Deeds, wills, divorce decrees, and other evidence of the public lives of nineteenth-century women belie the long-held beliefs of their public invisibility. Angela Boswell's Her Act and Deed: Women's Lives in a Rural Southern County, 1837–1873 follows the threads of Southern women's lives as they weave through the public records of one Texas county during the middle of the nineteenth century. Her unique approach to exploring women's roles in a South that spanned the frontier, antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras illuminates the truths of the feminine world of those periods, and her analysis of this set of complete public records for those years challenges the theory of men's and women's separate spheres of influence, as advanced by many scholars.
Women in Civil War Texas is the first book dedicated to the unique experiences of Texas women during this time. It connects Texas women’s lives to southern women’s history and shares the diversity of experiences of women in Texas during the Civil War.
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.