Stephen Fuller Austin: November 3, 1793 – December 27, 1836

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1. Stephen Fuller Austin, called "The Father of Texas," never married, never had children and there does not seem to be a female interest in his life. It is known that he had a close attachment to a gentleman who paid for him to go through law school and while he was busy helping settlers come to Texas he maintained a correspondence with a close male friend in New Orleans.[1]


Questions: What was the name of the man who paid for Austin to go to law school and what do we know about him? What was the name of Austin's male friend in New Orleans and what do we know about him?


2. Gregg Cantrell. Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas [Hardcover]. Series: The Lamar Series in Western History Hardcover: 512 pages. Publisher: Yale University Press (September 10, 1999). ISBN-10: 0300076835. ISBN-13: 978-0300076837.[2]


3. Excerpt, Interview with Gregg Cantrell:

ADP: Why do you think Austin never married?

Cantrell: As far as I can tell, he never found time. Austin was a driven man--what we would today call a workaholic--and his guiding passion in life was the settlement and development of Texas. That didn't leave much time for marriage and family. Moreover, women were relatively scarce on the frontier, and Austin was rather discriminating in the company he kept. Perhaps he just never met Miss Right at the right time in his life. I'm surprised at how often I'm asked if Austin was homosexual. The only answer I can give is that there is simply no evidence of it, and some evidence to the contrary. Failure to marry by age 43 (his age at death) is certainly no indication of sexual orientation one way or the other (I didn't marry until age 39!). He was charmed by women and loved their company, and he often spoke of his desire to someday marry and settle down to life as a landed gentleman. Believe me, it would have done wonders for the sale of this book if the title had been "Stephen F. Austin, Gay Father of Texas." But that would have amounted to cheap sensationalism based on the flimsiest sort of speculation. No responsible historian would do that.


ADP: How would you describe his relationship with his cousin, Mary Austin Holley?


Cantrell: This is one of those pieces of "evidence to the contrary" that I mentioned above. Austin was utterly captivated by his sophisticated and still-beautiful (in her late forties) first cousin when she visited him in Texas in 1830. Was it true love? Read my book and find out . . . .[3]


Notes