Stephen F. Austin is known as "The Father of Texas." A college graduate, Austin worked in several professions. He acted as intermediary between colonists and the Mexican government.
Austin was born in Virginia and then moved to Missouri, where he grew up. He later attended Yale University. Austin went on to become a storekeeper, manager of the family lead-mining business and director of a failed bank. He also served his country as a military officer, a member of the Missouri legislature, a circuit judge and secretary of state, and he made an unsuccessful bid for president in 1836. Austin established the first Anglo-American colony in the Tejas province of Mexico. The area would later be known as Texas. His father, Moses, had taken the first steps toward colonization of the area by successfully obtaining a land grant in 1820. Moses died before colonization was official, so Austin continued his father's work. Austin often found himself in the difficult position of intermediary between the colonists and the Mexican government. As the leader of the colonists, Austin was responsible for controlling immigration, establishing a judicial and law-enforcement system, allocating land, and supervising the building of the social infrastructure. Austin also successfully lobbied to banish slavery in the colony.