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Texas State Historical Association

Website: http://www.tshaonline.org/

The Texas State Historical Association is a digital gateway to Texas history. You will experience a vast storehouse documenting the rich and complex history of the state through innovative online features and content.


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Texas State Historical Association

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Arsenal of Defense Cover

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Arsenal of Defense

Fort Worth's Miltary Legacy

J'Nell L. Pate

Named after Mexican War general William Jenkins Worth, Fort Worth began as a military post in 1849. More than a century and a half later, the defense industry remains Fort Worth's major strength with Lockheed Martin's F-35s and Bell Helicopter's Ospreys flying the skies over the city. Arsenal of Defense: Fort Worth's Military Legacy covers the entire military history of Fort Worth from the 1840s with tiny Bird's Fort to the massive defense plants of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Although the city is popularly known as "Cowtown" for its iconic cattle drives and stockyards, soldiers, pilots, and military installations have been just as important--and more enduring--in Fort Worth's legacy. Although Bird's Fort provided defense for early North Texas settlers in the mid nineteenth century, it was the major world conflicts of the twentieth century that developed Fort Worth's military presence into what it is today. America's buildup for World War I brought three pilot training fields and the army post Camp. During World War II, headquarters for the entire nation's Army Air Forces Flying Training Command came to Fort Worth. The military history of Fort Worth has been largely an aviation story--one that went beyond pilot training to the construction of military aircraft. Beginning with Globe Aircraft in 1940, Consolidated in 1942, and Bell Helicopter in 1950, the city has produced many thousands of military aircraft for the defense of the nation. Lockheed Martin, the descendant of Consolidated, represents an assembly plant that has been in continuous existence for over seven decades. With Lockheed Martin the nation's largest defense contractor, Bell the largest helicopter producer, and the Fort Worth Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Federal Medical Center Carswell the reservist's training pattern for the nation, Fort Worth's military defense legacy remains strong.

At the Heart of Texas Cover

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At the Heart of Texas

One Hundred Years of the Texas State Historical Association, 1897-1997

Richard B McCaslin

"History like that of Texas is rare. . . . Is it not discreditable to the people of Texas, that they should leave the collection of material for the history of the State to the great endowed Northern libraries? . . . Let Texas arouse herself for very shame, and begin at once the discharge of her filial duty."

So wrote George Pierce Garrison in the first issue of the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, published in July 1897, just months after the establishment of the organization on March 2. The state of Texas was just half a century old; the city of Austin, going back to the days of the Republic, was a little older—a few years past its half-century; and the University of Texas, where Garrison was "the history professor," was not yet fourteen. Earlier attempts to organize historical societies in Texas, traced in the opening chapter, illuminate the factors that came ultimately to be decisive in the success of the Association: the wisdom in linking the organization with the University of Texas, the inclusion of lay historians, and the continued insistence on high academic standards. And, from the beginning, the Association has established a tradition for publishing in the Quarterly, in addition to the Anglo story, the stories of the Indians, the Spanish, and the French. According to author Richard B. McCaslin, "It may be that the Association survived where its predecessors had not because Garrison, who was as much a Progressive historian as any of his contemporaries, understood the value of inclusiveness."

The text is organized in chronological chapters by the tenures of the seven directors, George Garrison to Ron Tyler, all of whom were professors in the UT history department. Within the larger framework of the directors, the programs, and the publications, McCaslin gives shape to the unique interaction of forces—university, political, and the academic/lay membership—that has accorded the Association a character and suppleness that continues to ensure its long endurance. The book is profusely illustrated, and sidebars culled from past issues of the Quarterly complement the text.

Winner of the Award of Merit from the Philosophical Socierty of Texas

Austin Cover

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Austin

A History of the Capital City

Humphrey David

State capital and home of the University of Texas, Austin is the one city that belongs to all Texans. This finely written book, illustrated with historic photographs, tells the story of Austin’s transformation from an “Indian haunted” frontier village into a residential mecca and high-tech hot spot.

Called by Sam Houston at its founding the “most unfortunate site upon earth for the seat of government,” the infant community struggled for three decades against political enemies and competing towns before winning recognition as the permanent capital. The founding of the University of Texas turned the seat of politics into the seat of education, but Austin’s nineteenth-century dreams of becoming a river port and a factory town came to naught.

A slave city in a slave state, Austin cast its lot with the Confederacy. Retaining a frontier flavor into the 1890s, post–Civil War Austin became the headquarters of the Texas gambling fraternity and a magnet for cowmen seeking “booze and women of the night.”

Turning the nineteenth-century frontier town into an appealing twentieth-century residential community taxed the energies of civic leaders for several decades. Virtually parkless and with no paved streets in 1900, Austin by the 1940s boasted tree-lined boulevards, a cornucopia of parks and pools, and a leisurely lifestyle. But for African American residents these were years of oppressive segregation. Mexicans encountered similar treatment as Austin became a tri-ethnic community during the 1920s and 1930s.

