The first known African American to enter the area now known as Austin was Mahala Murchison. The Portal to Texas History, maintained by the University of North Texas Libraries, has a short biography of Mahala Murchison in its Texas History Collection. It reads, “Mahala Murchison, a ten year old mulatto girl, was the first Negro to appear in Austin. Four months after Austin was founded, Alexander Murchison arrived here to make his home on July 16, 1839. He was accompanied by his wife and maid, Mahala.” The Portal to Texas History also includes an undated photograph of Mahala Murchison.