Stephen F. Austin was born on November 3, 1793 in southwestern Virginia. He grew up in Missouri and attended Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky. Texas was opened to settlers in the early 1820s and Moses Austin, Stephen’s father, decided to start a new life there. In November 1820, Moses Austin headed for San Antonio, which was then ruled by the Spanish, while Stephen went to New Orleans to make arrangements for other settlers interested in moving to Texas. Moses Austin soon died, and Stephen fulfilled his father’s dream by bringing three hundred settlers to Texas under the impresario system. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain and Austin went to Mexico City for permission from the new Mexican government to continue his colony. While he waited for approval, he became a Mexican citizen, learned to speak and write Spanish, and to understand Mexican law. In 1833, Austin again traveled to Mexico City, this time to seek approval for a state constitution for Texas. He was arrested and detained until December 1834. Austin’s friendly, tactful personality and experience in both law and business made him the ideal diplomat. He was truly the “Father of Texas.” Such was the quality of his leadership, that it was not until Austin advised breaking with Mexico in 1835 that the Texans, who until that time had been divided as to whether they should pursue peace or war, united in their efforts. The current State of Texas’ capital city, Austin, is named after him.