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Women and the Texas Revolution

Edited by Mary L. Scheer

Publication Year: 2012

While there is wide scholarship on the Texas Revolution, there is no comparable volume on the role of women during that conflict. Most of the many works on the Texas Revolution include women briefly in the narrative, such as Emily Austin, Suzanna Dickinson, and Emily Morgan West (the Yellow Rose), but not as principal participants. Women and the Texas Revolution explores these women in much more depth, in addition to covering the women and children who fled Santa Anna’s troops in the Runaway Scrape, and examining the roles and issues facing Native American, Black, and Hispanic women of the time. Like the American Revolution, women’s experiences in the Texas Revolution varied tremendously by class, religion, race, and region. While the majority of immigrants into Texas in the 1820s and 1830s were men, many were women who accompanied their husbands and families or, in some instances, braved the dangers and the hardships of the frontier alone. Black, Hispanic, and Native American women were also present in Mexican Texas. Whether Mexican loyalist or Texas patriot, elite planter or subsistence farm wife, slaveholder or slave, Anglo or black, women helped settle the Texas frontier and experienced the uncertainty, hardships, successes, and sorrows of the Texas Revolution. By placing women at the center of the Texas Revolution, this volume reframes the historical narrative and asks different questions: What were the social relations between the sexes at the time of the Texas Revolution? Did women participate in the war effort? Did the events of 1836 affect Anglo, black, Hispanic, and Native American women differently? What changes occurred in women’s lives as a result of the revolution? Did the revolution liberate women to any degree from their traditional domestic sphere and threaten the established patriarchy? In brief, was the Texas Revolution “revolutionary” for women?

Published by: University of North Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright page, Dedication

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

An edited book necessarily incurs many scholarly and technical debts to individuals who contributed to the volume. Most importantly, I am particularly indebted to the seven fine scholars who lent their skill and expertise to this project. They cheerfully agreed, with some coaxing, to research a specific group of Texas...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

The Texas Revolution, 1835–1836, changed the course of history for the residents of Mexico’s northernmost province. Most individuals living on the Texas frontier during the 1820s and 1830s were subjects of a ruling regime thousands of miles away. Hispanic families already living in the region mingled with Anglo newcomers...

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1. Continuity, Change, and Removal: Native Women and the Texas Revolution

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pp. 13-45

Understanding what impact the Texas Revolution had on Native American women requires an understanding of the experience of Native Americans in Texas from the decline of Spanish influence through Mexican independence in 1821 and eventual Texas statehood in 1845. ...

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2. Tejanas: Hispanic Women on the Losing Side of the Texas Revolution

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pp. 47-63

In 1821, when Mexico received its independence from Spain, the Hispanic population in Texas had been decimated by the fighting. The three population centers, San Fernando de Béxar (San Antonio), La Bahía (Goliad), and Nacogdoches, had only a few thousand people total. Indian groups dominated the rest of Texas. ...

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3. “Joys and Sorrows of Those Dear Old Times”: Anglo-American Women during the Era of the Texas Revolution

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pp. 65-95

On April 28, 1833, Dilue Rose from St. Louis, Missouri, celebrated her eighth birthday onboard a schooner traveling from New Orleans to Matagorda Bay, Texas. The small vessel, carrying her parents, brother Granville, sister Ella, and other adventurers, encountered high winds and ran aground on a sand bar off Galveston Island...

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4. Traveling the Wrong Way Down Freedom’s Trail: Black Women and the Texas Revolution

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pp. 97-121

Spanish Texas was not a great place to be a woman of African descent. Black women in Texas suffered from social and legal constraints upon their freedom. Spanish society left a legacy of racism that relegated blacks to the lowest caste and allowed many to be held as property until the Mexican Revolution concluded in 1821. ...

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5. Two Silver Pesos and a Blanket: The Texas Revolution and the Non-Combatant Women Who Survived the Battle of the Alamo

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pp. 123-152

On February 23, 1836, seven women and seven children took refuge in the Alamo for thirteen days as Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna, with a major part of his army, entered San Antonio’s main plaza to do battle against insurgent Texans, both Anglos and Tejanos. The women with their children entered the Alamo...

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6. “Up Buck! Up Ball! Do Your Duty!”: Women and the Runaway Scrape

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pp. 153-178

The Runaway Scrape during the spring of 1836 constitutes one of the most noteworthy and poignant chapters of the Texas Revolution, in large part because it touched the lives of almost all Anglo-Americans in the province whether soldier or civilian. The “Runaway Scrape” quickly became the term used by those involved to describe the flight...

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7. “To the Devil with your Glorious History!”: Women and the Battle of San Jacinto

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pp. 179-208

On April 20–21, 1836, the battle of San Jacinto took place between the Texas army under General Sam Houston and a division of the Mexican army under General Antonio López de Santa Anna. During the afternoon of April 21, the Texans, numbering about 900 men, marched across a prairie separating the two armies and attacked...

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8. Women and the Texas Revolution in History and Memory

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pp. 209-230

Browsing through DeWitt Clinton Baker’s Texas Scrap-Book (1875), a compendium of primary documents, memoirs, and biographical sketches, it is striking to note how completely masculine it is, except for a handful of poems by women, one of whom turned out to be an African black man, “Forestina,” Moses Evans’ “Wild Woman of the Woods.” ...

Contributors

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pp. 231-233

Index

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pp. 235-244


E-ISBN-13: 9781574414592
Print-ISBN-13: 9781574414691

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 15 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2012