One of the most appealing aspects of attending the University of Texas is the fact it is located in the heart of Austin. I know that I was a little nervous moving to a big city for college, but Austin is the perfect college town. Why would I say that? First of all, I say that because the UT campus is off on its own on the north end of downtown Austin, so you get that feeling of being on a centralized college campus that is rare in urban universities. Second, the entire city seems to be compromised of Longhorn fans and alums, so you’ll see that welcoming shade of burnt orange everywhere you go. The other reasons Austin is a great place to go to school are Austin’s history, opportunities, entertainment and food.
To do the city justice, I will write a post about each of these components of Austin. Today, we are going to focus on the city’s history.
The Founding of Austin
The city’s recorded history began in 1830s when Anglo-American settlers arrived. These settlers eventually founded the city (then called Waterloo) along the banks of the Colorado River. During this time period (around 1836-37), Texas had just won it’s independence and recently formed the Republic of Texas. In 1837, President Sam Houston established the Republic’s capital in Houston. It was at President Mirabeau B. Lamar’s instructions that the Texas Congress purchase all the land of Waterloo and surrounding the banks of the Colorado River to establish a permanent Texas capital. The Texas Capital named the new city Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, “the father of Texas,” and officially chartered the city in 1839. Continue reading A long time ago, in a place not too far away…