San Felipe in Austin County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Stephen F. Austin, Father of Texas
Between 1821 and 1835, Austin shaped the course of colonial Texas. Here, he built his only home in Texas. His log cabin also served as the colony's land office, and became the center of San Felipe commerce.
Following a plan begun by his father Moses, Austin received permission to settle 300 families as an empresario, or land contractor. This first colony U.S. immigrants on Mexican soil was followed by additional contracts granted to Austin and to other empresarios. Austin had complete authority over his colony's governance, but worked to establish elected local government among his settlers. Austin negotiated for favorable treatment for his settlers from Mexican state and federal governments. As a result he was often away from San Felipe and his colonists at times felt he had become too loyal to Mexico. Ultimately he supported the revolution in 1835. Within months of Texas Independence, Austin died in December 1836.
Stephen F. Austin with Dog, by Brand
In 1831, Austin identified his personal mottoes as "The redemption of Texas from the wilderness, Fidelity and gratitude to my adopted
In the late 1820s, Austin modified his original cabin to a two- story structure and rented it as an inn, which was generally known as the Whitesides Hotel. The inn hosted fiery public meetings as the colonists debated whether to rebel against the Mexican government in mid-1835. Robert M. Williamson known as "Three-Legged Willie" due to his peg leg, led one of the meetings in San Felipe in June 1835.
The brick-lined well - encased for protection in 1928 - was dug near Commerce Square to serve the Whitesides Hotel. Today it stands as the last architectural remnant of colonial San Felipe.
During the Texian campaign at Bexar (Modern San Antonio) in the fall of 1835, Austin served as the commanding officer until he was called from the front lines to seek financial assistance for the Texas Revolution in the United States. This pistol, photographed while on short-term loan at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, belonged to Austin.
Befitting his significance in Texas history, many places and institutions were named for Austin including Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Austin County and of course, the capital of Texas.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, Texas Independence. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1836.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Felipe TX 77473, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Felipe de Austin Colonial Well (here, next to this marker); Welcome to San Felipe de Austin (a few steps from this marker); San Felipe de Austin Town Site (a few steps from this marker); Remembering San Felipe de Austin (a few steps from this marker); Austin's Colony: First Colony in Mexican Texas (a few steps from this marker); Early Roads To San Felipe (within shouting distance of this marker); Stephen Fuller Austin (within shouting distance of this marker); J.J. Josey General Store (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Felipe.
Also see . . . Stephen F. Austin, Father of Texas. The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on December 19, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 12, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 19, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 216 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on July 11, 2022, by Joe Lotz of Denton, Texas. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 19, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.