TSHA Community

Great publications from our members and award recipients.

These books were authored by members of TSHA or received one of TSHA’s book awards. They are provided here for reference and support of the historical content they contain.

List of Publications (120 total) Page 1 of 10

Amarillo Flights: Aerial Views of Llano Estacado Country

After the success of his 2014 Marfa Flights: Aerial Views of Big Bend Country, Paul Chaplo has given us another visual and textual volume that is sure to delight and interest all readers who seek to know more about the beauty and history of the Llano Estacado. Working with his wife, Cynthia, throughout this impressive project, as well as with seven pilots, and nine aircraft, Chaplo and his team covered over forty thousand square miles in every possible kind of weather, flying over plains and playas and diving into canyons and river bottoms. Chaplo is known for the beauty of his photographic work, and this book adds to that reputation with his complex portrayals of the land and peoples. A valuable and fascinating history accompanies this personal journey. The book, like the region, is filled with “turbulent air and history.”

Readers will find excellent Texas art history background in Walt Davis's reviews of previous portraits of the land, from Louise Daniel to Wyman Meinzer and Frank Reaugh. Such commentary on previous photographic and artistic histories of western landscapes lends a fine context to Amarillo Flights and situates the work in a larger conversation.

Working in “the vast three-dimensional studio of the sky,” aerial photographer Chaplo has battled high winds, turbulence, dust, ice, near-miss bird strikes, wildfire smoke, and a host of aircraft problems to show the Llano Country from the air. He explores the incredible beauty and rich cultural history of the Panhandle and the surrounding landscapes, from Horsehead Crossing to the canyons of Texas and New Mexico, Fort Bascom site, Chavez City Ruins, Puerto de los Rivajeños, 1874 Adobe Walls Battlefield, and the Antelope Hills in Oklahoma—to name a few.


“In Amarillo Flights, Paul Chaplo from high above the land has brilliantly photographed the Llano Estacado’s vastness, its magnificent canyonlands, and its historic sites from new and wonderous perspectives. It is a marvelous book of history and photography.”

— Paul H. Carlson

“The Llano Estacado, near level and treeless, has escarpments on three sides in the states of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Paul Chaplo’s photographs encompass not merely the three eroded edges of the plains but also the immensity of the flatness that they surround. This comprehensive panorama of the Southern Great Plains from above is unequaled in the work of his predecessors.”

— T. Lindsay Baker

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Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in Their Communities

The realm of ranching history has long been dominated by men, from tales—tall or true—of cowboys and cattlemen, to a century’s worth of male writers and historians who have been the primary chroniclers of Texas history. As women’s history has increasingly gained a foothold not only as a field worthy of study but as a bold and innovative way of understanding the past, new generations of scholars are rethinking the once-familiar settings of the past. In doing so, they reveal that women not only exercised agency in otherwise constrained environments but were also integral to the ranching heritage that so many Texans hold dear.

Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, at the Rodeo, and in Their Communities explores a variety of roles women played on the western ranch. The essays here cover a range of topics, from early Tejana businesswomen and Anglo philanthropists to rodeos and fence-cutting range wars. The names of some of the women featured may be familiar to those who know Texas ranching history—Alice East and Frances Kallison, for example. Others came from less well-known or wealthy families. In every case, they proved themselves to be resourceful women and unique individuals who survived by their own wits in cattle country.

This book is a major contribution to several fields—Texas history, western history, and women’s history—that are, at last, beginning to converge.

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An East Texas Family's Civil War: The Letters of Nancy & William Whatley May-December 1862

During six months in 1862, William Jefferson Whatley and his wife, Nancy Falkaday Watkins Whatley, exchanged a series of letters that demonstrate vividly the quickly changing roles for women whose husbands left home to participate in the Civil War. The Whatleys were slave owners who owned a ranch in east Texas, near the village of Caledonia in Rusk County. William Whatley enlisted with the Confederate Army in 1862, leaving his wife Nancy in charge of their cotton farm and enslaved workers. In letters to her husband, she describes in detail how she dealt with and felt about her new role. For her, the new management position in her family thrust her into an array of unfamiliar duties, including dealing with increasingly unruly slaves, overseeing the harvest of the cotton crop, and negotiating business transactions with unscrupulous white men. She also cared for her family during seemingly endless epidemics of measles and diphtheria. Her husband, hundreds of miles away, could offer only advice, sympathy, and frustration. Transcribed and annotated here for the first time by Ted Whatley (great-grandson of the Whatleys) and S. Kirk Walsh, a professional writer, the Whatley letters are notable for their descriptions of the unraveling slave ownership and accounts of southern society and Confederate loyalty collapsing under the duress of war. Nancy’s letters offer a rare window on the hardships faced by women left behind to care for their families and manage their enslaved workers and farming businesses. Her dispatches are telling as well for the way they illustrate her personal struggles and wavering support for the war.

