Stephen Fuller Austin, born
in Austinville, Va., Nov. 3, 1793, died . Dec. 27, 1836,
Often referred to as the Father of
Texas, for the hundreds of families he brought into this
state due to the relatively poor economic conditions in
States at the time, Stephen F. Austin was very successful
in recruiting families to move to Texas. On the death
(1821) of his father, Moses Austin, he took over a grant
to bring U.S. settlers into Spanish Texas. Under the
terms of a special act in 1824 and additional contracts
in 1825, 1827, and 1828--all granted by the newly
independent Mexican government--the colonizer was
responsible for the settlement of more than 1,200
American families in Mexican Texas.
In 1835, following a period
of imprisonment in Mexico City, Austin urged Texans to
join federalists in Mexico in revolt against the centralist
dictatorship of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. During the Texas
Austin briefly commanded Texas volunteers and then went
to the United States to gain support for the Texan cause.
He served as secretary of state of the republic.