Introducing the reprint edition of Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas, Gregg Cantrell’s path-breaking biography of the founder of Anglo Texas. Cantrell portrays Austin as a borderlands figure and navigator of the complex cultural landscape of 1820s Texas.
Stephen F. Austin’s command of the Spanish language, respect for the Mexican people and politics made him the perfect advocate for his colonists and all of Texas. Yet when conflicts between Anglo colonists and Mexican authorities turned violent, Austin’s stance became outdated. Overshadowed by the military hero Sam Houston, he died at the age of forty-three, just six months after Texas independence. Decades after his death, Austin became known as the “Father of Texas”, thus resurrecting his reputation. More than just an icon, Stephen F. Austin emerges from these pages as a shrewd, complicated, and sometimes conflicted figure.