History eBooks

Discover something new about your past in TSHA’s free eBook series.

An initiative of the Handbook of Texas, these eBooks help illustrate the history of Texas through carefully curated entries from the Handbook, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, and more. Download your favorite stories from Texas history today.


List of Publications (21 total) Page 1 of 2

From Malaise to Miracles: Health and Healing in the Lone Star State

The coronavirus pandemic has altered the lives of millions of Americans, and the response to treat and contain the spread of COVID-19 is an unprecedented event for the current generation of Texans. Yet, this is not the first time the state’s inhabitants faced a significant public health crisis. In centuries past, the people of Texas endured several pandemics, epidemics, and outbreaks, and these events can provide insight and perspective into the challenges facing the state today.

With this in mind, TSHA presents its latest eBook, From Malaise to Miracles: Health and Healing in the Lone Star State. The eBook features a selection of new and existing entries from the Handbook of Texas documenting the people, places, and events associated with the medical history of Texas.

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An Honest Past

An understanding of the past provides valuable insight and perspective into society's current affairs, and in many cases, society's questions of the past are influenced by the events of the present. To answer some of these questions, TSHA presents a special digital issue of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

Inside An Honest Past, you will find twenty articles from previous issues of the Quarterly documenting several notable events and people from Texas history, with a special focus on the minority communities of Texas. Learn more about the struggle for civil rights, the events that precipitated the civil rights movement in the state, and the role of violence in the history of ethnic and racial groups.

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Texas Women and the Vote

The nationwide fight for woman suffrage reached a milestone with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the federal amendment that addressed women's right to vote.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Lone Star State's ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, TSHA is proud to release the eBook, Texas Women and the Vote.

Inside the eBook, you will discover more about the women who played a crucial role in woman suffrage and the longer voting rights movement, including:

  • Minnie Fisher Cunningham, leader of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association and founding member of the League of Women Voters
  • Juanita Craft, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader and civic reformer
  • María Ninfa Rodríguez Laurenzo, founder of Ninfa's restaurants and education, health, and voting rights advocate

Find out more about these women, as well as the 29 others profiled in the eBook, by downloading Texas Women and the Vote today!

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Texas Almanac: 2018-2019

Packed with articles, hundreds of full-color photographs, maps, and data, the Texas Almanac is the premier reference guide for everything Texan. Inside the 752-page full color, go-to guide for all things Texas, you will discover:

  • The state of water in Texas
  • Freshwater and saltwater angling in the Lone Star State
  • Fish and game recipes from Dotty Griffith
  • The popularity of hunting in Texas
  • Over 250 state and county maps
  • And much more!

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San Antonio: 300 years of History

In celebration of the city’s Tricentennial, the Texas State Historical Association is proud to present this special e-Book, San Antonio: 300 Years of History. Drawn from the resources of the Handbook of Texas and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, this compilation offers a sampling of some of the many places, people, and events that have shaped the colorful history of the Alamo City. San Antonio has played a vital role in the formation of Texas—from the founding of Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1718 to the poignant conflict of the Texas Revolution. The Alamo City’s rich heritage also includes a remarkable diversity of ethnicities underscoring its standing as a crossroads of cultures. This diversity is reflected in the industry, art, architecture, music, festivals, and cuisine of the city and creates the unique ambience that San Antonio proudly carries today.

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Lone Star Lore: Myth, Mystery, and Haunted History

With such a rich and storied history to draw from, it’s no wonder the Lone Star State has more than a few mysterious stories to share. If you have ever wondered what’s down those desolate roads and dark caves, look no further. TSHA has compiled a collection of stories featuring some of the most chilling chapters of Lone Star history. From familiar folk tales such as La Llorona to haunted hotspots like Espantosa Lake, our eBook is full of spooky fun for readers of all ages.

Discover which Texas towns are abuzz with paranormal activity in Lone Star Lore: Myth, Mystery, and Haunted History. In this FREE eBook, you can read about:

  • Legendary locales with strange phenomena

  • The dark and puzzling histories of famous mysterious figures

  • Haunted hotspots full of ghostly fog and unsettled spirits

  • And much more!

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Texas Trails: Pathways of History

At the end of the Civil War, Texas was poised to enter the golden age of cattle trailing. With an abundance of cattle populating the state and demand rising across the country, cattle ranchers were eager to avoid depressed prices at home and earn much more outside of the state. Before long, a network of trails was established to transport cattle through Texas and across state lines. These trails remained the primary transport routes until the late nineteenth century, when railroad companies took over the transport of cattle.

