When visiting San Antonio’s City Hall, one finds a statue of Moses Austin on the gounds there, across the way from the Spanish Governor’s Palace. Moses Austin is a native Connecticut son, born in Durham, Connecticut in 1761. His life’s path took him from Connecticut to Philadelphia to Richmond, Virginia and then to Wythe County, Virginia. After his business there failed, he led the first English American settlement west of the Mississippi, in Missouri.
In 1821, Moses Austin won the first contract to colonize Spanish Texas from Governor Antonio María Martînez, but died before he could carry out his plan. His son, Stephen F. Austin, inherited the contract and carried out his father’s plan, thus becoming “The Father of Texas.” The Austin family name, of course, graces the state’s capital city, and appears in many other place names and institutional names across the state.