For the letter “I,” Independent is the first word I thought of when describing Austinites. As the capitol city of the state and smack in the middle of the state, one might expect the city’s to reflect the social and political views of the state. It does not. For as long as I can remember, Texans have favored the conservative side of politics. The days of LBJ were long gone by the time I returned to the state of my birth, but the spirit of LBJ lives on the city.
A walk down downtown provides tourists with an excellent example of the fierce independence which Austinites hold themselves. A woman in bronze lights a cannon preparing it to fire across the street. That statue is of Angelina Eberly. Her vigilance in lighting the cannon signaled Austinites that Sam Houston’s men (Sam Houston was President of the Republic of Texas at the time) were taking away the city archives, thus removing the center of Texas government away from Austin. Austinites would have none of that.
Further walks around downtown show Austin’s love of music and art, but I’ve found the story of Angelina Eberly and her fight to keep Austin the capital the most telling of the attitude and fighting spirit of Austinites.
Don’t get me wrong, Austinints are not violent. They love a good time. They even love tourist to visit. (Who else can they brag to?) Just don’t mess with Austin. Austinites don’t like that.