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Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas Paperback – October 1, 2001
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Our knowledge of Stephen Fuller Austin, is gleaned largely from the work of Eugene C. Barker. His 1925 tome, Life of Stephen F. Austin, painted this renowned figure as "The Father of Texas"...and rightly so. However, the Austin we see in Barker's work is a flat two-dimensional character lacking much of the humanity needed to explain the heroism behind the hero.
Though technically accurate, Barker provided little to help us understand the motivations behind Austin the man or of the dynamic forces that led to the making of a republic.
In Stephen F. Austin, Empresario of Texas. Gregg Cantrell brings to life the real Stephen F. Austin with all of his strengths and foibles. We learn in some depth how Austin was destined for greatness, a direct product of his father's influence. His father, Moses Austin, at one point was quite wealthy and wielded a powerful hand in creating his son in his own image. He wanted him to be a gentleman living in the world of high finance. Who Stephen F. Austin was and the way he thought all bear the mark of Moses Austin's influence.
When the younger Austin grew into manhood, his father put him in charge of various business ventures within the Austin empire. Stephen's training paid off as he showed himself to be adroit at business. Unfortunately, an economic depression and several bad business dealings (mostly initiated by the elder Austin), left the family buried in overwhelming debt.
By 1820, Moses Austin saw a possible way to get his head above financial water. He became the first Anglo to get permission to colonize Spanish Texas.Read more ›
Austin was a complicated figure; much of his life played out in contradictions: born a Southerner, he was educated in the Northeast; an eloquent and persuasive spokesman in the public arena, he found it difficult expressing his emotions to those closest to him and never married; abhorring slavery, he fought for the right of slavery to exist in Texas; a cultivated man, he spent most of his life on the coarse and harsh frontier; he longed for peace and stability in his life, yet lived during extremely chaotic times; driven to "put his house in order," he claimed his only mission in life was "to redeem Texas from its wilderness state." His father inspired his son to dream big dreams and take on the challenges and responsibilities required to make them realities; when Moses Austin died before being able to colonize the 200,000 acres he acquired in Texas, he left it to Stephen to accomplish. And he did. Austin was not perfect and made mistakes (and enemies); possibly his biggest mistake was going to Washington to petition recognition for Texas at the time that the Alamo fell and, even more importantly, when Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto six weeks later. Recognizing the significance of that victory not only for Texas but for himself, he hastened to Texas from Washington as quickly as possible. He lost the presidency of the Republic to Houston. A sickly man most of his life, he died of fever in December 1836, only six months after his return.
Gregg Cantrell's biography is a pleasure to read.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stephen F. Austin's taking over of his father's dream to bring settler's into Texas was not his dream. It was the insistence of his Mother to carry out his father's last wishes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. D. McKelroy
Wonderful look into a period of Texian history. Stephen wanted to be the father of a new country like George Washington was for the US. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing book!! Received it early and could not wait to open it! Has that new book smell! I haven't Finished reading it but I am already loving it! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mariana Ocampo
Bought this as a gift for my husband because it has a has a relative mentioned in it. He has not read the whole book but likes it so far.Published 23 months ago by Happy in NC
This book tells the story of Stephen F. Austin, actually beginning the story with his father, through his childhood and early pre-Texas adult life. Read morePublished on July 6, 2013 by George Aubrey
Provides a large picture into the lives and living situations of people coping with the demands of survival within a large section of the United States and Mexico. Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by Richard L. Duggan
This is an extremely well researched book and presents a very accurate image of the time in the Republic of TexasPublished on March 5, 2012 by Jenny Lee