TSHA develops eBooks that focus on special topics, commemorate the contributions of groups of people that shape Texas history or highlight trending area of research on Texas history.
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In February 1861, Texans voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Union and joined the Confederacy soon after. As a result, the Lone Star State became involved in a four-year conflict that would take the lives of many and leave none untouched. Texas escaped much of the terrible destruction of the war for a simple reason—United States troops never managed to invade and occupy the state’s interior. Nevertheless, Texans paid a huge price for the war, primarily in terms of lives lost and ruined in the Confederate Army and in the privations of families left at home.

TSHA documents the Texans involved in the conflict and the major events that took place in the state in Civil War in the Lone Star State. In this eBook, you will learn more about:

  • The major battles and campaigns that involved Texas and its citizens
  • Military commanders and leaders associated with Texas, such as Thomas Green and John Bell Hood
  • Major events which took place in Texas during and after the war, such as the Great Hanging in Gainesville and the Juneteenth celebrations
  • And much more!
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At the end of the Civil War, Texas was poised to enter the golden age of cattle trailing. With an abundance of cattle populating the state and demand rising across the country, cattle ranchers were eager to avoid depressed prices at home and earn much more outside of the state. Before long, a network of trails was established to transport cattle through Texas and across state lines. These trails remained the primary transport routes until the late nineteenth century, when railroad companies took over the transport of cattle.

Follow the journeys of the cattle drivers in Texas Trails: Pathways of History, TSHA's latest free eBook. In this eBook, you can learn more about:

  • Some of the major trail routes used by Texas cattle drivers, such as the Chisholm Trail, the Shawnee Trail, and the Western Trail
  • Background information about the cattle transported on these trails and how the scourge of Texas Fever impacted the trade
  • Minority groups who developed the cattle trailing and ranching industry, such as African American cowboys and the vaqueros
  • Some of the prominent cattlemen and women of Texas, including Oliver Loving, Margaret Borland, and Daniel Waggoner
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Understanding the diverse and rich culture of Texas is impossible without first understanding the history of Tejanos in the Lone Star State. Over time, Tejano traditions came to define many of the most iconic symbols of Texas, and their cultural impact is plainly seen in the architecture, language, clothing, music, literature, and cuisine that make Texas unique. Recently, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, TSHA updated its Handbook of Tejano History, and Tejanos Through Time is an excellent companion to this reference.

In Tejanos Through Time, you will read more about:

  • The Spanish influence on Texas, resulting from their missions and colonial government
  • Prominent political groups and activists who fought for Tejano civil rights, such as the League of United Latin American Citizens and Adela Sloss Vento
  • Tejano influence on the arts, literature, and entertainment, featuring biographies on individuals such as Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, Luis Omar Salinas, and Maria Belen Ortega
  • And much, much more!
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Packed with articles, hundreds of full-color photographs, maps, and data, the Texas Almanac is the premier reference guide for everything Texan. Inside the 752-page full color, go-to guide for all things Texas, you will discover:

  • The state of water in Texas
  • Freshwater and saltwater angling in the Lone Star State
  • Fish and game recipes from Dotty Griffith
  • The popularity of hunting in Texas
  • Over 250 state and county maps
  • And much more!
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In celebration of the city’s Tricentennial, the Texas State Historical Association is proud to present this special e-Book, San Antonio: 300 Years of History. Drawn from the resources of the Handbook of Texas and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, this compilation offers a sampling of some of the many places, people, and events that have shaped the colorful history of the Alamo City. San Antonio has played a vital role in the formation of Texas—from the founding of Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1718 to the poignant conflict of the Texas Revolution. The Alamo City’s rich heritage also includes a remarkable diversity of ethnicities underscoring its standing as a crossroads of cultures. This diversity is reflected in the industry, art, architecture, music, festivals, and cuisine of the city and creates the unique ambience that San Antonio proudly carries today.

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Since its founding in 1836, the city of Houston rocketed from a modest, small town of twelve to a thriving metropolis at the center of incredible innovations in medicine, science, and space exploration. The rise of “Space City” has played a pivotal role in the economic prosperity and leadership of the Lone Star State at the national level. As the city has grown, the contributions of Houstonians have grown as well, leaving behind lasting legacies for historians to document and share.

As part of the release of the Handbook of Houston, TSHA is proud to offer Houston: Past, Present, and Progress. This eBook includes:

  • A full 128 pages focused on Houston’s civic leadership, business, immigration, society, law and order, and arts and culture. 

  • The effect of Jesse Jones on city development and politics. 

  • Biographies of other notable Houstonians who developed iconic businesses, universities, and landmarks.

  • Houston's advances in scientific research in space exploration and medicine.

