On January 17, 1821 the government of New Spain finally granted Moses Austin’s request to be allowed to settle 300 American families in Texas.
This was a very important event for a number of reasons. It was the first time Spain had given Anglo-Americans permission to colonize the land north of the Rio Grande–land they were afraid the United States might be eyeing hungrily. Understandably, Spain laid out a careful immigration process.
Unfortunately, Moses Austin fell sick as he returned from Mexico City to his home in Missouri. He died of pneumonia on June 10, 1821 before he could realize his dream. On his deathbed he begged his son to fulfill his contract. It was his son, Stephen F. Austin, who became known as the Father of Texas.