December 26th

On this day in 1820, Moses Austin made one of the most important steps in Texas history by meeting with Antonio Martinez, the Mexican governor, and requesting permission to establish a colony of Americans. The government of Mexico found this to be an absurd idea until the Baron de Bastrop (One of Austin’s old friends) came to lend a hand with the negotiations. The proposal was approved quickly now that it had support from withing the government, so Moses Austin went home overjoyed in order to make the preparations for his colony. Unfortunately, he came down with pneumonia on the trip back East and was forced to hand of the colony to his son, Stephen F. Austin, before dying two days afterwards.

As most of us know from the history books, Stephen was faithful in carrying out his father’s death wish. He negotiated a new contract with the Mexicans and established his first colony centered around the town of San Felipe which is near present day Sealy. This first colony had brought 300 families from the U.S., and 900 more were on the way. As more and more of these American farmers poured into Austin’s colony, they were setting the stage for an independent Texas all because of Moses’s enthusiasm over establishing his own colony.

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