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This Corner of Canaan

Essays on Texas in Honor of Randolph B. Campbell

Edited by Richard B. McCaslin, Donald E. Chipman, and Andrew J. Torget

Publication Year: 2013

Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell has spent the better part of the last five decades helping Texans rediscover their history, producing a stream of definitive works on the social, political, and economic structures of the Texas past. Through meticulous research and terrific prose, Campbell’s collective work has fundamentally remade how historians understand Texan identity and the state’s southern heritage, as well as our understanding of such contentious issues as slavery, westward expansion, and Reconstruction. Campbell’s pioneering work in local and county records has defined the model for grassroots research and community studies in the field. More than any other scholar, Campbell has shaped our modern understanding of Texas. In this collection of seventeen original essays, Campbell’s colleagues, friends, and students offer a capacious examination of Texas’s history—ranging from the Spanish era through the 1960s War on Poverty—to honor Campbell’s deep influence on the field. Focusing on themes and methods that Campbell pioneered, the essays debate Texas identity, the creation of nineteenth-century Texas, the legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the remaking of the Lone Star State during the twentieth century. Featuring some of the most well-known names in the field—as well as rising stars—the volume offers the latest scholarship on major issues in Texas history, and the enduring influence of the most eminent Texas historian of the last half century.

Published by: University of North Texas Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Quote

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vii

Introduction

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pp. viii-9

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Editors’ Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

This volume reflects a shared debt that many of us owe to the scholarly work of Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell. Among those whose work intersects with Texas, there are few whose legacy and influence loom as large as Campbell’s. Over the course of almost fifty years, his books, essays, journal articles, and public lectures have painted a nuanced portrait of the Texas past that has become a model for the field. Perhaps just as important, Campbell’s work as a teacher and...

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Teacher, Mentor, Friend: A Reflection

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pp. xv-xviii

I have had many good teachers; I recall them very well and even specific things I learned from each, but only a few were life- changing—my first grade teacher, my twelfth grade teacher, my thesis committee, and then there was the Virginian, Randolph B. Campbell. Dr. Campbell did not just want to teach a prescribed curriculum; he wanted to teach students; he wanted to change the world (at least his On the first day of my first class in the Department of History at the ...

Part I: Texas Identity

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Chapter 1. Texas Identity: Alternatives to the Terrible Triplets

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pp. 3-36

For more than a century Texas historians have nurtured three competing views on Texas identity. These terrible triplets, now well into a vital and vigorous old age, have a family resemblance and a similar effect on the study of the state. One stubbornly insists that Texas remains and always has been unique and exceptional. Another brusquely argues that Texas, at ...

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Chapter 2. History, Memory, and Rebranding Texas as Western for the 1936 Centennial

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pp. 37-58

Whether Texas is southern or western in its basic historical character has long been debated b y historians of the Lone Star State and the Southwest. Numerous articles, essays, and books have explicitly touched on this subject over the decades. Several scholars have played significant roles in this debate. Notably, Frank Vandiver wrote a timely book in 1975 titled The Southwest: South or West? Vandiver inconclusively found vestiges of both influences that shaped ...

Part II: Texas Before the Civil War

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Chapter 3. José Antonio Pichardo and the Limits of Spanish Texas, 1803–1821

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pp. 61-82

From the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to Jul y 21, 1821, w hen the flag of Castile and León was lowered for the last time at San Antonio, Spanish Texas experienced its most turbulent and bloody years. The province faced an aggressive United States with its expansion- minded President Thomas Jefferson, and in 1813 Texas suffered the bloodiest war in its history, followed by an agonizing aftermath. To help retain its hold on Texas, Spain turned to a Mexican savant, man ...

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Chapter 4. Sam Houston, Indian Agent

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pp. 83-106

Sam Houston is revered as a Texas hero. At least twelve major biographies along with countless other works have chronicled the adventures of this larger- than- life American. But even before he entered the pages of Texas history, he had carved out a wide- ranging and remarkable career. Houston was an accomplished frontiersman, schoolmaster, soldier, lawyer, and politician who became governor of...

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Chapter 5. Stephen F. Austin’s Views on Slavery in Early Texas

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pp. 107-128

In 1830, Stephen F. Austin made a bold declaration to a group of potential settlers from Alabama who were interested in moving to Texas. “I am of the opinion,” he informed them, “that Texas will never become a Slave state or country.” Such sentiments might have struck his Alabama audience as strange, since Austin had spent the majority of the previous decade doing everything in his power to ensure the passage of proslavery laws in Mexico. Yet Austin...

Part III: Texas in Civil War and Reconstruction

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Chapter 6. Landholding in Brazos County, Texas: Frontier, War, and Reconstruction

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pp. 131-156

One of the most persistent historical questions concerning the American Civil War and Reconstruction is what impact the war and the end of slavery had on local elites in the South. The answer to that question has varied. Some historians have seen relatively little change, while others have perceived a more radical transformation.1 As historian James Roark points out, however, resolving these interpretations is difficult because of the narrow geographic focus of most of these ...

