Stephen F. Austin arrived in Bexar to learn that Texas was no longer a part of the Spanish empire but a newly independent Mexico. This meant that Austin had to renegotiate his father's contract with the new Mexican government in Mexico City. In 1822, Austin went to Mexico City and, because political infighting led to three different Mexican governments, took a year to renegotiate with the new government there. Austin becomes the first foreign empressario or colonization agent and is given permission to recruit and settle settlers, to administer his colonies for the first few years, to serve as a liaison between the colonists and Spanish government, to make sure that colonists behaved themselves, to issue titles, and to resolve conflicts. Austin embraced his role and pursued it with single-minded intensity for fifteen years. Austin founded his colony in a fertile area between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers starting at the Gulf Coast and extending to the Old Spanish trade route, the Camino Real. Like other Southerners, Austin planned to turn this area into a wealthy colony through cotton and slave labor. Video courtesy of Texas Talks and the Texas State Historical Association.