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Gone to Texas: The Story of the Texas Empresarios (Social Studies, Grade 4)

Using educational films from the 1960s and 1980s, students will examine the varied experiences of the nineteenth century Texas Empresarios, and identify the important contributions of significant individuals, including Moses Austin, Stephen F. Austin, Baron de Bastrop, Martín de León and Green DeWitt. This film is a valuable resource that was saved through the Texas Archive of the Moving Image’s digital preservation program. The film educates and entertains, containing extraordinary reenactments of specific events that occurred in early Texas. This lesson highlights the Mexican settlement and colonization of Texas and traces the events that led up to the Texas Revolution, such as the 1825 Colonization Law of Coahuila y Tejas and its reversal in 1830, the Fredonian Rebellion, and the politically divisive land dispute between Texas Empresarios Martín de León and Green DeWitt. Most of the lesson focuses on Moses Austin and his son, Stephen F. Austin, as they worked to bring the first colonists or “The Old Three Hundred” to Texas. This lesson, utilizing a unique and engaging educational film created by the Texas Education Agency in 1978, serves as a great introduction to the Texas Empresarios and nicely segues into the Texas Revolutionary period.
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