Texas History - the history of Texas
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Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Texas History


Texas History

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Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans

By T.R. Fehrenbach

Da Capo Press
Released: 2000-04-04
Paperback (792 pages)

Lone Star: A History Of Texas And The Texans
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Here is an up-to-the-moment history of the Lone Star State, together with an insider's look at the people, politics, and events that have shaped Texas from the beginning right up to our days. Never before has the story been told with more vitality and immediacy. Fehrenbach re-creates the Texas saga from prehistory to the Spanish and French invasions to the heyday of the cotton and cattle empires. He dramatically describes the emergence of Texas as a republic, the vote for secession before the Civil War, and the state's readmission to the Union after the War. In the twentieth century oil would emerge as an important economic resource and social change would come. But Texas would remain unmistakably Texas, because Texans "have been made different by the crucible of history; they think and act in different ways, according to the history that shaped their hearts and minds."

Three Years Among the Comanches: The Narrative of Nelson Lee, Texas Ranger

By Nelson Lee

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (76 pages)

Three Years Among the Comanches: The Narrative of Nelson Lee, Texas Ranger
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Three Years Among the Comanches: The Narrative of Nelson Lee, the Texas Ranger; Containing a Detailed Account of His Captivity Among the Indians, His Singular Escape Through the Instrumentality of His Watch, and Fully Illustrating Indian Life as It is...

History of Texas

By George P. Garrison

Released: 2013-01-03
Kindle Edition (147 pages)

History of Texas
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"To understand aright the making of Texas, one must see it in its proper historical relations as a part of the process by which the peoples of Europe occupied America, and which has culminated in the formation of the American Union and its dominance on the Western Continent. It is easy to see that, from the standpoint of general history, the Revolution of 1776 is but the transition to a new stage of this process. Monroe's famous annual message in 1823 officially asserted that the period of colonization from overseas was at an end; but this did not stop the flow of population, nor the shifting of political boundaries with the advance of the United States..." - George P. Garrison

Contents: European Expansion in America. Pre-Colonial Explorations of the Texas Country. Encroachments of the French. Fort Saint Louis. Counter-Expeditions of the Spanish, and the Beginnings of Texas. Mission San Francisco de los Tejas. Renewed French Encroachments. Expedition of Saint-Denis. Spanish Settlements in Texas. The Beginnings of San Antonio. Fixing a Border with the French. The Failure of the Spanish Way. Mexico at the Wheel. Anglo-American Invasions. The Fringes of Texas during the Decay of Spanish Rule. Austin's Colony. The Crowd of Empresarios. The Fredonian War. Mexican Misrule and Colonial Insubordination. The Struggle for the Constitution of 1824. The Struggle for Independence. Home Affairs of the Republic. Foreign Affairs of the Republic. Annexation and Boundary Adjustment. Statehood. Civil War And Reconstruction.

History of Texas from 1685 to 1892: All Volumes

By John Henry Brown

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (618 pages)

History of Texas from 1685 to 1892: All Volumes
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This is a 19th century history of Texas, focusing on its Spanish and Mexican past, as well as the war for independence. From the preface: "The field for historical research in Texas, covering two centuries of time, is wide and, for the most part, deeply interesting. To the present and future generations, however, its chief historic value is confined to that period of time beginning about the close of the 18th and the commencement of the 19th century. Anterior to that time, outside of feeble settlements at San Antonio, Goliad and Nacogdoches and a few straggling missions, the country remained a primeval wilderness. Nor did any real progress toward reclamation occur until an effort was made to secure an Anglo-Saxon (chiefly North American) population, the first fruits of which became manifest in a few families and single men from January to December, 1822. From the latter year we trace all of Texas identified with those principles of liberty, and representative constitutional government held, at least by all English speaking people, to be essential to the continued progress and happiness of mankind. This work is undertaken with a sincere desire to give truth absolute control; to eschew every prejudice; to do justice to all who served their country with fidelity; and to guard against the great injustice of withholding merit due to some and awarding merit not due to others. Most of the numerous books on Texas, including several published in, or prior to 1836, were too early to reach much of its most important history, and before many facts touching the then past were known, or when they were but partially known. The author, at intervals, for nearly half a century, has sought to find and preserve historical data omitted in other works, or incorrectly stated by them. Ours is not like the history of any other State of the Union, settled and fostered by a progressive people and government, and aided by great interior resources and means of transportation of which practically Texas had nothing. Wild barbarians infested Texas, undisturbed until its settlement by Americans, and its frontiers continued subject to all the horrors, more or less extensive, of savage warfare from the beginning in 1822, to its practical cessation in 1876, a period of fifty four years, beside the period from 1835 to 1845, inclusive, of a state of war with Mexico. Her history, taken as a whole, is unique and unlike that of any other member of the Union. To be understood it must be correctly given and carefully read. The author is enabled to correct many errors-some of minor and a few of material importance-heretofore published, and to embrace numerous important facts never before given in any work; and yet, much of interest, in the very nature of things, resulting from the want of official records, the absence in large part of current newspaper files, and the failing memory of many old and patriotic men, must remain untold. Eschewing fiction and exaggeration and guided by the spirit of truth and justice this work is given to the people of Texas by her loyal son."

Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State

By Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Oxford University Press
Released: 2012-04-11
Paperback (528 pages)

Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State
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Gone to Texas engagingly tells the story of the Lone Star State, from the arrival of humans in the Panhandle more than 10,000 years ago to the opening of the twenty-first century. Focusing on the state's successive waves of immigrants, the book offers an inclusive view of the vast array of Texans who, often in conflict with each other and always in a struggle with the land, created a history and an idea of Texas.

Texas: A Historical Atlas

By A. Ray Stephens

University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback (448 pages)

Texas: A Historical Atlas
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For twenty years the Historical Atlas of Texas stood as a trusted resource for students and aficionados of the state. Now this key reference has been thoroughly updated and expanded—and even rechristened. Texas: A Historical Atlas more accurately reflects the Lone Star State at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Its 86 entries feature 175 newly designed maps—more than twice the number in the original volume—illustrating the most significant aspects of the state’s history, geography, and current affairs.

The heart of the book is its wealth of historical information. Sections devoted to indigenous peoples of Texas and its exploration and settlement offer more than 45 entries with visual depictions of everything from the routes of Spanish explorers to empresario grants to cattle trails. In another 31 articles, coverage of modern and contemporary Texas takes in hurricanes and highways, power plants and population trends.

Practically everything about this atlas is new. All of the essays have been updated to reflect recent scholarship, while more than 30 appear for the first time, addressing such subjects as the Texas Declaration of Independence, early roads, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Texas-Oklahoma boundary disputes, and the tideland oil controversy. A dozen new entries for “Contemporary Texas” alone chart aspects of industry, agriculture, and minority demographics. Nearly all of the expanded essays are accompanied by multiple maps—everyone in full color.

The most comprehensive, state-of-the-art work of its kind, Texas: A Historical Atlas is more than just a reference. It is a striking visual introduction to the Lone Star State.

The History of Texas

By Robert A. Calvert & Gregg Cantrell

Paperback (503 pages)

The History of Texas
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The principle that all people make history continues to drive the Fourth Edition of our well-loved text, one that considers carefully the different cultures within the state as well as the unique heritage shared by all Texans.

Unlike other surveys of the Lone Star State, The History of Texas goes beyond accounts of well-known figures to consider the lives of ordinary Texans, as seen in the continued and expanded coverage of topics such as agriculture, industrialization, urbanization, economic disparity, migration patterns, and demographic change. Like its predecessors, the Fourth Edition features the history of folklore, music, literature, sports, religion, and other important aspects of Texas culture that help determine the flavor of Texas, past and present.

In response to the feedback of instructors and students alike, this edition has been reedited and revised, making it more accessible to student readers of all levels and representative of the very latest historical research. Additions include broader discussions of American Indian peoples, the activities in Texas of the French explorer La Salle, the lead up to and the battles and other events comprising the Texas Revolution, and the affinity between Texas and southern culture that ensued once the Republic became a state in 1845. In addition, the description of Reconstruction in Texas has been reorganized and simplified to help students grasp better this complex topic. Naturally, the final chapter has—in light of the rapid movements in politics, the economy, and culture—undergone extensive revision, bringing the coverage through the election of 2006.

Still the best-illustrated survey of Texas history, The History of Texas remains the most inclusive, relevant, and up-to-date account of all those who call the Lone Star State home.

