In 1834 Stephen F Austin was arrested by the Mexican government and held prisoner for three years in the capital city. Initially, he was held incommunicado in a cell in the building which had formerly held prisoners of the Spanish Inquisition. Denied books or anyone to talk to, he turned to writing out his thoughts in a small notebook. Austin variously railed against the Catholic Church, outlined plans for a “modernized” Mexico, and reflected on what he perceived as mankind’s and his own mistakes and character faults.
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