On January 2, 1834 Stephen Austin was imprisoned by the Mexican government.
Prior to this Austin did his best to satisfy the rebellious Anglo-Americans in Texas. And because of problems with the Mexican Republic, Austin was forces to constantly return to Mexico City where he argued for the rights of the American colonists in Texas.

Alarmed by the growing numbers of Americans migrating to Texas and rumors the U.S. intended to annex the region, the Mexican government began to limit immigration in 1830.
The Mexican policy angered many Anglo-American colonists who already had a long list of grievances against their distant government. In 1833, a group of colonial leaders drafted a constitution that would create a new Anglo-dominated Mexican state of Texas.

Once the constitution was done, the colonial leaders directed Austin to travel to Mexico City to present it to the government along with a list of other demands. Austin conceded to the will of the people, but President Santa Ana not only refused to grant Texas independence, he threw Austin in prison on suspicion of inciting insurrection.
When he was finally released eight months later in August 1835, Austin found that the Anglo-American colonists were on the brink of rebellion. They were now demanding a Republic of Texas that would break entirely from Mexico.

Reluctantly, Austin abandoned his hope that the Anglo Texans could somehow remain a part of Mexico, and he began to prepare for war. The following year Austin helped lead the Texan rebels to victory over the Mexicans and assisted in the creation of the independent Republic of Texas. Defeated by Sam Houston in a bid for the presidency of the new nation, Austin instead took the position of secretary of state. He died in office later that year.

Filed under: Old West History

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