This undated portrait of Stephen F. Austin by an unknown artist hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"In 1822, Stephen F. Austin led a group of AngloAmerican emigrants to settle a site in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. He gained the cooperation and trust of the newly formed Mexican state, which saw Austin's colony as a way to settle and improve its lands. For ten years Austin led the colony and grew to believe that Mexico, not the United States, should control Texas. However, his hand was forced when the Mexican government, fearing the American colonists' independence, began to harass them. Austin was arrested in 1835 for allegedly plotting to annex Texas from Mexico. Released, he joined the subsequent revolt as commander of the army of Texas. After the declaration of the Republic of Texas (1836), Austin was defeated as its first president by Sam Houston, the war's military hero." -- National Portrait Gallery