressing on their sons a profession nature never intended them
for [,] that I shall make of him what Nature has best calculated him to be [.]2
After three years in Connecticut, Austin was matriculated at Transyl-
vania University in Lexington, Kentucky, where he spent two and a half
terms acquiring an advanced formal education.3 From all that is known,
his education proceeded well and would have probably continued but
for the anticipated familial financial strain of educating two other chil-
dren. Whatever hopes he may have had of pursuing the formal study
of law were not to be realized.
At seventeen Stephen Austin was back in Missouri engaged in the
furtherance of his father's business enterprises. In addition to the lead
mines and related interests, Moses Austin owned and operated a dry-
goods store and became a partner in establishing the Bank of St. Louis.
By 1817 Stephen had taken over the lead mines. At times business af-
fairs may have moved forward, due in some measure to his efforts, but
the family fortune did not prosper. By 1819 the Austins' business af-
'Eugene C. Barker, The Life of Stephen F. Austin, Founder of Texas, 1793-1836: A Chapter in the
Westward Movement of the Anglo-American People (Nashville, 1925), 11-13.
2Moses Austin to Stephen F. Austin's tutor (the principal of Bacon Academy), [Dec., 18041],
Eugene C. Barker (ed.), The Austan Papers (3 vols.; Vols. I, II, Washington, D.C., 1924-1928;
Vol. III, Austin, 1927), I, 95 (quotation). See also Genealogical Notes, ibid., I, 2; Barker, Life of
Stephen F. Austin, 20.
3Austin's certificate of study at Transylvania University indicates that he was instructed in
"Natural and Moral Philosophy," but he does not appear to have studied "the leading Principles
of Jurisprudence," which also seems to have been in the curriculum at the time. Genealogical
Notes, Barker (ed.), Austin Papers, I, 2; Barker, Life of Stephen F. Austin, 20o. The very few law
books in the library included Blackstone's Commentaries, Vattel's Law of Nations, and Jones's At-
torney's Pocketbook and Conveyancer's Assistant (2 vols.). Kathleen C. Bryson, University Archivist,
toJ. W. M.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986, periodical, 1985/1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/m1/296/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.