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The fear of Austin's proximity to the Indians and Mexico, which still considered Texas a part of their land, created an immense motive for Sam Houston, the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, to relocate the capital once again in 1841.

Austin, Travis County and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9200 BC.

The area's earliest known inhabitants lived during the late Pleistocene (Ice Age) and are linked to the Clovis culture around 9200 BC (11,200 years ago), based on evidence found throughout the area and documented at the much-studied Gault Site, midway between Georgetown and Fort Hood.

In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River.

In 1839, the site was chosen to replace Houston as the capital of the Republic of Texas and was incorporated under the name "Waterloo".

Upon threats of Mexican troops in Texas, Houston raided the Land Office to transfer all official documents to Houston for safe keeping in what was later known as the Archive War, but the people of Austin would not allow this unaccompanied decision to be executed.

The documents stayed, but the capital would temporarily move from Austin to Houston to Washington-on-the-Brazos.

The city's official slogan promotes Austin as "The Live Music Capital of the World", a reference to the city's many musicians and live music venues, as well as the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits.