East Texas writer Karle Wilson Baker was one of the best-known Texas poets of the early twentieth century, ranking as one of the first Fellows of the Texas Institute of Letters. Sarah Jackson's biography of this multi-talented writer introduces her life and her significant role in shaping the literature of Texas to a new generation. This book sheds light on the literary times in which Baker lived and spotlights developments in East Texas throughout her life and career.
Born in the 1880s in Jefferson, Texas, Lillian B. Jones Horace grew up in Fort Worth and dreamed of being a college-educated teacher, a goal she achieved. But life was hard for her and other blacks living and working in the Jim Crow South. Her struggles convinced her that education, particularly that involving the printed word, was the key to black liberation. In 1916, before Marcus Garvey gained fame for advocating black economic empowerment and a repatriation movement, Horace wrote a back-to-Africa novel, Five Generations Hence, the earliest published novel on record by a black woman from Texas and the earliest known utopian novel by any African American woman. She also wrote a biography of Lacey Kirk Williams, a renowned president of the National Baptist Convention; another novel, Angie Brown, that was never published; and a host of plays that her students at I. M. Terrell High School performed. Five Generations Hence languished after its initial publication. Along with Horace’s diary, the unpublished novel, and the Williams biography, the book was consigned to a collection owned by the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society and housed at the Fort Worth Public Library. There, scholar and author Karen Kossie-Chernyshev rediscovered Horace’s work in the course of her efforts to track down and document a literary tradition that has been largely ignored by both the scholarly community and general readers. In this book, the full text of Horace’s Five Generations Hence, annotated and contextualized by Kossie-Chernyshev, is once again presented for examination by scholars and interested readers.In 2009 Kossie-Chernyshev invited nine scholars to a conference at Texas Southern University to give Horace’s works a comprehensive interdisciplinary examination. Subsequent work on those papers resulted in the studies that form the second half of this book.
Annotation In the intimate language of one who watched birds daily, Karle Wilson Baker brought readers face to face with the wonders of the East Texas woods in the 1930s. She wrote about tiny warblers, industrious chickadees, and purple finches; the aery trills and tantalizing color flashes of the hummingbirds; the bell tones of the woodthrush; the daily visits and rare drop-ins of the prolific bird life of the region. In a daily diary she kept throughout her life, Baker recorded her observations of the many birds that lived in the heavily wooded setting of her Nacogdoches home, called Tanglewood. When her family moved from the house, she collected her essays on bird life into this volume, illustrated by her daughter Charlotte and published in 1930. Her little classic speaks with the voice of her times to readers today who enjoy their avian companions. For more about the author of this charming volume, see Texas Woman of Letters, Karle Wilson Baker, a biography written by Sarah Ragland Jackson and published by Texas A & M University Press
In recent decades, a small but growing number of historians have dedicated their tireless attention to analyzing the role of women in Texas history. Each contribution—and there have been many—represents a brick in the wall of new Texas history. From early Native societies to astronauts, Women in Texas History assembles those bricks into a carefully crafted structure as the first book to cover the full scope of Texas women’s history. By emphasizing the differences between race and ethnicity, Angela Boswell uses three broad themes to tie together the narrative of women in Texas history. First, the physical and geographic challenges of Texas as a place significantly affected women’s lives, from the struggles of isolated frontier farming to the opportunities and problems of increased urbanization. Second, the changing landscape of legal and political power continued to shape women’s lives and opportunities, from the ballot box to the courthouse and beyond. Finally, Boswell demonstrates the powerful influence of social and cultural forces on the identity, agency, and everyday life of women in Texas. In challenging male-dominated legal and political systems, Texan women shaped (and were shaped by) class, religion, community organizations, literary and artistic endeavors, and more. Women in Texas History is the first book to narrate the entire span of Texas women’s history and marks a major achievement in telling the full story of the Lone Star State. Historians and general readers alike will find this book an informative and enjoyable read for anyone interested in the history of Texas or the history of women.
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 the latest 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.