Women have long made significant contributions to Texas history. Only in recent years, however, has their part in that history begun to be told. The great strides made in Texas women's studies are reflected in this important new book of essays about women and their many roles in the history of our state. In October 1990, the Texas State Historical Association sponsored a conference, "Women and Texas History," which brought together some of the leading scholars in the field of women's studies. This highly successful conference - attended by hundreds and awarded recognition for its excellence by the AASLH - produced a raft of exciting presentations which demonstrated the vigorous quality and growth of women's studies in and about Texas. Women and Texas History includes thirteen of the best presentations at the conference. This "milestone" publication, notes Fane Downs in her introduction to Women and Texas History, represents "the emerging maturity of the field of Texas women's history; moreover, these essays add significantly to our knowledge of the complex and diverse history of Texas." This ground-breaking volume will be of interest to students, scholars, and general readers, and is well adapted to classroom use.
This engaging study of women in early Texas fills an important gap in the history of the state. First published by John Jenkins in 1975 and long out of print, Women in Early Texas is now available again with a new scholarly introduction by award-winning Texas historian Debbie Cottrell. The volume contains biographies of fifty notable women, representing a wide variety of ethnic groups and classes, whose lives deeply influenced the way Texas developed. Many of the biographies were written by descendants of the women and have been extensively researched and supplemented by heretofore unused family records and papers. The stories of these inspiring women are fine examples of local history and will be of interest to scholars doing research, teachers seeking classroom material, and general readers looking for stories of women out of Texas' past. Debbie Cottrell's introduction places this ground-breaking book and these diverse women in historical perspective, and provides an excellent bibliography of other sources for researchers and readers.
This book focuses on some of the most famous photographs ever taken: the Farm Security Administration's images of Dust Bowl Texans. But there is much more to the FSA photographs than is commonly believed. From 1935 to 1943 - the critical years of the Great Depression and World War II - the photographers in the federal government's Farm Security Administration (and later the Office of War Information) documented America, especially Texas, in all its vast complexity. Some of the most famous names in documentary photography, including Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and Arthur Rothstein, took more than five thousand photographs in Texas, more than in any other state. In addition to the well-known pictures of rural poverty and the Dust Bowl, these remarkable artists captured a rich panorama of everyday life in Texas's rural areas, small towns, and big cities. By the time they were done, there were few areas and aspects of Texas left undocumented. Robert L. Reid's text traces the history of the FSA and the OWI and discusses the photographers and their work. The book also presents more than two hundred magnificent duotone photographs in chapters on cotton, cattle, oil, cities and towns, recreation and leisure, the Dust Bowl, World War II, and other themes. Readers will be moved by the vast array of images of town meetings and rodeos, down-and-out farmers and prosperous businessmen, beer joints and factories, black and brown and white.
From the bitter struggles over secession to the surrender at Appomattox, Texas and Texans were caught up in the enormous political, economic, and military struggles of the Civil War. In this collection of sixteen essays from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and other leading scholarly journals, the authors take the readers through some of the most important aspects of the Civil War as experienced in the Lone Star State.
"Those of us who knew how to swim crossed to the other bank. But a number of our company did not know how to swim, and I was among that number. One of the Indians gave me a sign to go get a nearly dry log ... then, fastening a strap on each end, he made us understand that we should hold on to the log with one arm and try to swim with the other arm and our feet ... While trying to swim ... I accidentally hit the Father in the stomach. At that moment he thought he was lost and, I assure you, he invoked the patron saint of his order, St. Francis, with all his heart. I could not keep from laughing although I could see I was in peril of drowning. But the Indians on the other side saw all this and came to our help ... Still there were others to get across ... We made the Indians understand that they must go help them, but because they had become disgusted by the last trip, they did not want to return again. This distressed us greatly." - From Henri Joute's journal, March 23, 1687, shortly after La Salle was murdered. The La Salle Expedition in Texas presents the definitive English translation of Henri Joutel's classic account of Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's 1684-1687 expedition to establish a fort and colony near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Written from detailed notes taken during this historic journey, Joutel's journal is the most comprehensive and authoritative account available of this dramatic story of adventure and misadventure in Texas. Joutel, who served as post commander for La Salle, describes in accurate and colorful detail the daily experiences and precise route La Salle's party followed in 1687 from the Texas coast to the Mississippi River.
