David G. McComb

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Galveston: A History and a Guide

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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Travels with Joe: The Life Story of a Historian from Texas, 1917–1993

He once said, Texas is twelve million people who are bright and dumb, conservative and liberal, tall and short and slim and fat, courageous and cowardly;just like people in Connecticut and Oregon. And, The philosophy of the cowboy is not spoken, but tacit. It must remain what he was, not what he said. And, Academics everywhere are generally as rigid as rednecks, as conservative as successful farmers, and as irrational as zealots.Joe B. Frantz was noted for his entertaining talks, his love of anecdote, and his wit in phrase-making. He spent his life working as a college professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin and at Texas A&MCorpus Christi. He was director of the Texas State Historical Association from 1966 to 1977 and gathered the oral history of the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. Along the way he taught graduate students, wrote books and articles, and gave speeches. Joe, as he preferred to be called, received the mantle of Texas history from his mentor, Walter Prescott Webb, and progressed to become a recognized western and national historian. His era spanned the time when the University of Texas became a major doctoral school that trained research historians, and his students are now senior professors in departments across the country.This engagingly written biography of Frantz traces his lifetime from an orphan in Dallas until his death in Houston in 1993. Written by Texas historian David G. McComb, a former student of Frantz's, Travels with Joe is based upon Frantz's personal papers, interviews, and writings. It narrates the story of Frantz's triumphs and storms and captures the essence of this fascinating and influential man. Life, for Joe B. Frantz, was a grand journey, an adventure that he preferred to share with others. This book is about his journey.
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Handbook Entries

Title Contributor Type
Frantz, Joe Bertram Author
Galveston, TX Author
Houston, TX Author
Urbanization Author
Weingarten, Joseph Author

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