Segregation gradually gave way in a divisive but nonviolent struggle. While adjusting to this, Austin experienced eye-popping expansion. Fearful that Austin would become “another Houston,” residents sought to preserve the lifestyle that had made the capital city such an attractive place to live.

Civil War Texas Cover

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Civil War Texas

Ralph A. Wooster

Written by one of the deans of Texas history, Civil War Texas provides an authoritative, comprehensive description of Texas during the Civil War as well as a guide for those who wish to visit sites in Texas associated with the war. In one compact volume, the reader or tourist is led on an exciting historical journey through Civil War Texas.

Because most of the great battles of the Civil War were fought east of the Mississippi River, it is often forgotten that Texas made major contributions to the war effort in terms of men and supplies. Over 70,000 Texans served in the Confederate army during the war and fought in almost every major battle. Ordnance works, shops, and depots were established for the manufacture and repair of weapons of war, and Texas cotton shipped through Mexico was exchanged for weapons and ammunition.

The state itself was the target of the Union army and navy. Galveston, the principal seaport, was occupied by Federal forces for three months and blockaded by the Union navy for four years. Brownsville, Port Lavaca, and Indianola were captured, and Sabine Pass, Corpus Christi, and Laredo were all under enemy attack. A major Federal attempt to invade East Texas by way of Louisiana was stopped only a few miles from the Texas border.

The Civil War had significant impact upon life within the state. The naval blockade created shortages requiring Texans to find substitutes for various commodities such as coffee, salt, ink, pins, and needles. The war affected Texas women, many of whom were now required to operate farms and plantations in the absence of their soldier husbands. As the author points out in the narrative, not all Texans supported the Confederacy. Many Texans, especially in the Hill Country and North Texas, opposed secession and attempted either to remain neutral or work for a Union victory. Over two thousand Texans, led by future governor Edmund J. Davis, joined the Union army.

In this carefully researched work, Ralph A. Wooster describes Texas's role in the war. He also notes the location of historical markers, statues, monuments, battle sites, buildings, and museums in Texas which may be visited by those interested in learning more about the war. Photographs, maps, chronology, end notes, and bibliography provide additional information on Civil War Texas.

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Fort Concho

A History and a Guide

Matthews James

In the fall of 1867 the United States Army established a permanent camp on the plateau where the North and Middle Concho rivers join. For centuries, this high open plateau had remained barren except for passing expeditions or Native American hunting parties. The establishment of Fort Concho provided a vital link in the line of frontier defense and led to the development of the town of San Angelo across the North Concho River from the military post.

In more than twenty years of federal service, Fort Concho was home to companies of fifteen regiments in the regular United States Army, including Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's Fourth Cavalry and Col. Benjamin Grierson's Tenth Cavalry of buffalo soldiers. The post provided a focal point for major campaigns against the Comanches, Kiowas, and Apaches. Patrols from Fort Concho charted vast areas of western Texas and provided a climate for settlement on the Texas frontier. Today Fort Concho stands restored, thanks to numerous preservation efforts, as a memorial to all the peoples who struggled to survive on the plateau where the rivers join.

Fort Concho: A History and a Guide by James T. Matthews has been hailed by Fort Concho director Bob Bluthardt as "the first book on the history of the fort in fifty years." Fort Concho is another title in the Texas State Historical Association's Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series, which publishes short books about important historical sites or events in Texas history.

Number Eighteen: Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series

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Galveston

A History and a Guide

David McComb

Indians! Pirates! Rebels! Blockade Runners! Smugglers! Murder! Beaches! Beauty Contests! Hurricanes!

These are all a part of the colorful history of an island city that once called itself “The Free State of Galveston.” Located at a natural harbor on the northeastern part of a thirty-mile-long sand barrier island, the city dates its beginning from the end of the Texas Revolution. Before then, the harbor had attracted Jean Lafitte, a pirate from Louisiana, and the revolutionary Texan government fleeing in front of the attack of Santa Anna’s Mexican Army.

After independence in 1836, Michel B. Menard, along with nine associates, bought the harbor property and founded the town. Galveston grew on the strength of the harbor—the best between New Orleans and Veracruz—and the city became a major entry point for immigrants to Texas. During the Civil War it was a haven for Confederate blockade runners and the site of one of the major battles of the war in Texas. Afterward it was a center for occupation forces and the point from which Major-General Gordon Granger announced emancipation for Texas slaves on June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth Day). The city later became a major cotton port for the Southwest and the location of the University of Texas Medical School.

In 1900 Galveston was struck by a hurricane and flood that killed approximately six thousand people: the greatest disaster in the history of the United States. Afterward, the citizens built a sea wall, raised the grade of the island, and constructed a causeway for future protection. The city led the way with a commission form of government, and in the first half of the twentieth century, became noted for its illegal drinking, gambling, and prostitution.

After the Texas Rangers cleaned it up, Galveston developed into a tourist town with its attractions of the beach, hotels, celebrations, and fishing. Historic preservation projects such as houses, buildings, museums, and the square-rigged ship Elissa completed its evolution.