By carefully comparing Joutel's compass directions and detailed descriptions to maps and geographic locations, Foster has established where La Salle was murdered by his men, and has corrected many erroneous geographic interpretations made by French and American scholars during the past century. Joutel's account is a captivating narrative set in a Texas coastal wilderness. Foster follows Joutel, La Salle, and their fellow adventurers as they encounter Indians and their unique cultures; enormous drifting herds of bison; and unknown flora and fauna, including lethal flowering cactus fruit and rattlesnakes. The cast of characters includes priests and soldiers, deserters and murderers, Indian leaders, and a handful of French women who worked side-by-side with the men. It is a remarkable first hand tale of dramatic adventure as these diverse individuals meet and interact on the grand landscape of Texas. Joutel's journal, newly translated by Johanna S. Warren, is edited and annotated with an extensive introduction by William C. Foster. The account is accompanied by numerous detailed maps and the first published English translation of the testimony of Pierre Meunier, one of the most knowledgeable and creditable survivors of La Salle's expedition.
Land Is the Cry! is the fascinating, untold story of Warren Ferris, a New York Yankee who deserves to be remembered as the "Father of Dallas County." Except for a twist of fate, Dallas, Texas, would have been named "Warwick" by its two founders, surveyor Ferris and land speculator William P. King. Historian A. C. Greene calls Warren Ferris the most "unappreciated figure in Dallas history." But Ferris has more than regional significance, for his remarkable story encompasses three arenas: the Niagara frontier of western New York, the fur-trading country of the Rocky Mountains, and frontier northeast Texas during the years of the Republic. Ferris merited fame even before he came to Texas in 1837. While working as a trapper and fur trader in the Rocky Mountains for six years, Ferris kept a diary of his adventures. This journal, the classic Life in the Rocky Mountains, accompanied by a map which he drew from memory, provided a unique and valuable picture of trapper and Indian life in the 1830s. Ferris also gave the public its first written description of Yellowstone's amazing geysers. As a businessman seeking to become a landowner, fur trader Ferris followed his brother Charles to Texas the year after the Texas Revolution. He became the official surveyor for Nacogdoches County, which then included much of northeast Texas west to the Trinity River. Although his brother returned to their hometown of Buffalo, New York, Warren Ferris spent another thirty-five years of his eventful life in Texas.
Surveying at the Three Forks of the Trinity in 1839, Ferris entered the area before John Neely Bryan, the traditionally recognized founder of Dallas, and Ferris's surveys determined the line of streets and roads that shaped the future county. In 1847, Ferris settled down to farming east of White Rock Creek where he raised a family and helped build a community. This literate and versatile character was also a prolific letter writer, and much of the family correspondence to and from Buffalo has been preserved. These Ferris letters, and other family materials covering the period 1828-1885, help reconstruct the exciting life and times of Warren Ferris. Although Ferris might appear to be a stereotypical figure of Frederick Jackson Turner's trans-Mississippi West - fur trapper, surveyor, farmer - he is a complex and fascinating man. His long and varied career reveals some of the best and worst characteristics of the nineteenth-century frontiersman. A man worthy of the Romantic period, he was a flawed hero. His moods and motives often conflicted, producing a tension between his ideals and behavior. Warren Ferris's life is rich in human drama, an important frontier story of violent aggression, intrigue and scheming, poignant romance and bitter family quarrels. Susanne Starling has told a fascinating tale about an important figure of American frontier life.
The contributions and influences of Mexican Americans in Texas history have been many and significant. Only in recent decades, however, have historians adequately told this story. The enormous strides made in the study of Mexican-origin people in Texas are reflected in this important new book of essays. In May 1991 the Texas State Historical Association cosponsored a conference, "Mexican Americans in Texas History," which brought together some six hundred participants, including nearly one hundred leading scholars in the field of Mexican American Studies. In the words of the editors' introduction, this highly successful conference "confirmed and celebrated the existence of a substantial body of literature in Mexican American history." It showed that "Mexican American history was on its way to assuming its rightful place of importance." This groundbreaking volume, which contains eleven essays from that pivotal conference, corrects and amplifies the historical record. Mexican Americans in Texas History will be of great interest to students, scholars, teachers, and general readers, and it is well adapted to classroom use.
Texas! The very word brings to mind images that span many centuries and cultures: from the Tejanos of South Texas . . . to the Texians of the fledgling republic . . . to the Texans of today. The layered historical panorama of past and present Texas is the subject of the Portable Handbook of Texas.
The Portable Handbook is a condensation of the award-winning New Handbook of Texas which the Texas State Historical Association published in six volumes in 1996. This one-volume compendium features a comprehensive overview of Texas history from prehistory to the present.
The Portable Handbook brings together more historical information about Texas than can be found in any other single volume. It is the most useful and reliable one-volume reference work ever published on Texas - ideal for the home and office, the student, teacher, and traveler.
