The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 13
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Stephen F. Austin
majority. They brought him their personal troubles and per-
plexities, and surrendered completely to his guidance in every
crisis through which the colony passed. This was true in 1826,
when he led them against Edwards's rebellious "frontier, republi-
cans" at Nacogdoches; in 1829, when he obtained the exemption
of Texas from President Guerrero's emancipation decree; in 1830,
when he reconciled them to the federal decree limiting immigra-
tion from the United States, while taking steps to secure its sus-
pension; in 1832, when, after the expulsion of Bustamante's gar-
risons from Texas during his absence, he convinced Colonel Mexia
of their loyalty to the liberal party of Santa Anna; in 1833, when
they petitioned for the separation of Texas and Coahuila and sent
him to Mexico to. urge its approval; and, finally, in 1835, when they
resisted Santa Anna's encroachments on republican government,
for without his advice and organizing influence very few would
have been ready then to take up arms. The revolution once begun,
he was called to the command of the army, much as Washington
went to Cambridge, to quiet the claims of rival aspirants, and when
order was established and the campaign under way they sent him
to the United States to find money and munitions to maintain it.
His control of the settlers in every essential movement as they
increased from a few hundred in 1821 to many thousand in 1835
proves him a great leader. The confidence of Mexican officials,
despite their innate fear of Anglo-American expansion, which was
constantly stimulated by the efforts of the United States to acquire
Texas, proves him a diplomat of no mean ability. With both, his
success was due to his absolute honesty and fearless candor.
His one purpose was the advancement of Texas. "I feel," he
said only a few months before his death, "a more lively interest for
its welfare than can be expressed-one that is greatly superior to
all pecuniary or personal views of any kind. The prosperity of
Texas has been the object of my labors, the idol of my existence-
it has assumed the character of a. religion for the guidance of my
thoughts and actions for fifteen years."20 He sincerely believed
until the beginning of 1836 that the best interest of Texas lay in
its loyalty to Mexico, that the colonists and the government had,
therefore, a common interest in its development, and he was the
"'Austin to General E. P. Gaines, July 27, 1836, Austin Papers.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919, periodical, 1919; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/m1/21/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.