Moses Austin, who was 15 when America won her Independence, had pioneering in his blood.
In 1798 he established the first Anglo-American settlement west of the Mississippi and built a “booming” trade as a bullet maker. But when Missouri banks failed in 1819, Austin sought to relieve his financial challenge by establishing an Anglo-American colony in Spanish Texas. The following year he traveled to San Antonio to seek permission, but the Governor Martinez had no time for him. Disappointed, he chanced to meet an old acquaintance, the Baron de Bastrop, who had influence. Together they returned to speak with Governor Martinez, and the Baron convinced him to approve Austin’s petition.
Moses Austin headed back to Missouri to await final approval, but on the way home he fell ill with pneumonia. His eagerly awaited grant arrived shortly after he arrived at home, but Moses Austin never recovered. For most of the next two months he was bedridden. During this time he requested that his son, Stephen F. Austin, take up his dream and establish the colony.
Moses Austin died on June 10, 1821. At great personal sacrifice, his son kept his promise, fulfilled his father’s dream, and is remembered as “the Father of Texas.”