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Texas in Review - Stephen F. Austin Cabin (1958)

Texas Historical Commission

Sound | 1958

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  •  Stephen F. Austin 
  •  Austin Log Cabin 
  •  Brazos River, town of San Felipe 
  •  Chimney, original brick from cabin 
  •  Flag made by women of San Felipe 
  •  Moses Austin 
  •  Original land grants Austin signed 
  •  San Felipe de Austin history 
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  •  All over Texas there are monuments to the memory of great men and women, courageous people who settled the frontier.  
  •  Such is the case with Steven F. Austin. 
  •  Many monuments large and small have been erected for the memory of the Father of Texas.  
  •  But few have captured the essential dignity and humility of the man as radically as this restoration of the Austin Log Cabin. 
  •  The cabin, his home while in Texas, has been restored as a lasting reminder of the Father of Texas and his way of life.  
  •  The cabin stands near the Brazos River and the town of San Felipe, about 50 miles west of Houston.  
  •  Nearby is a well, curbed with home pressed bricks.  
  •  Also, much of the brick in the chimney is from the original cabin.  
  •  These have been placed, just as Austin himself would have done it, with the crude tools of his time. 
  •  Even though it housed the man who led the first colonists into Texas in 1821, this cabin could be called typical of the dwellings of the humblest settler of that period.  
  •  The early Texans began by building log cabins open on the south.  
  •  As time permitted, a second room was added with the open porch or breezeway separating the two.  
  •  These skeleton structures kept out sun and rain but offered little other comfort.  
  •  However, it was a roof over their heads and a wall between them and the Indians. 
  •  Hanging over the fireplace can be found a flag.  
  •  This flag was made by the ladies of San Felipe when the town was the colony capital.  
  •  It was presented to the small company of men who stood under roofs much like these and prayed that they would reach the Alamo in time to fight and if need be, die for Texas.  
  •  There are other reminders of that fateful chapter, mute now but eloquent in their silence; 
  •   A powder horn used by one of Austin's scouts.  
  •  How many times did Steven Austin stare into a fireplace like this one?  
  •  And sit at tables and vaulted desks, searching for answers to complexing problems of his little colony.  
  •  It was Steven's father Moses Austin who had the dream of colonizing Texas. 
  •  It was Steven the architect, who made the blueprint.  
  •  This ox yoke it a reminder of the hardships of that era. 
  •  Here is one of the original land grants signed by Austin.  
  •  The town of San Felipe de Austin was laid out in 1824.  
  •  San Felipe was the first American town in Mexican Texas.  
  •  It was also the colonial and provisional capital of Texas until March 1, 1836.  
  •  A perusal of these old papers, leads to what amounts to a history of the San Felipe area and the people who lived there.  
  •  We learn that may firsts can be claimed by San Felipe.  
  •  Travis' immortal message of "Victory or Death" from the Alamo was sent direct to San Felipe.  
  •  The first book published in Texas was printed in San Felipe.  
  •  While these are all important to the growth of Texas, this village, this cabin, will be remembered because it was the home of Steven F. Austin.  
  •  It is recorded history that he said, "the only home I had of my own was at San Felipe."  
  •  It is fitting that a statue of Austin was placed near the cabin, reminding us that this great man never forgot his humble beginnings.  
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This clip, originally aired as part of the January 13, 1958, episode of "Texas in Review," features an historical overview of the town of San Felipe and a tour of the house. The restored log cabin, an example of a typical colonial homestead, contains bricks from the original structure and houses a number of period artifacts.

"Texas in Review" was a television series sponsored by the Humble Oil & Refining Company.  Originally produced in a news-like format by Fort Worth's Channel 5, the series was later given to the Jamieson Film Company, who developed its newsreel and TV-magazine style. For five years, Jamieson produced the program in its entirety (writing, filming, editing), until recession-induced budget cuts caused Humble Oil to cancel it in 1958. While on air in Dallas, it enjoyed the prime time spot between the popular "Burns & Allen" and "I Love Lucy."