Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

Featured

The Frieze of American History in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol
The Frieze of American History in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol...

Featured

A virtual Map of Capitol Hill from above
View a map of the U.S. Capitol and other buildings and grounds cared for by the...

Featured

AOC Gardener at the U.S. Botanic Gardener handling some orchids
Information about working for the Architect of the Capitol:

Featured

The Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol
This is the first in a series of occasional articles, written by the Architect...

Stephen Austin

White marble statue of Stephen Austin
Elisabet Ney
Artist

Marble
Given by Texas in 1905
Hall of Columns
U.S. Capitol

Overview 

This statue of Stephen Austin was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by Texas in 1905.

The founder of the state of Texas was born in Austinville, Virginia, on November 3, 1793, and moved with his family to Missouri in 1798. He was educated at Colchester Academy in Connecticut and Transylvania University in Kentucky, and he served in the militia and the territorial legislature. In 1821 he inherited from his father a grant to settle 300 Anglo-Americans in Texas. Austin served as their civil and military leader and their liaison with the authorities. Since Austin's grant was from the Spanish rulers, he traveled to Mexico City between 1822 and 1823 to clarify their legal position with the newly independent Mexican government.

Ten years later he returned to Mexico to ease tensions resulting from American settlements near the border. Because he had brought a grievance petition and a request for statehood, he was imprisoned by General Santa Anna on charges of inciting revolution. After his release in 1835, he presided at the Texas convention, which resulted in the Texas Revolution on October 2, 1835. Austin was made commander-in-chief of the army that marched on the Mexican headquarters in San Antonio, and he was later a commissioner to seek recognition by the United States, negotiate a loan, and enlist volunteers.

Reluctantly he accepted the nomination for president of the Republic of Texas in June 1836 but lost to Sam Houston, who then appointed him secretary of state. Austin died on December 27, 1836, in Columbia, Texas.


Download pdf of this article.

Last Updated: September 24, 2014