The Texas State Library and Archives Commission celebrated its centennial in 2009. To honor that milestone, former State Archivist David Gracy has taken a retrospective look at the agency's colorful and sometimes contentious history as Texas's official information provider and record keeper. In this book, he chronicles more than a century of efforts by dedicated librarians and archivists to deliver the essential, nonpartisan library and archival functions of government within a political environment in which legislators and governors usually agreed that libraries and archives were good and needed—but they disagreed about whatever expenditure was being proposed at the moment. Gracy recounts the stories of persevering, sometimes controversial state librarians and archivists, and commission members, including Ernest Winkler, Elizabeth West (the first female agency head in Texas government), Fannie Wilcox, Virginia Gambrell, and Louis Kemp, who worked to provide Texans the vital services of the state library and archives—developing public library service statewide, maintaining state and federal records for use by the public and lawmakers, running summer reading programs for children, providing services for the visually impaired, and preserving the historically significant records of Texas as a colony, province, republic, and state. Gracy explains how the agency has struggled to balance its differing library and archival functions and, most of all, to be treated as a full-range information provider, and not just as a collection of disparate services.
Author: Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Category: Indians of North America
This extensive, five-volume collection, drawn from the original copies in the Texas State Archives, provides invaluable source materials on Texas' Indians. The set contains official letters, documents, reports, and treaties relating to Texas' Indian tribes: vol. I, 1825–1843; vol. II, 1844–1845; vol. III, 1846-1859; vol. IV, 1860–1916; vol. V, 1846-1859. The fifth volume, a supplement, consists of letters from the Executive Department. In all, there are more than 1,600 documents in 2,000-plus pages, including letters by Sam Houston, Randolph B. Marcy, Kit Carson, Jack Hays, Henry B. Schoolcraft, Rip Ford, and others. Each volume is indexed separately and thoroughly. The documents are rich in first-hand reports of encounters, both friendly and hostile, with Indians. They present important insights into the Indians as seen through the eyes of Texans, and therefore they reveal much about the cultural attitudes of the time and place. First published as the Texas Indian Papers by the Texas State Library in four volumes between 1959 and 1961, and reprinted by Pemberton Press in 1966 with a fifth supplemental volume, this rare set has long been out of print and unavailable to scholars and collectors. This new facsimile edition of the five-volume set, with a valuable new scholarly introduction, makes this indispensable collection available once again.
In the middle of the 1830s, Texans fought against the Mexican government for its independence. During the Texas Revolution, many leaders emerged, such as Sam Houston, Lorenzo de Zavala, William Travis, Francita Alavez, Sidney Sherman, Susanna Dickinson, James Bowie, and Juan Seguín. This captivating biography allows readers to learn about the incredible accomplishments of these people and what they did to make an impact on the Texas Revolution. Featuring alluring images, engaging facts and sidebars, supportive text, and a glossary and index, this book will have readers eager to learn more!
The Texas Ranger law enforcement agency features so prominently in Texan and Wild West folklore that its accomplishments have been featured in everything from pulp novels to popular television. After a brief overview of the Texas Rangers’ formation, this book provides an exhaustive account of every known Ranger unit from 1823 to the present. Each chapter provides a brief contextual explanation of the time period covered and features entries on each unit’s commanders, periods of service, activities, and supervising authorities. Appendices include an account of the Rangers’ battle record, a history of the illustrious badge, documents relating to the Rangers, and lists of Rangers who have died in service, been inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, or received the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Medal of Valor.
After Texas earned its freedom from Mexico through a bloody revolution, its leaders were divided over whether Texas should join the United States. Through numerous captivating facts, vivid images, and easy to read text, readers will be enthralled as they make their way through this fascinating title that introduces them to Texas history, the Texas Revolution, and the Mexican-American War. The engaging sidebars and glossary, index, and table of contents make this book easy to navigate through and a perfect tool to aid in better understanding of the content and vocabulary.
A vivid history of America's biggest, baddest prison system and how it came to lead the nation's punitive revolution In the prison business, all roads lead to Texas. The most locked-down state in the nation has led the way in criminal justice severity, from assembly-line executions to isolation supermaxes, from prison privatization to sentencing juveniles as adults. Texas Tough, a sweeping history of American imprisonment from the days of slavery to the present, shows how a plantation-based penal system once dismissed as barbaric became the national template. Drawing on convict accounts, official records, and interviews with prisoners, guards, and lawmakers, historian Robert Perkinson reveals the Southern roots of our present-day prison colossus. While conventional histories emphasize the North's rehabilitative approach, he shows how the retributive and profit-driven regime of the South ultimately triumphed. Most provocatively, he argues that just as convict leasing and segregation emerged in response to Reconstruction, so today's mass incarceration, with its vast racial disparities, must be seen as a backlash against civil rights. Illuminating for the first time the origins of America's prison juggernaut, Texas Tough points toward a more just and humane future.
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.
During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a majority of the Mexican immigrant population in the United States resided in Texas, making the state a flashpoint in debates over whether to deny naturalization rights. As Texas federal courts grappled with the issue, policies pertaining to Mexican immigrants came to reflect evolving political ideologies on both sides of the border. Drawing on unprecedented historical analysis of state archives, U.S. Congressional records, and other sources of overlooked data, Naturalizing Mexican Immigrants provides a rich understanding of the realities and rhetoric that have led to present-day immigration controversies. Martha Menchaca's groundbreaking research examines such facets as U.S.-Mexico relations following the U.S. Civil War and the schisms created by Mexican abolitionists; the anti-immigration stance that marked many suffragist appeals; the effects of the Spanish American War; distinctions made for mestizo, Afromexicano, and Native American populations; the erosion of means for U.S. citizens to legalize their relatives; and the ways in which U.S. corporations have caused the political conditions that stimulated emigration from Mexico. The first historical study of its kind, Naturalizing Mexican Immigrants delivers a clear-eyed view of provocative issues.