The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to offer a newedition of Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas, Gregg Cantrell's path-breaking biography of the founder of Anglo Texas. Cantrell's portrait goes beyond the traditional interpretation ofAustin as the man who spearheaded American Manifest Destiny.Cantrell portrays Austin as a borderlands figure who couldnavigate the complex cultural landscape of 1820s Texas, then aportion of Mexico. His command of the Spanish language, respect for the Mexicanpeople, and ability to navigate the shoals of Mexican politicsmade him the perfect advocate for his colonists and often for all ofTexas. Yet when conflicts between Anglo colonists and Mexicanauthorities turned violent, Austin's accommodationist stancebecame outdated. Overshadowed by the military hero Sam Houston, he died at theage of forty-three, just six months after Texas independence. Decades after his death, Austin's reputation was resurrected andhe became kwn as the Father of Texas. More than just anicon, Stephen F. Austin emerges from these pages as a shrewd,complicated, and sometimes conflicted figure.
Gregg Cantrell received his PhD in history from Texas A&M University, USA. He holds the Erma and Ralph Lowe Chair in Texas History at Texas Christian University and is a past president of the Texas State Historical Association and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.
Texas State Historical Association,U.S.
Date of Publication
Watson Caufield and Mary Maxwell Arnold Republic of Texas Series