Moses Austin Dies The mayor of San Antonio had waited months to hear back from Moses Austin. After growing inpatient, mayor Erasmo Seguin wrote Moses’ son Stephen F. Austin to see if he had any information on the colonization plan.
Stephen F. Goes to Texas Stephen F. Austin was 27 years old when he learned of his father’s death. Austin became determined to carry on his father’s plan to bring U.S. settlers into Texas. As he entered Texas in 1821, Austin made a promise to himself. “I decided to fulfill rigidly all the duties and obligations of a Mexican citizen”
Austin arrived in San Antonio in August of 1821. Erasmo Seguin - a rancher and the mayor of San Antonio led Austin to the governor of San Antonio. When Austin and Seguin arrived into San Antonio they were greeted warmly and offered to support Austin’s efforts.
Mexico is Independent Mexico had won independence from Spain since the time Moses’ contract for colonization had been approved. Austin needed a new contract from the Mexican government. He wrote a new contract and it was sent to Mexico City for approval.
Austin Explores Austin had to wait for his new contract to be approved by Mexico City. During this time he began to explore. He explored the land East of San Antonio. He picked the rich farmland in the area of the Brazos and Colorado River valley as the location for his colony.
Austin’s Colony He would have 11 million acres in the Gulf Coast Plain to establish colonization. The colony would have a mild climate, fertile soil, water, and plenty of timber for building. Wild game was also plentiful. In addition, the site was near the coast, where settlers and supplies could arrive by ship.
Austin Readies His Colonies Stephen F. Austin hurried back to the United States to make the final preparations. Heads of households would receive 640 acres each. A married man could claim another 320 acres plus an additional 160 acres per child. Slave holders could 80 acres per slave.
Austin’s Colony Settlers who provided valuable services or who brought items such as cotton gins – devices that separate cotton fibers from seeds – might receive extra land. Where possible, these land grants would border on a river that would provide water for farming and transportation. Settlers would pay Austin 12.5 cents per acre and this price would include land survey and land titles – legal documents proving ownership.
Attracting U.S. Citizens This was very attractive to U.S. citizens because land was selling for $1.25 an acre in the U.S. U.S. law also required people to buy a minimum of 80 acres. After the panic of 1819 people did not have enough cash to pay $100.00 in cash for land.
Austin allowed payment plans or trading goods for land. Applications from U.S. citizens poured in! Austin developed strict guidelines for selecting settlers.
Homework Imagine that you are writing a front page article for a newspaper in the U.S. In the article you are trying to persuade U.S. residents to move to Texas. Describe the pros and cons of Austin’s new colony. Needs to be 2 paragraphs, 8 sentences total. Draw and color a picture of the landscape in the Gulf