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In the Shadow of the Chinatis: A History of Pinto Canyon in the Big Bend

There is a deep and abiding connection between humans and the land in Pinto Canyon—a remote and rugged place near the border with Mexico in the Texas Big Bend. Here the land assumes a certain primacy, defined not by the ephemera of plants and animals but by the very bedrock that rises far above the silvery flow of Pinto Creek— looming masses that break the horizon into a hundred different vistas. Yet, over time, people managed to survive and sometimes even thrive in this harsh environment.   
In the Shadow of the Chinatis combines the rich narratives of history, natural history, and archeology to tell the story of the landscape as well as the people who once inhabited it. Settling the land was difficult, staying on it even more so, but one family proved especially resilient. Rising above their meager origins, the Prietos eventually amassed a 12,000-acre ranch in the shadow of the Chinati Mountains to become the most successful of Pinto Canyon’s early settlers. But starting with the tense years of the Great Depression, the family faced a series of tragedies: one son was killed by a Texas Ranger, and another by the deranged son of Chico Cano, the Big Bend’s most notorious bandit. Ultimately, growing rifts in the family forced the sale of the ranch, marking the end of an era.

Bearing the hallmarks of an epic tragedy, the departure of the Prieto family signaled a transition away from ranching towards a new style of landownership based on a completely different model. Today, Pinto Canyon’s scenic and scientific value increasingly overshadows the marginal economics of its past.

In the Shadow of the Chinatis reveals a rich tapestry of interaction between humans and their environment, providing a unique examination of the Big Bend region and the people who call it home.

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Amon Carter: A Lone Star Life

Raised in a one-room log cabin in a small North Texas town, Amon G. Carter (1879–1955) rose to become the founder and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a seat of power from which he relentlessly promoted the city of Fort Worth, amassed a fortune, and established himself as the quintessential Texan of his era. The first in-depth, scholarly biography of this outsize character and civic booster, Amon Carter: A Lone Star Life chronicles a remarkable life and places it in the larger context of state and nation.

Though best known for the Star-Telegram, Carter also established WBAP, Fort Worth’s first radio station, which in 1948 became the first television station in the Southwest. He was responsible for bringing the headquarters of what would become American Airlines to Fort Worth and for securing government funding for a local aircraft factory that evolved into Lockheed Martin. Historian Brian A. Cervantez has drawn on Texas Christian University’s rich collection of Carter papers to chart Carter’s quest to bring business and government projects to his adopted hometown, enterprises that led to friendships with prominent national figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Will Rogers, H. L. Mencken, and John Nance Garner.

After making millions of dollars in the oil business, Carter used his wealth to fund schools, hospitals, museums, churches, parks, and camps. His numerous philanthropic efforts culminated in the Amon G. Carter Foundation, which still supports cultural and educational endeavors throughout Texas. He was a driving force behind the establishment of Texas Tech University, a major contributor to Texas Christian University, a key figure in the creation of Big Bend National Park, and an art lover whose collection of the works of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell served as the foundation of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Amon Carter: A Lone Star Life testifies to the singular character and career of one man whose influence can be seen throughout the cultural and civic life of Fort Worth, Texas, and the American Southwest to this day.

“Amon Carter: A Lone Star Life is essential reading for those interested in the history of Fort Worth and West Texas. But it also provides a valuable view into New Deal politics, the rise of the urban progressive businessman in the Southwest, and the intersection of southern and western cultures emerging in the first half of the twentieth century in the Lone Star state.”— Southwestern Historical Quarterly


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Historic Homes of Waco, Texas

n this thoughtful tour of 120 historic homes in Waco, Texas, architectural historian Kenneth Hafertepe gives readers a glimpse of the surprising variety of styles and stories captured in the houses built by and for Wacoans. Focusing on the period from the 1850s to about 1940, Hafertepe provides not only snapshots of the dwellings in which the people of Waco lived, but also informed hints about how they lived: everyone from the wealthiest merchants to the humblest day laborers.