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Chapter 7. Soldiering on the Texas Coast and the Problem of Confederate Nationalism

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pp. 157-184

Beginning with the publication of Bell I. Wiley’s pioneering works on Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, scholarly literature on Civil War soldiers has been bold and controversial. Historians have long since developed myriad interpretations to recreate the lives and experiences of the countless men who donned the blue and gray. In fact, scholars increasingly and effectively have utilized soldiers’ wartime accounts as useful tools to investigate the nineteenth-century’s deep cauldron of ...

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Chapter 8. North Texans and Civil War Amnesty: Helpless Instruments in the Hands of Rebellion?

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pp. 185-202

At the end of the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson pursued a lenient plan of Reconstruction designed to return the former Confederate states to their proper relationship with the Union as swiftly as possible. His plan included amnesty proclamations intended to restore full legal and political rights to ex-Confederates, in most cases, in exchange for an oath of allegiance to the United States and a pledge to obey emancipation legislation. Johnson’s first and most important...

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Chapter 9. Texas Reconstruction in Popular Memory: What Really Happened in Hill County in 1871

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pp. 203-226

Texas legislators in 1874 righted a terrible wrong, or so the y claimed. It had already become part of Democratic lore that Re-publican governor Edmund J. Davis was an oppressive dictator. The same idea was quickly becoming embedded in popular memory in the Lone Star State as conservative Democrats “redeemed” it from Re-construction by beating the Republicans at the ballot box. Perhaps the most persuasive evidence in the portrayal of Davis as an oppressor was ...

Part IV: Texas and the New South

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Chapter 10. The Roots of Southern Progressivism: Texas Populists and the Rise of a Reform Coalition in Milam County

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pp. 229-264

In the introduction to his 1997 book, Grass-Roots Reconstruction in Texas, Randolph B. Campbell noted that although Reconstruction had been the subject of intense academic scrutiny at the state and national levels, few scholars had “sought to determine how the issues of the era came home to people at the local level.” Campbell’s point about Re-construction holds true for the subject of this essay: the political circumstances that gave rise to southern progressivism. In the past half- century, ...

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Chapter 11. African-American Housing and Health Patterns in Southwestern Cities, 1865–1900

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pp. 265-292

After the Civil War, many African Americans in southwestern cities, including some former urban slaves and all new migrants into the towns, faced an immediate need for housing. The resolution of that problem would influence their lives and the nature of the cities in several ways. It could perpetuate integrated antebellum residential patterns, when domestic slaves lived in the houses of their owners or in quarters nearby. Or it could enhance the residential segregation that had ...

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Chapter 12. Populism and the Poll Tax in Cooke County, Texas

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pp. 293-308

Generally, poll taxes are considered in terms of their role within the Jim Crow system— laws formulated to limit the political influence of blacks. These taxes, however, also served to reduce the political power of poor whites, as exemplified by the Populist movement at the turn of the century. Rural Populists, most of whom were poor farmers, advocated the abolition of the national banking system, an increase in the money supply, and a commodity credit system. Another ...

Part V: Texas and the Twentieth Century

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Chapter 13. Investing in Urban: The Woman’s Monday Club and the Entrepreneurial Elite of Corpus Christi, Texas

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pp. 311-334

Newly urban areas in the South, around the turn of the twentieth century, promised opportunity to thousands of people looking to make their mark. Spread across the region, cities sprung up in areas where plantation and ranching agriculture was once the primary path to regional influence. Like most of the South, Cor pus Christi in 1900 was surrounded by a mostly rural landscape, but a growing class of optimistic urban social elites believed that a different future lay ahead ...

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Chapter 14. Denton County, Texas, and the Draft During the First World War

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pp. 335-360

The Denton County courthouse was quiet on July 20, 1917. The local newspaper noted that “nothing was filed in county court, no filings were reported in the district court, no birth or death certificates and no marriage licenses were applied for.” The reason for the lack of official business was obvious to county residents: the first draft since the Civil War was taking place in Washington, D.C. As blindfolded administration officials pulled numbers from a glass bowl, they were ...

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Chapter 15. “Gente Decente”: Tejanos Jovita González and Edmundo E. Mireles

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pp. 361-384

When Jovita González married Edmundo E. Mireles in 1935, she had already accomplished more than most Mexican Americans of her generation, male or female. By the time she was thirty, the Tejana was an acclaimed folklorist, historian, speaker, author, and teacher. González’s marriage, however, would dramatically change the course of her life and career. Her interests became secondary to those of her husband, the Mexican-born Mireles, who was destined to ...

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Chapter 16. National Ideal Meets Local Reality: The Grassroots War on Poverty in Houston

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pp. 385-402

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, launched in Au-gust 1964 with the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act as part of his larger Great Society project, proved to be a bold and ambitious series of initiatives fueled by the spirit of 1960s American liberalism. The act created the Job Corps to provide unemployed and underemployed young men with marketable skills, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) to tap the great resource of idealistic youth eager to ...

Contributors’ Biographies

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pp. 403-406

Index

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pp. 407-423


E-ISBN-13: 9781574415179
Print-ISBN-13: 9781574415032

Page Count: 480
Illustrations: 17 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013