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Texas Tech University Press

Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas

Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas

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In 1838 Texas vice president Mirabeau B. Lamar, flush from the excitement of a successful buffalo hunt, gazed from a hilltop toward the paradise at his feet and saw the future. His poetic eye admired the stunning vista before him, with its wavering prairie grasses gradually yielding to clusters of trees, then whole forests bordering the glistening Colorado River in the distance. Lamar's equally awestruck companions, no strangers to beautiful landscapes, shuffled speechlessly nearby. But where these men saw only nature's handiwork, Lamar visualized a glorious manmade transformation--trees into buildings, prairie into streets, and the river itself into a bustling waterway. And he knew that with the presidency of the Republic of Texas in his grasp, he would soon be in position to achieve this vision. The founding of Austin sparked one of the Republic's first great political battles, pitting against each other two Texas titans: Lamar, who in less than a year had risen to vice president from army private, and Sam Houston, the hero of San Jacinto and a man both loved and hated throughout the Republic. The shy, soft-spoken, self-righteous Lamar dreamed of a great imperial capital in the wilderness, but to achieve it faced the hardships of the frontier, the mighty Comanche nation, the Mexican army, and the formidable Houston's political might.

Author: Jeffrey Stuart Kerr
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Published: 07/03/2013
Pages: 352
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.30lbs
Size: 9.10h x 5.90w x 1.10d
ISBN: 9780896727823

Review Citation(s):
Choice 01/01/2014

About the Author

Jeffrey S. Kerr is the author of two other books on Texas history, Austin, Texas: Then and Now (a 2005 nonfiction finalist for the Writers' League of Texas Violet Crown Award) and The Republic of Austin (now in its third printing). He also writes a regular history column for the online periodical Austin Post. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Austin.

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