Stephen F. Austin Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

Stephen F. Austin was a brilliant man who served on the battlefield and in the government office. His name went down in history books as a hero after he led the colonization of Texas. In this lesson, you will learn many important facts about his legacy.

Who Is Stephen F. Austin?

Could you imagine being known as the father of a state? Well, Stephen Fuller Austin is known as 'The Father of Texas'. Let's learn more about Stephen F. Fuller and how he became the father of the lone star state.

Stephen Fuller Austin, son of Moses and Maria Austin, was born in 1793 in Virginia. At a young, his family moved to the lead mining region in Missouri. Valuing education, Austin was sent to Yale University to study at the age of ten. In 1810, he graduated from Transylvania University. Upon returning home to Missouri, he took over the family mining business. As a young adult his careers included a variety of tasks from state militia to legislature to circuit judge.

Stephen Fuller Austin
Stephen F. Austin

His Father's Legacy

It was Austin's father that initiated the desire for new colonization. He applied for the land grant in Texas, which was then known as Mexican Tejas. In 1821, the grant was approved giving him permission to move 300 Americans into the large state. Moses passed away before this goal could be achieved.

Stephen F. Austin's desire to fulfill the land grant was initially met with hesitation from the Mexican authorities. He worked diligently to come to an agreement with the Mexican government. He was able to go forth with moving the families to Texas. The first three hundred colonists were known as The Old Three Hundred. They named Austin as the administrative authority. In this important position, he was responsible for working with the Mexican government, establishing a law enforcement system, establishing schools, roads and much more.

Dissension

By 1832, the colonist number had expanded to 11,000. The new colony was not generating much money and created dissension with the Mexican government. During this same period, America had grown interested in buying Texas. Austin worked as an ally with Mexico.

In 1830, the Mexican government passed a law stating that Americans were no longer allowed to migrate to Texas. The new colony became disgruntled with the new law and created a draft for a new constitution against Austin's advice. Austin took the document to President of Mexico, Antonio López de Santa Anna. Santa Anna partially agreed to the conditions of the constitution and repealed the law of not allowing further American immigration. However, Santa Anna refused to give Texas its own statehood. Santa Anna had Austin arrested by Mexican authorities for insurrection, trying to take control of the government. In the meantime, the Texans continued to make demands to which the Mexican government refused.

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