"I have learned patience in the hard School of an Empresario," Stephen F. Austin wrote to his secretary in 1827. Austin had brought his first settlers to Texas six years earlier, and devoted the rest of his life to colonizing the land. Without Austin's seemingly endless patience and long years of sacrifice, Texas as we know it today would not exist.
Image: Portrait of Stephen F. Austin painted in 1833 by William Howard. Austin (Stephen F.) Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.