Emily Austin of Texas, 1795-1851

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Overview

The Austin family left an indelible mark on Texas and the expanding American nation. In this insightful biography, Light Townsend Cummins turns the historical spotlight on Emily Austin, the daughter who followed the trails of the western frontier to Texas, where she saw the burgeoning young colony erupt in revolution, establish a proud republic, and usher in the period of antebellum statehood.    Emily's journey was one of remarkable personal change as the rigors of frontier life shaped her into a ...

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Overview

The Austin family left an indelible mark on Texas and the expanding American nation. In this insightful biography, Light Townsend Cummins turns the historical spotlight on Emily Austin, the daughter who followed the trails of the western frontier to Texas, where she saw the burgeoning young colony erupt in revolution, establish a proud republic, and usher in the period of antebellum statehood.    Emily's journey was one of remarkable personal change as the rigors of frontier life shaped her into a uniquely self-reliant southern woman, one who fulfilled the role of the plantation mistress while taking a distinct hand in ambitious public ventures. Despite her ties to influential family members, including her brother Stephen F. Austin, Emily's determined spirit allowed her to live on her own terms.    In all of her notable activities, Emily principally remained a devoted daughter, sister, wife, and mother who proudly clung to her Austin roots. Utilizing her family's written correspondence, Cummins provides insight into Emily's multifaceted personality and the relationships that sustained her through times of tribulation and triumph.    "Emily was very much her own woman, with strong, well-articulated personal feelings centered on a steely personality. Her rock-solid resolve for action enabled her to survive almost six decades of frontier hardship . . . Above all else, Emily Austin was the touchstone at the center of an extended family that provided a common point of reference for four generations . . . "    Light Cummins, from  Emily Austin

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Editorial Reviews

Light Cummins

"Emily was very much her own woman, with strong, well-articulated personal feelings centered on a steely personality. Her rock-solid resolve for action enabled her to survive almost six decades of frontier hardship . . . Above all else, Emily Austin was the touchstone at the center of an extended family that provided a common point of reference for four generations . . . " --Light Cummins, from Emily Austin. Next in the series Edmund J. Davis: Civil War General, Radical Republican, Governor of Texas by Carl H. Moneyhon

Light Cummins

"Emily was very much her own woman, with strong, well-articulated personal feelings centered on a steely personality. Her rock-solid resolve for action enabled her to survive almost six decades of frontier hardship . . . Above all else, Emily Austin was the touchstone at the center of an extended family that provided a common point of reference for four generations . . . " --Light Cummins, from Emily Austin. Next in the series Edmund J. Davis: Civil War General, Radical Republican, Governor of Texas by Carl H. Moneyhon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875653518
  • Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
  • Publication date: 4/10/2009
  • Series: The Texas Biography Series , #1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Light Townsend Cummins is the Guy M. Bryan Jr. Professor of History at Austin College. A native of San Antonio, he is the author or editor of seven books dealing with the history of Texas and the Gulf Coast, including A Guide to the History of Texas, A Guide to the History of Louisiana, and Spanish Observers and the American Revolution.
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  • Posted April 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A MEMORABLE WOMAN

    As stated in the Introduction "Biography as a form of analysis seeks to understand the relationship between the normal and the unusual in the life of its subject."
    If, considering the date and place of her birth, one hazarded a guess as to what would be normal in the course of Emily Austin's life it's safe to say that no one would have come close. She was a Southerner born and bred in Austinville, Virginia. There she was surrounded by family, including her brother, Stephen, who was two years older. Austinville was beautiful, nature at its finest, very little like the Gulf Prairie of Texas where she was to spend most of her life.
    When Emily's father's mining business experienced reversals Moses Austin closed his business at New River mines, and moved the family to Spanish territory just south of St. Louis, later known as Missouri. The family would face financial difficulties again beginning in 1814 with an economic depression in the lead industry. With the death of Moses Austin, the family appeared to have been separated, but in 1822 Emily "wanted to move to Texas and reassemble the Austin family there." Thus, her Texas life began.
    In later years she more than proved her mettle with the founding of Austin college, and the organization of a Texas railroad. Through thorough research and assiduous reading of correspondence the author gives us a very close look at the remarkable Emily Austin, what teachings formed her and how she developed into the fascinating personality that played such a large part in Texas history.
    - Gail Cooke

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