TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Moses Austin Papers, 1803
Moses Austin (1761-1821) was born October 4, 1761, in Durham Connecticut. He married Mary Brown in 1785 and the couple had five children, including Stephen Fuller Austin. Moses founded his own dry goods company (Moses Austin and Co.) and in 1789 won the Virginia state contract to provide a lead roof for the new capitol building. His innovative business and mining strategies earned Austin credit for founding the lead industry in the United States. Though he amassed a considerable fortune from his lead mining ventures, the failure of the Bank of St. Louis sent Austin into debt. So he devised a plan to colonize Spanish-controlled Texas with Anglo settlers. He travelled to Texas and won the approval of the Spanish governor in 1820, but his health soon failed. Suffering from pneumonia contracted in Texas, Moses Austin died on June 10, 1821. His final wishes were that his son Stephen carry on with his plans to colonize Texas.
Depositions concern the petition of Austin to recover his barge, the "Dolphin." Deponents Jaduthun Kendal, James Austin, and Charles Dehault de Lasus testify that the barge, recovered from an island near the port of New Madrid by Robert Perry, belonged to Austin. Forms part of the Natchez Trace Collection.
Moses Austin Papers, 1803, Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.