The Austin family left an indelible mark on Texas and the expanding American nation. In this insightful biography, Light Townsend Cummins turns the historical spotlight on Emily Austin, the daughter who followed the trails of the western frontier to Texas, where she saw the burgeoning young colony erupt in revolution, establish a proud republic, and usher in the period of antebellum statehood. Emily's journey was one of remarkable personal change as the rigors of frontier life shaped her into a uniquely self-reliant southern woman, one who fulfilled the role of the plantation mistress while taking a distinct hand in ambitious public ventures. Despite her ties to influential family members, including her brother Stephen F. Austin, Emily's determined spirit allowed her to live on her own terms. In all of her notable activities, Emily principally remained a devoted daughter, sister, wife, and mother who proudly clung to her Austin roots. Utilizing her family's written correspondence, Cummins provides insight into Emily's multifaceted personality and the relationships that sustained her through times of tribulation and triumph.