Historic Homes of Waco, Texas incorporates material gleaned from city directories, fire insurance maps, census and cemetery records, and other archival and published sources to afford the most complete picture possible of how these homes came to be and what became of those who built and lived in them. Over 120 color photographs, also taken by the author, round out the descriptions.

The popular enthusiasm for the television series featuring Waco-area “fixer-uppers,” coupled with the burgeoning local industry generated by the show’s two charismatic hosts, has certainly boosted interest in historic homes and buildings in Waco. Indeed, Hafertepe has incorporated a handful of properties featured on the show among the houses profiled in this book. But beyond any current entertainment craze, Historic Homes of Waco, Texas will stand the test of time as an authoritative and entertaining tribute to these important structures and the people who inhabited them.

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Tejano Tiger: Jose de los Santos Benavides and the Texas-Mexico Borderlands, 1823-1891

Riding the rough and sometimes bloody peaks and canyons of border politics, Santos Benavides’s rise to prominence was largely the result of the careful mentoring of his well-known uncle, Basilio Benavides, who served several terms as alcalde of Laredo, Texas, and Chief Justice of Webb County. When the Civil War erupted in 1861, Basilio was one of only two Tejanos in the state legislature. During Santos’s lifetime, five flags flew over the small community he called home—that of the Republic of Mexico, the ill-fated Republic of the Rio Grande, the Republic of Texas, an expansionist United States, and in March 1861, the rebellious Confederate States of America. It was under the Confederacy in the disputed Texas-Mexico borderlands that Santos Benavides reached the pinnacle of his military career as the highest-ranking Tejano in the entire Confederate army. In the decades that followed the Civil War, he became an esteemed political leader, highly respected on both sides of the border. This is the first scholarly study of this important historical figure.

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Arredondo: Last Spanish Ruler of Texas and Northeastern New Spain

In this biography of Joaquín de Arredondo, historian Bradley Folsom brings to life one of the most influential and ruthless leaders in North American history. Arredondo (1776–1837), a Bourbon loyalist who governed Texas and the other interior provinces of northeastern New Spain during the Mexican War of Independence, contended with attacks by revolutionaries, U.S. citizens, generals who had served in Napoleon’s army, pirates, and various American Indian groups, all attempting to wrest control of the region. Often resorting to violence to deal with the provinces’ problems, Arredondo was for ten years the most powerful official in northeastern New Spain.

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We Never Retreat: Filibustering Expeditions into Spanish Texas, 1812-1822

The term “filibuster” often brings to mind a senator giving a long-winded speech in opposition to a bill, but the term had a different connotation in the nineteenth century—invasion of foreign lands by private military forces. Spanish Texas was a target of such invasions. Generally given short shrift in the studies of American-based filibustering, these expeditions were led by colorful men such as Augustus William Magee, Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara, John Robinson, and James Long. Previous accounts of their activities are brief, lack the appropriate context to fully understand filibustering, and leave gaps in the historiography.

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By Edward Bradley

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Recipient of the Kate Broocks Bates Award for Historical Research.

Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850

By the late 1810s, a global revolution in cotton had remade the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing wealth and waves of Americans to the Gulf Coast while also devastating the lives and villages of Mexicans in Texas. In response, Mexico threw open its northern territories to American farmers in hopes that cotton could bring prosperity to the region. Thousands of Anglo-Americans poured into Texas, but their insistence that slavery accompany them sparked pitched battles across Mexico. An extraordinary alliance of Anglos and Mexicans in Texas came together to defend slavery against abolitionists in the Mexican government, beginning a series of fights that culminated in the Texas Revolution.

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Lens on the Texas Frontier

Collectors are a strange but driven lot. We are passionate about what we do and tend to think others should feel the same. I hesitate to say “obsessed,” but it is not far off the mark in describing hardcore collectors. Since 1976, I have collected, studied, researched, and written about antique American photography. My initial interest was Civil War photographs taken in the southern states of the old Confederacy. For over three decades I researched images and published a calendar featuring Confederate photography. As the years passed, my interest changed somewhat, and I began to focus more on the history (from the 1840s up to 1900) of my home state of Texas. Soon it became obvious to me that early Texas photography should be the focus of my collecting. (Excerpt from the book.)

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A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture

A shift of global proportions occurred in May 1808. Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain and deposed the Spanish king. Overnight, the Hispanic world was transformed forever. Hispanics were forced to confront modernity, and to look beyond monarchy and religion for new sources of authority. A World Not to Come focuses on how Spanish Americans in Texas used writing as a means to establish new sources of authority, and how a Latino literary and intellectual life was born in the New World.

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