Jane McManus Storm Cazneau was a complex person who died at sea the way she lived — at the center of a storm of controversy. Whether as Aaron Burr's mistress, land speculating in Texas, behind enemy lines during the Mexican War, filibustering for Cuba or Nicaragua, promoting Mexican revolution from a dugout in Eagle Pass, or urging free blacks to emigrate to the Dominican Republic, Cazneau seldom took the easy path. As a journalist, an advisor to national political figures, and publicist, she helped shape United States domestic and foreign policy from the mid-1840s into the 1870s. Cazneau's most unique contribution was as a staff member for John L. O'Sullivan, editor of the United States Magazine and Democratic Review, where she described the mission of the United States as "Manifest Destiny," thereby coining one of the most significant and influential phrases in American political history. Cazneau was dedicated to the expansion of republican government and she had a deep and abiding love for her country and faith in its people and its future.
Documents of Texas History, a valuable reference work for students, teachers, scholars, and history aficionados, provides an in-depth, firsthand understanding of Texas history. The 141 documents selected for this book are accounts of significant events in Texas history, beginning with Cabeza de Vaca's 1528 expedition and ending with the national influence of the Dallas Cowboys and their Super Bowl victory. In between these two events-separated by more than four centuries-are scores of documents on a broad range of social, cultural, and political events that have shaped the history of Texas and often affected the nation. Fascinating to read, they relate history as it was lived by the participants and their contemporary observers. The documents are drawn from a great number of sources: archives, historical periodicals, rare books, government publications, and newspapers. They are arranged in chronological order and each document is prefaced by an introduction that provides background and interpretation of the event or topic at hand. The editors' careful selections provide an excellent overview of Texas history in all its depth and diversity.
A wide-angle portrait of Texas in the 1880s is typically a difficult picture to capture. But a unique government document of more than three hundred pages does it as well as our imagination will allow by providing the statistics and data to make it possible. In 1887, a state bureaucrat — Lafayette Lumpkin Foster — used his position as head of the Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics, and History to create a compendium of wide-ranging information for Texans and people interested in Texas. It was a treasure trove then and even more so now for the modern reader and researcher. Open the pages of his First Annual Report of the Agricultural Bureau and you have a unique window into understanding the people, towns, counties, railroads, and farming experiences that made up late-nineteenth-century Texas. The Texas State Historical Association presents this document, out-of-print for more than one hundred and ten years, as the latest in its Fred H. and Ella Mae Moore Texas History Reprint Series.
Rare for a document of its era, this agricultural report notes, in a county-by-county format, questions of gender, labor, and ethnicity not available anywhere else. What did female teachers earn compared to male teachers? How many hired laborers worked in the fields and what was their average length of employment? How many divorces and marriages took place in 1887 in Zapata County? What churches were represented? This report will provide the recorded answer, plus give the insightful researcher the ability to compare statistically one county with another. How many Norwegians, Mexicans, Germans, or Jews lived in each county? How many families were "white"? How many "colored"? Race,ethnicity, and gender are just a few categories to be explored by the person interested in describing the expansive, developing countryside of Texas in the final quarter of the nineteenth century.
In addition to the county tallies, Foster and his bureau employees provided a forty-page overview of state institutions, mineral resources, geography, and miscellany. Their efforts included a series of tables marshaling the statistics into accessible form, while the report also included a letter by Commissioner Foster explaining why and how the report came to be. For the modern reader a contemporary introduction is provided, placing the report in its historical context and pointing to its unique existence and potential for researchers. With the goal of cutting state expenditures, a subsequent Texas legislature restricted the collection and publication of the kinds of information Foster wove into his survey. Thus, this 1887 Census of Texas is our best stop-camera picture of the state. It has been forgotten on dusty shelves behind a dull cover and title, but is now available as The Forgotten Texas Census.
In late 1833 Mexico began to have serious fears that its northeastern territory in Texas would be lost to North American colonists. To determine the actual state of affairs, Mexico sent Col. Juan N. Almonte to Texas on an inspection--the last conducted by a high-ranking Mexican official before revolution separated Texas from Mexico. Upon his return to the Mexican capital in November 1834, Almonte wrote a secret report of the measures necessary to avoid the loss of Texas--a report that has been unknown to scholars or the general public. Here it is presented in English for the first time, along with more than fifty letters that Almonte wrote during his inspection. This documentation offers crucial new insights on Texas affairs and will change the way historians regard Mexico's attitudes toward the foreign colonists and their revolution of 1835-1836. When Santa Anna marched an army north to crush the Texas rebellion, Almonte was by his side as a special advisor. He kept a journal, lost at the Battle of San Jacinto, which is presented here with full annotation. Almonte's role in the 1836 campaign is examined, as well as his subsequent activities that relate to Texas. Through Almonte's Texas we gain an overdue appreciation of this man who played a leading role in the history of Texas and Mexico.