Instructor resources are available at


A Texas Ranger

By N. A. Jennings

Independently published
Paperback (153 pages)

A Texas Ranger
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In 1874, Napoleon Augustus Jennings moved to Texas to become a prominent member of the Texas Rangers tasked with border patrol under the command of L.H. McNelly.

South Texas was overrun by thieves and outlaws, and over three thousand Mexican guerrillas raided settlers on both sides of the border.

McNelly’s Rangers became famous for their often violent and murderous campaigns. Maintaining strict law in the anarchic area was not easy and they quickly gained a reputation as "fire-eating, quarrelsome daredevils”.

During this period they made over eleven hundred arrests and killed many more. McNelly ordered them “to have fun, and to carry out a set policy of terrorizing the Mexicans at every opportunity,"

Jenning’s memoir includes many accounts of these clashes with Mexican guerrillas and records well-known incidents involving McNelly — his battles with the US government and the fight at Las Cuevas with Cortuna and his raiders.

Jennings also provides first-hand accounts of scrapes with King Fisher’s outlaw band, John Wesley Hardin, and the families involved in the Taylor-Sutton feud.

In an era of cattle thieving and terror, A Texas Ranger follows Jennings through the southern border of Texas and finds a vivid first-hand portrayal of life in the late 19th century in one of the most lawless and violent places in the United States.

“If any time of the past was ever vivid and vital enough to live on through mere reporting… it was the time when McNelly’s rangers rode the bloody border of Texas. Hence it is exceedingly fortunate that a man who was to become a skilled reported rode with them and later saw reason for putting down some of the things he had been part of.” — J. Frank Dobie

Napoleon Augustus Jennings was born in Philadelphia, the son of a wealthy merchant, on January 11, 1856, and graduated from St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. He moved to Texas in 1874 and became a ranger, that years chronicled in this book. When his father died in 1878 he returned to Philadelphia and attempted to run the family business, but was smothered by city life. He returned to the West in 1881 as a prospector, miner, stagecoach driver, and sign painter in Colorado. Jennings died in New York on December 15, 1919.

Lone Star Nation: The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence

By H.W. Brands

Brand: Anchor
Released: 2005-02-08
Paperback (608 pages)

Lone Star Nation: The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence
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In Lone Star Nation, Pulitzer Prize finalist H. W. Brands demythologizes Texas’s journey to statehood and restores the genuinely heroic spirit to a pivotal chapter in American history.

From Stephen Austin, Texas’s reluctant founder, to the alcoholic Sam Houston, who came to lead the Texas army in its hour of crisis and glory, to President Andrew Jackson, whose expansionist aspirations loomed large in the background, here is the story of Texas and the outsize figures who shaped its turbulent history. Beginning with its early colonization in the 1820s and taking in the shocking massacres of Texas loyalists at the Alamo and Goliad, its rough-and-tumble years as a land overrun by the Comanches, and its day of liberation as an upstart republic, Brands’ lively history draws on contemporary accounts, diaries, and letters to animate a diverse cast of characters whose adventures, exploits, and ambitions live on in the very fabric of our nation.

Texas: A Compact History

By Archie P. McDonald

Brand: State House Press
Paperback (254 pages)

Texas: A Compact History
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Texas "a whole other country"—a slogan that promotes tourism as much within the Lone Star State as elsewhere—is familiar to native Texans and those adopted sons and daughters who "got here just as quickly as they could." Texas is as varied as East Texas timberland, hundreds of miles of seashore, prairies of the Central and High Plains, and the dry desert of far West Texas.

When traveling abroad and asked, "Where are you from?" residents of forty-nine of the United States usually respond, "the USA." Nearly every citizen of the Lone Star State will answer "Texas!" The world encourages such chauvinism. Mass media celebrates and exploits Texas and Texans in television and motion pictures about the Alamo, Texas Rangers, the oil industry, and athletics, to name only a few genre.

Texans' pride in their distinctiveness increases when their state is paraded—or satired—and they consciously "pass it on" to succeeding generations. But what does it mean to be a Texan? How did Texas come to be as it is?

Texas: A Compact History provides answers to such questions about Texans and Texas. It tells the story of Texas history and provides thoughtful interpretations about the state's development, all with the general reader in mind—in a brief, easily read narrative.

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