Fifteen related articles from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

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While African Americans have been subjected to the cruelties of slavery, segregation, and discrimination during the long history of Texas, they have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the state. Having overcome these terrible obstacles, it is important to document African American influence on Texas policies, social standards, and culture. Today, TSHA operates the Handbook of African American Texas to ensure the stories of the African American experience are shared.

In Struggle and Success, you will discover:

  • A brief overview of the history of African Americans in Texas, as well as their involvement in Texas politics

  • Biographies on some of the prominent political and civil rights leaders from Texas, such as Barbara C. Jordan and James L. Farmer, Jr.

  • Profiles on the African American leaders in business, law, education, science, and medicine

Articles from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly focusing on desegregation and the fight for civil rights in Houston

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The diversity of Texas music reflects the diversity of people in the Lone Star State. Perhaps most associated with Lone Star country music to uninformed listeners outside of the state, Texas musicians have also influenced a number of other genres, including rock-and-roll, jazz, blues, and even heavy metal music. By studying the development and maturation of music in Texas, one can chronicle the growth and changing demographics of Texas as well.

In Texas: A Musical Journey, you will learn more about the influence Texans have made on the music industry, including backgrounds and profiles on:

  • “Texas, Our Texas,” the official song of Texas and “The Eyes of Texas,” the unofficial state song

  • The biggest country, jazz, rock-and-roll, and blues artists who had ties to Texas, including Blind Lemon Jefferson, Buddy Holly, and Willie Nelson

  • The music festivals that have received national recognition, such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits

  • Some of the “hidden gems” from the Texas music scene, including Carl Eric Lewis and Charline Arthur

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Pilots, activists, oil magnates, storytellers, scientists, ranchers, daughters, mothers – the number of women who have affected or influenced the history of our state is as vast as the Texas landscape itself. These women fought for gender equality and shattered glass ceilings, creating new opportunities for those who followed.

This first eBook of the Women Across Texas History series, Volume 1: Nineteenth Century and Before, features biographies of women who represented women’s public and private roles including:

  • A number of biographies on many of the prominent women of early Texas, such as Tamar Morgan, Emily Austin Bryan Perry, and Ellen Lawson Dabbs

  • Thirty-seven entries from the Handbook of Texas and three articles from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly that feature a number of diverse ways women have contributed to Texas history.

  • More than 100 pages by historians that note the influence of women prior to and throughout nineteenth century Texas.

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Our unique history is shaped by the stories from the myriad individuals who influenced the politics, economy, and culture of Texas. Among these individuals are countless women who fought for gender equality and shattered glass ceilings, creating new opportunities for those who followed. Texas women make Texas history, and as a result of their contributions in the past, the foundation for the future is much stronger.

To ensure that these women receive proper recognition, TSHA has embarked on a multi-year effort to share their stories in our eBook series, Women Across Texas History. In this FREE eBook, you will read more about:

  • Jessie Ames, a progressive leader and founder of both the League of Women Voters and the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching.

  • Georgia O’Keeffe, the influential modernist painter who taught in West Texas

  • Jovita González de Mireles, a teacher, folklorist, and writer who was one of the first Texan Mexicans to obtain a master’s degree and work as a and the first female and Mexican to be president of the Texas Folklore Society.

  • Lulu Belle Madison White, a teacher and civil rights activist who was a vanguard in the effort to eliminate the white primary in Texas, integrate the University of Texas, and enforce equal salaries for black and white teachers.

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Stephen F. Austin’s contributions to the Lone Star State made a lasting impression on the state’s history. He is commonly referred to as the “Father of Texas,” as the story of the Lone Star State’s independence begins with Austin. Before his death, he began the American colonization of Texas, presided over the Convention of 1832, and served as Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas.

Learn more about the fascinating life of Stephen F. Austin in this first eBook in the Road to the Texas Revolution series. In this eBook, you will read more about:

  • Austin’s journey from manager of the family general store to Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas

  • Moses Austin, the father of Stephen F. Austin

  • The Mexican colonization laws which served as stimulus to the Texas Revolution

  • The “Old Three Hundred” colonists who received land grants in Austin’s first colony

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Sam Houston is one of the most illustrious political figures in Texas history, having served as the first regularly elected president of the Republic of Texas, a U.S. senator following annexation, and governor of Texas. Additionally, Houston was a decorated war hero as the major general of the revolutionary army. His contributions to the Lone Star State’s formation are rivalled by few others and were crucial to Texas independence.

Discover how Houston’s military and political success laid a solid foundation for the Lone Star State’s future. In this fifth eBook in our Road to the Texas Revolution series, you will read more about:

  • Sam Houston’s life and career as a military leader and politician

  • The Runaway Scrape, the flight of Texans from their homes during Santa Anna’s attempted conquest of Texas

  • The adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence

  • Houston’s leadership during the Battle of San Jacinto, the military engagement that resulted in ultimate victory for the Texans

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