I was going to post this yesterday because it was the anniversary of SFA's birth. But the Republican Tsunami was a pretty big deal so I wrote about that instead.
|The Father of Texas**|
During his attempt to bring Americans to Texas, Austin wore a path out to Mexico while dealing with the new Mexican government (Mexico had just won its independence from Spain). The rules regarding his land grant seemed to change by the minute. Undeterred, Austin finally got that mess settled and in late 1825, he brought 300 Americans to Texas. This was the first step in Stephen F. Austin being recognized as The Father of Texas. There's some detailed information on the trials and tribulations Austin had to overcome to colonize Texas with American settlers here.
In 1836, when Texas had won its independence from Mexico, Austin threw his name into the hat to be a candidate for the Presidency of the new Republic of Texas. He was the odds on favorite to win the election, but someone else had eyes on that prize. His name was Sam Houston. After his victory at San Jacinto establishing Texas' new status as a sovereign country, Houston won the election in a landslide. Upon taking on his role as President of Texas, Houston named Austin as his Secretary of State, a post he held for only two months. Stephen F. Austin contracted what he thought was a bad cold, but it was actually pneumonia. He died on December 27, 1836. Austin's last words were, "The Independence of Texas is recognized! Don't you see it in the papers!". After learning of Austin's death, President Sam Houston issued this statement, "The Father of Texas is no more. The first pioneer of the wilderness has departed." Austin is gone, Mr. President, but he will for eternity be known as The Father of Texas and his name will be revered by Texans forevermore.
**Image from sonofthesouth.net