This authoritative and well-written history of Galveston provides an overview of the city’s rich and colorful past and provides readers, researchers, and tourists with information about today’s historical points of interest. Galveston: A History and a Guide is a delightful read and a useful traveling companion.

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The Hoggs of Texas

Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family, 1887–1906

Virginia Bernhard

In The Hoggs of Texas: Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family, 1887–1906, Virginia Bernhard delves into the unpublished letters of one of Texas’s most extraordinarily families and tells their story. In their own words, which are published here for the first time.

Rich in details, the more than four hundred letters in this volume begin in 1887 in 1906, following the family through the hurly-burly of Texas politics and the ups-and-downs of their own lives.


The letters illuminate the little-known private life of one of Texas’s most famous families. Like all families, the Hoggs were far from perfect. Governor James Stephen Hogg (sometimes called "Stupendous" for his 6'3", 300-plus pound frame), who lived and breathed politics, did his best to balance his career with the needs of his wife and children. His frequent travels were hard on his wife and children. Wife Sallie’s years of illness casted a pall over the household. Son Will and his father were not close. Sons Mike and Tom did poorly in school. Daughter Ima may have had a secret romance. Hogg’s sister, “Aunt Fannie,” was a domestic tyrant.

The letters in this volume, often poignant and amusing, are interspersed liberally with portions of Ima Hogg's personal memoir and informative commentary from historian Virginia Bernhard. They show the Hoggs as their world changed, as Texas and the nation left horse-and-buggy days and entered the twentieth century.

Julian Onderdonk in New York Cover

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Julian Onderdonk in New York

The Lost Years, the Lost Paintings

James Graham Baker

Famed for his bluebonnet landscapes, San Antonio native Julian Onderdonk may be the most well-known artist Texas has ever produced. Onderdonk spent several years outside the state, though, seeking to make a name for himself in New York City. He spent much of his time in New York as the very definition of a starving artist.

In Julian Onderdonk: The Lost Years, the Lost Paintings, James Graham Baker explores the artist’s New York years, so often neglected by previous scholars. Through painstaking research, Baker reveals that Onderdonk painted hundreds of images under pseudonyms during his time in New York. These images not only reveal the means by which the artist struggled to make ends meet, but add another dimension to our understanding of the artist’s oeuvre. It is not possible to appreciate and understand Julian Onderdonk and his art without including these works. Largely composed of landscapes and marine scenes depicting the vanishing rural areas and shorelines around New York City, they show that Onderdonk was more than simply a “bluebonnet painter.”

Lone Star Blue and Gray Cover

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Lone Star Blue and Gray

Essays on Texas and the Civil War

Robert Wooster

From the bitter disputes over secession to the ways in which the conflict would be remembered, Texas and Texans were caught up in the momentous struggles of the American Civil War.

Tens of thousands of Texans joined military units, and scarcely a household in the state was unaffected as mothers and wives assumed new roles in managing farms and plantations. Still others grappled with the massive social, political, and economic changes wrought by the bloodiest conflict in American history.

The sixteen essays (eleven of them new) from some of the leading historians in the field in the second edition of Lone Star Blue and Gray illustrate the rich traditions and continuing vitality of Texas Civil War scholarship.

Along with these articles, editors Ralph A. and Robert Wooster provide a succinct introduction to the war and Texas and recommended readings for those seeking further investigations of virtually every aspect of the war as experienced in the Lone Star State.
 

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Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

The ‘Great Pedestrian' of North and South America

Donald Chipman

 Cabeza de Vaca’s mode of transportation, afoot on portions of two continents in the early decades of the sixteenth century, fits one dictionary definition of the word “pedestrian.” By no means, however, should the ancillary meanings of “commonplace” or “prosaic” be applied to the man, or his remarkable adventures. Between 1528 and 1536, he trekked an estimated 2,480 to 2,640 miles of North American terrain from the Texas coast near Galveston Island to San Miguel de Culiacán near the Pacific Coast of Mexico. He then traveled under better circumstances, although still on foot, to Mexico City.

 About a year later, Cabeza de Vaca returned to Spain. In 1540, the king granted Cabeza de Vaca civil and military authority in modern-day Paraguay. After arriving on the coast of Brazil in 1541, he was unable to find transportation by ship to the seat of his governorship. He then led a group of more 250 settlers through 1,200 miles of unchartered back country, during which he lost only two men.

Cabeza de Vaca’s travels are amazing in themselves, but during them he transformed from a proud Spanish don to lay advocate of Indian rights on both American continents. That journey is as remarkable as his travels. It was this “great awakening”  that landed him in more trouble with Spaniards than Indians. Settlers at Asunción rebelled against the reformist governor, incarcerated him, tried to poison his food on two occasions, and finally sent him to Spain in irons. There he was tried and convicted on trumped-up charges of carrying out policies that were the exact opposite of what he had promoted—the humane protection of Indians.

This book examines the two great “journeys” of Cabeza de Vaca—his extraordinary adventures on two continents and his remarkable growth as a humanitarian.

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