Los Brazos de Dios
A Plantation Society in the Texas Borderlands, 1821–1865
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
This study has had a long and varied life, starting as a seminar paper, growing into a dissertation, and finally reaching maturity as a book. A great many people and institutions have helped over the years. Fellowships from the University of Texas at Austin, including three Schumacher-Adkins Fellowships, ...
When the young Ohioan Rutherford B. Hayes visited his college friend Guy M. Bryan on the Lower Brazos in the winter of 1848, he was impressed with what he saw. His lodgings at Peach Point, the plantation owned by Bryan’s stepfather, James F. Perry, were “delightfully situated in the edge of the timber, ...
The river we now call the Brazos has had many names. Native Americans reportedly referred to it as Tokonohono. La Salle called it La Maligne, or the wicked one. Other names include La Trinidad, Santa Teresa y Barroso, Espíritu Santo, Río Rojo, Río de Señor San Pablo, Jesús Nazareno, San Gerónimo, and Baatse. ...
Humorist Joseph Glover Baldwin has left us the most enduring sketch of the Brazos migrant. In an 1853 piece titled “How the Times Served the Virginians,” he contrasted two types of Mississippi planters during the “Flush Times” of the 1830s. The first was the well-heeled and honorable Virginia gentleman who moved ...
2. Husbands and Wives
After processing his first wave of land claims in 1824, Stephen F. Austin received a curious letter from one of his deputies, surveyor Seth Ingram. A settler named Thomas J. Tone had filed for a league of land (4,428 acres) with a partner, Thomas Jamison. Tone believed himself entitled to more than the half league ...
3. Masters and Slaves
Brazos slaves and slave owners inhabited very different worlds, but the boundaries that marked these worlds rarely received mention in travelers’ descriptions or the correspondence of the master class. Travelers tended to view the region as an undifferentiated, integral whole, which might be characterized simply as ...
4. Germans, Anglos, and the Politics of Slavery
The Brazos was unusual among antebellum plantation regions in its ability to attract a significant number of immigrants. Several factors were responsible: liberal Mexican land policies in the 1830s, coupled with a preference for non-U.S. immigrants; the founding of several immigrant enclaves just a few years before ...
Thomas Blackshear, owner of one hundred slaves and a plantation near Navasota in Grimes County, was a man of few words. On February 23, 1861, he made a typically brief entry in his pocket diary: “Trying to rain again. Plum and peach trees in bloom. At 11 oclock AM a Norther sprang up and blew coldly until night. ...
Epilogue: Bordered Lands
The Civil War and emancipation marked the end of an era on the Brazos. For four decades Brazos plantation society had felt the gravitational pull of two separate republics, each born in the Age of Revolution, each heir to the era’s antislavery imperative. But in the 1820s, with independence secured and sovereignty established, ...
Abbreviations Used in the Notes and the Appendixes
Appendix 1: Tables
Appendix 2: Method Used to Identify Neighborhoods