Follow the journeys of the cattle drivers in Texas Trails: Pathways of History, TSHA's latest free eBook. In this eBook, you can learn more about:

  • Some of the major trail routes used by Texas cattle drivers, such as the Chisholm Trail, the Shawnee Trail, and the Western Trail
  • Background information about the cattle transported on these trails and how the scourge of Texas Fever impacted the trade
  • Minority groups who developed the cattle trailing and ranching industry, such as African American cowboys and the vaqueros
  • Some of the prominent cattlemen and women of Texas, including Oliver Loving, Margaret Borland, and Daniel Waggoner

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Houston: Past, Present & Progress

Since its founding in 1836, the city of Houston rocketed from a modest, small town of twelve to a thriving metropolis at the center of incredible innovations in medicine, science, and space exploration. The rise of “Space City” has played a pivotal role in the economic prosperity and leadership of the Lone Star State at the national level. As the city has grown, the contributions of Houstonians have grown as well, leaving behind lasting legacies for historians to document and share.

As part of the release of the Handbook of Houston, TSHA is proud to offer Houston: Past, Present, and Progress. This eBook includes:

  • A full 128 pages focused on Houston’s civic leadership, business, immigration, society, law and order, and arts and culture. 

  • The effect of Jesse Jones on city development and politics. 

  • Biographies of other notable Houstonians who developed iconic businesses, universities, and landmarks.

  • Houston's advances in scientific research in space exploration and medicine.

Fifteen related articles from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.

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Women Across Texas History, Volume 2

Our unique history is shaped by the stories from the myriad individuals who influenced the politics, economy, and culture of Texas. Among these individuals are countless women who fought for gender equality and shattered glass ceilings, creating new opportunities for those who followed. Texas women make Texas history, and as a result of their contributions in the past, the foundation for the future is much stronger.

To ensure that these women receive proper recognition, TSHA has embarked on a multi-year effort to share their stories in our eBook series, Women Across Texas History. In this FREE eBook, you will read more about:

  • Jessie Ames, a progressive leader and founder of both the League of Women Voters and the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching.

  • Georgia O’Keeffe, the influential modernist painter who taught in West Texas

  • Jovita González de Mireles, a teacher, folklorist, and writer who was one of the first Texan Mexicans to obtain a master’s degree and work as a and the first female and Mexican to be president of the Texas Folklore Society.

  • Lulu Belle Madison White, a teacher and civil rights activist who was a vanguard in the effort to eliminate the white primary in Texas, integrate the University of Texas, and enforce equal salaries for black and white teachers.

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The Life of Stephen F. Austin

Stephen F. Austin’s contributions to the Lone Star State made a lasting impression on the state’s history. He is commonly referred to as the “Father of Texas,” as the story of the Lone Star State’s independence begins with Austin. Before his death, he began the American colonization of Texas, presided over the Convention of 1832, and served as Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas.

Learn more about the fascinating life of Stephen F. Austin in this first eBook in the Road to the Texas Revolution series. In this eBook, you will read more about:

  • Austin’s journey from manager of the family general store to Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas

  • Moses Austin, the father of Stephen F. Austin

  • The Mexican colonization laws which served as stimulus to the Texas Revolution

  • The “Old Three Hundred” colonists who received land grants in Austin’s first colony

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Sam Houston: Hero of San Jacinto

Sam Houston is one of the most illustrious political figures in Texas history, having served as the first regularly elected president of the Republic of Texas, a U.S. senator following annexation, and governor of Texas. Additionally, Houston was a decorated war hero as the major general of the revolutionary army. His contributions to the Lone Star State’s formation are rivalled by few others and were crucial to Texas independence.

Discover how Houston’s military and political success laid a solid foundation for the Lone Star State’s future. In this fifth eBook in our Road to the Texas Revolution series, you will read more about:

  • Sam Houston’s life and career as a military leader and politician

  • The Runaway Scrape, the flight of Texans from their homes during Santa Anna’s attempted conquest of Texas

  • The adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence

  • Houston’s leadership during the Battle of San Jacinto, the military engagement that resulted in ultimate victory for the Texans

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William B. Travis: Victory or Death

As the Mexican forces advanced to San Antonio, William Travis led the preparation of the Alamo for the anticipated battle against Santa Anna’s men. Travis and his garrison were vastly outnumbered and significant reinforcements were not to arrive in time for the engagement. Nonetheless, Travis led the valiant defense of the Alamo until his death by gunshot during battle.

Discover how William Travis became a Texas hero in the fourth eBook in our Road to the Texas Revolution series. In this eBook, you will read more about:

  • The life of William Travis and his actions as the leader at the Alamo

  • Joe, a slave of William Travis and one of the few Texan survivors of the Battle of the Alamo

  • How the Anahuac disturbances helped precipitate the Texas Revolution

  • The Travis Guards, a military unit organized for home protection against the Indians, as well as Camp Travis, a military training camp established after World War I

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