Stephen F. Austin State Park, 663.3 acres in Austin County, was deeded by the San Felipe de Austin Corporation in 1940, and the park was opened to the public the same year.
Twelve acres of the park are set aside in honor of the area's past. Located on the Brazos River, adjoining the old ferry site and a part of the Commercio Plaza de San Felipe, this is the site of the township of San Felipe, the seat of government of the Anglo-American colonies in Texas. It was here Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas," brought the first 297 families to colonize Texas under a contract with the Mexican Government. From 1824 to 1836, San Felipe de Austin was the social, economic, and political center, as well as the capital of the American colonies in Texas. Due to the many historic events that occurred here, the community acquired the reputation "Cradle of the Texas Liberty." Also, the conventions of 1832 and 1833 and the Consultation of 1835 were held here. These meetings eventually led to the Texas Declaration of Independence. San Felipe was the home of Austin and other famous early Texans; the home of Texas' first Anglo newspaper (The Texas Gazette, founded in 1829); the home of the postal system of Texas origination and the setting for the beginning of the Texas Rangers.
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