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Biography of Austin, Moses

For the information of our readers who are not familiar with the early colonial scheme of settling Texas with American colonists when it was a province of Spain, we will give a short sketch of the man in whose brain it originated and the various causes which led to it. Moses Austin was a native of Connecticut, born at the village of Durham in 1767. When a boy he went to Philadelphia, and in 1787 he married Miss Maria Brown. His brother, Stephen, was then at the head of an important house in Philadelphia, and Moses Austin soon after his marriage took charge of a branch house in Richmond, Virginia. In a few years the brothers purchased Chizzel’s lead mines in Wythe County, Virginia, and Moses Austin took charge of the enterprise. At that place on the 3rd of November 1793, Stephen Fuller Austin, the future colonial empresario of Texas, was born. Two other children lived to maturity and came to Texas, James Brown Austin and Emily M. Austin. James died of yellow fever at New Orleans in August 1829. Emily married twice, first James Bryan, and after his death James F. Perry. In a few years the Philadelphia and Richmond house of the Austins failed, which also involved the loss of the lead mines. At this time reports came of rich lead mines in upper Louisiana (now in Missouri), which attracted the attention of Moses Austin. The territory then being under the dominion of Spain, he procured a passport from the Spanish minister to the United States in 1797 and visited that region, and secured from the governor,...

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