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 2 of 2


On March 27, 1836, Santa Anna ordered a mass execution of Texan revolutionary army prisoners, marking the tragic end to the Goliad Campaign of 1836. A total of 342 individuals were killed on these orders, and only a lucky few were able to escape the merciless slaughter. The lasting impact of the event is important, as Santa Anna's international reputation was damaged and United States sympathy for the revolution deepened.

TSHA documents the campaign, the execution, and the individuals involved in the sixth book in our Road to the Texas Revolution series. In the eBook, you will read:

  • Eleven biographies on some of the prominent participants of the campaign, including James Fannin, Santa Anna, and José de Urrea

  • Six entries from the Handbook discussing the pivotal battles and engagements of the Goliad Campaign

  • Three articles from the Quarterly focusing on the Battle of Goliad, John Crittenden Duval, and the Dedicatory Address at the Goliad Monument

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San Jacinto: Eighteen Minutes that Changed the World

The victory of the Texans at the Battle of San Jacinto is one of the most important events in Texas history. In just eighteen minutes, the revolutionary army overwhelmed the Mexican forces. The next morning, the Texans captured Santa Anna. Less than a month later, Santa Anna and ad interim president David G. Burnet agreed to the Treaties of Velasco to effectively end the Texas Revolution and grant Texas her independence.

Discover how these pivotal eighteen minutes changed the world in San Jacinto, the seventh and final eBook in TSHA's Road to the Texas Revolution series. In the eBook, you will find:

  • Biographies on several leaders in the Texan army and ad interim government, including Sam Houston, Thomas Rusk, and David G. Burnet.

  • An account of the Mexican War, the conflict between the United States and Mexico that soon followed the annexation of Texas.

  • The story of the acquisition, use, and loss of the "Twin Sisters" cannons.

  • Links to articles from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and Texas Almanac relating to the Battle of San Jacinto and the survivors of the Texas Revolution.

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Washington on the Brazos

The host town to the Convention of 1836, Washington-on-the-Brazos was a major political and commercial center in early Texas. It was at an unfinished building in Washington where the Convention’s delegates wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, organized the ad interim government, and named Sam Houston the major general of the Republic’s army.

Discover how this small town of 100 became such an important location during the Texas Revolution in the second eBook in the Road to Texas Revolution series. In this eBook, you will read more about:

  • The history and development of Washington-on-the-Brazos

  • Who participated in the Convention of 1836 and how it led to the formation of the Republic of Texas

  • The framing and adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence

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Tejanos Through Time

Understanding the diverse and rich culture of Texas is impossible without first understanding the history of Tejanos in the Lone Star State. Over time, Tejano traditions came to define many of the most iconic symbols of Texas, and their cultural impact is plainly seen in the architecture, language, clothing, music, literature, and cuisine that make Texas unique. Recently, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, TSHA updated its Handbook of Tejano History, and Tejanos Through Time is an excellent companion to this reference.

In Tejanos Through Time, you will read more about:

  • The Spanish influence on Texas, resulting from their missions and colonial government
  • Prominent political groups and activists who fought for Tejano civil rights, such as the League of United Latin American Citizens and Adela Sloss Vento
  • Tejano influence on the arts, literature, and entertainment, featuring biographies on individuals such as Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, Luis Omar Salinas, and Maria Belen Ortega
  • And much, much more!

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Struggle and Success: African Americans in Texas

While African Americans have been subjected to the cruelties of slavery, segregation, and discrimination during the long history of Texas, they have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the state. Having overcome these terrible obstacles, it is important to document African American influence on Texas policies, social standards, and culture. Today, TSHA operates the Handbook of African American Texas to ensure the stories of the African American experience are shared.

In Struggle and Success, you will discover:

  • A brief overview of the history of African Americans in Texas, as well as their involvement in Texas politics

  • Biographies on some of the prominent political and civil rights leaders from Texas, such as Barbara C. Jordan and James L. Farmer, Jr.

  • Profiles on the African American leaders in business, law, education, science, and medicine

Articles from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly focusing on desegregation and the fight for civil rights in Houston

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Women Across Texas History, Volume 1

Pilots, activists, oil magnates, storytellers, scientists, ranchers, daughters, mothers – the number of women who have affected or influenced the history of our state is as vast as the Texas landscape itself. These women fought for gender equality and shattered glass ceilings, creating new opportunities for those who followed.

This first eBook of the Women Across Texas History series, Volume 1: Nineteenth Century and Before, features biographies of women who represented women’s public and private roles including:

  • A number of biographies on many of the prominent women of early Texas, such as Tamar Morgan, Emily Austin Bryan Perry, and Ellen Lawson Dabbs

  • Thirty-seven entries from the Handbook of Texas and three articles from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly that feature a number of diverse ways women have contributed to Texas history.

  • More than 100 pages by historians that note the influence of women prior to and throughout nineteenth century Texas.

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The Battle of the Alamo

Perhaps the most well-known battle of the Texas Revolution, the Battle of the Alamo was a major turning point in the war. Although the Texans suffered a major defeat after a thirteen-day siege, the bravery of the garrison stationed at the Alamo served as inspiration for the remaining Texan volunteers in their fight against Mexico. Today, we honor those that gave their life defending the San Antonio de Valero Mission as we “Remember the Alamo” in this eBook.

In the third eBook in the Road to the Texas Revolution series, you will read more about:

  • Prominent leaders and participants in the battle, such as Davy Crockett, William Travis, and Santa Anna

  • The myth and mystery of the de la Peña diary

  • Tejanos involved in the Siege and Battle of the Alamo

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Civil War in the Lone Star State

In February 1861, Texans voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Union and joined the Confederacy soon after. As a result, the Lone Star State became involved in a four-year conflict that would take the lives of many and leave none untouched. Texas escaped much of the terrible destruction of the war for a simple reason—United States troops never managed to invade and occupy the state’s interior. Nevertheless, Texans paid a huge price for the war, primarily in terms of lives lost and ruined in the Confederate Army and in the privations of families left at home.

TSHA documents the Texans involved in the conflict and the major events that took place in the state in Civil War in the Lone Star State. In this eBook, you will learn more about:

  • The major battles and campaigns that involved Texas and its citizens
  • Military commanders and leaders associated with Texas, such as Thomas Green and John Bell Hood
  • Major events which took place in Texas during and after the war, such as the Great Hanging in Gainesville and the Juneteenth celebrations
  • And much more!

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Texas: A Musical Journey

The diversity of Texas music reflects the diversity of people in the Lone Star State. Perhaps most associated with Lone Star country music to uninformed listeners outside of the state, Texas musicians have also influenced a number of other genres, including rock-and-roll, jazz, blues, and even heavy metal music. By studying the development and maturation of music in Texas, one can chronicle the growth and changing demographics of Texas as well.

In Texas: A Musical Journey, you will learn more about the influence Texans have made on the music industry, including backgrounds and profiles on:

  • “Texas, Our Texas,” the official song of Texas and “The Eyes of Texas,” the unofficial state song

  • The biggest country, jazz, rock-and-roll, and blues artists who had ties to Texas, including Blind Lemon Jefferson, Buddy Holly, and Willie Nelson

  • The music festivals that have received national recognition, such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits

  • Some of the “hidden gems” from the Texas music scene, including Carl Eric Lewis and Charline Arthur

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