|Stephen F. Austin|
|Nationality:||Republic of Texas (1836)|
(born in the United States, resident in Mexico 1821-1836)
|Date of Birth:||1793|
|Date of Death:||1836|
|Cause of Death:||Pneumonia|
|Occupation:||Diplomat, Empresario, Soldier|
|Parents:||Moses and Mary Brown Austin|
|Political Office(s):||Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas (1836)|
Stephen Fuller Austin (November 3, 1793 – December 27, 1836) was an American empresario. Known as the "Father of Texas", he led the second, and ultimately, the successful colonization of Mexican Texas by bringing 300 families from the United States to the region in 1825, thereby creating the conditions for the Texas Revolution.
Born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri, Austin served in the Missouri territorial legislature before moving to Arkansas Territory and later Louisiana. His father, Moses Austin, received an empresario grant from Spain to settle Texas. After Moses Austin's death in 1821, Stephen Austin won recognition of the empresario grant from the newly-independent country of Mexico. Austin convinced numerous American settlers to move to Texas, and by 1825 Austin had brought the first 300 American families into the territory. Throughout the 1820s, Austin sought to maintain good relations with the Mexican government, even helping to suppress the Fredonian Rebellion in January 1827. He also helped ensure the introduction of slavery into Texas despite the attempts of the Mexican government to ban the institution.
As Texas settlers became increasingly dissatisfied with the Mexican government, Austin attempted to maintain good relations between the sides. However, in 1834 the Mexican government became convinced that Austin was pushing for Texas independence despite his assertions to the contrary. He was arrested while visiting Mexico City, and held until December 1835. Austin's arrest coupled with the Mexican government's plans to end slavery helped spark Texas to revolution. Austin, now firmly against the Mexican government, led Texas forces at the successful Siege of Béxar before serving as a commissioner to the United States until Texas won its independence.
Austin ran in the 1836 Texas presidential election but was defeated by Sam Houston. Houston appointed Austin as secretary of state for the new republic, and Austin held that position until he died of pneumonia in December 1836.
Austin, Texas, the state's capital city, is named in Stephen F. Austin's honor.
Stephen F. Austin in "Hail! Hail!"
|"Hail! Hail!" |
POD: December 15, 1826
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
After meeting with the the time-lost Marx Brothers, Stephen F. Austin agreed to help the Freedonian Republic in January, 1827. The information he received from Julius Marx about the future altered history for the worse.
Initially, Austin sided with the Mexican government against Haden Edwards and Fredonia. In mid-January, Austin and a Texas army joined a Mexican army under Lt. Colonel Mateo Ahumada on the march to Nacogdoches. However, one night, Adolphus Sterne, a Fredonia supporter, sneaked into the camp and met with Austin. Austin had heard of the Marx brothers, who were waiting outside the army encampment. Sterne provided Austin with a dime that had a future date on it, and explained that the Marx brothers were time travelers. Austin had heard that one of the Marx brothers had killed Peter Ellie Bean. Intrigued, Austin agreed to meet them.
The next morning, with a simple disguise of a period-appropriate hat, and a simple act of looking like stragglers, Sterne and the brothers were able to find Austin. When he asked for more proof of the Marx brothers' identity, Julius Marx, the man who'd actually killed Bean, showed Austin his wristwatch. While not quite convinced, Austin agreed to listen to what Julius had to say. Julius admitted he didn't know what would happen if Austin sided with Fredonia, but that because he didn't in the world that the Marx brothers came from, Fredonia failed. Julius further described the coming Texas Revolution in 1835, the American Civil War, and the end of slavery. Austin was sickened by the prospect of "n-gger equality". Austin decided that the future Julius described should not come to pass, and so decided to back Fredonia, even though he had little use for Haden Edwards.
At Julius' suggestion, Austin decided to wait until the night to attack the Mexicans. While the Texans outnumbered the Mexicans, the Mexicans had more canons and gunpowder. Austin realized that a night attack would removed the Mexicans' advantage. For the rest of the day, Austin met with his fellow Texans and planned the attack.
That night, Austin asked Julius if he and his brothers wanted to join the attack. Realizing their limitations, and still feeling bad about Bean's death, Julius politely declined on the grounds that none of the Marx brothers had the skills to be of use. Austin accepted this answer, and sent off the Texans. Shortly after, Julius and Austin heard the sounds of the battle. Soon, it was over, and Austin was informed that the Texans had captured Lt. Colonel Mateo Ahumada. He and Ahumada briefly had words, with Ahumada plainly disappointed in Austin's treachery. However, Ahumada gave his parole to Austin, as did the remaining Mexican soldiers, and Austin sent them home.
Austin's men, Sterne and the Marx brothers headed to Nacogdoches. When they arrived, Austin and Haden Edwards both began making efforts secure U.S. involvement in Texas.
- "Hail! Hail!", loc. 877-981.
- Ibid., loc. 991-1032
- Ibid., loc. 1032-1042.
- Ibid., loc. 1042-1113.
- Ibid., loc. 1133-1192.
William Houston Jack
|Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas
James Pinckney Henderson