Wednesday, March 2, 2011 | By: Sherlock

Texas Independence Day, 02 Mar 2011: The Father of Texas

Today is Texas Independence Day, the day Texas adopted the Texas Declaration of Independence one hundred and seventy-five years ago, on 02 Mar 1836. In honor of today, we will be featuring Stephen Austin, the claimed "Father of Texas".

Much of Stephen Austin's maternal family helped mold the formation of early Colonial America. They held political positions, financed important industries and eventually played the key-role in the settlement of Texas.

Stephen Fuller Austin was born on 03 Nov 1793 in what is now called Austinville, which lies in Wythe County, Virginia. He was the child of Moses Austin and Mary Brown. Moses Austin was a key figure in the development of the American lead industry. He was most importantly the first to obtain permission to settle in Spanish Texas and also established the first Anglo settlement West of the Mississippi River.

Mary Brown was the daughter of Abia Brown and Margaret Sharp, natives of New Jersey. Abia was appointed deputy of the New Jersey Provincial Congress in 1775 and also 1776. He held vast estate holdings in the iron mining and smelting industries. He at one point in time, appointed as Justice of the Peace by the Governor of New Jersey.
Margaret Sharp was the daughter and granddaughter of two extremely influential and powerful men. Her father was Isaac Sharp, originally from Ireland and later settling in New Jersey. He was a member of the Council of Proprietors, a judge of Salem County, New Jersey and finally a member of the New Jersey General Assembly. Isaac's father, Anthony Sharp, was an exceptionally successful wool merchant in Ireland and also a key member of the Dublin Quaker Community. He later became one of the original shareholders of West New Jersey in 1677, which lead to his son Isaac Sharp settling in Colonial America.


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