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 They are provided here for reference and support of the historical content they contain.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 7 of 10

The Feud That Wasn't: The Taylor Ring, Bill Sutton, John Wesley Hardin and Violence in Texas

Marauding outlaws, or violent rebels still bent on fighting the Civil War? For decades, the so-called “Taylor-Sutton feud” has been seen as a bloody vendetta between two opposing gangs of Texas gunfighters. However, historian James M. Smallwood here shows that what seemed to be random lawlessness can be interpreted as a pattern of rebellion by a loose confederation of desperadoes who found common cause in their hatred of the Reconstruction government in Texas. Between the 1850s and 1880, almost 200 men rode at one time or another with Creed Taylor and his family through a forty-five-county area of Texas, stealing and killing almost at will, despite heated and often violent opposition from pro-Union law enforcement officials, often led by William Sutton. From 1871 until his eventual arrest, notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin served as enforcer for the Taylors. In 1874 in the streets of Comanche, Texas, on his twenty-first birthday, Hardin and two other members of the Taylor ring gunned down Brown County Deputy Charlie Webb. This cold-blooded killing—one among many—marked the beginning of the end for the Taylor ring, and Hardin eventually went to the penitentiary as a result. The Feud That Wasn’t reinforces the interpretation that Reconstruction was actually just a continuation of the Civil War in another guise, a thesis Smallwood has advanced in other books and articles. He chronicles in vivid detail the cattle rustling, horse thieving, killing sprees, and attacks on law officials perpetrated by the loosely knit Taylor ring, drawing a composite picture of a group of anti-Reconstruction hoodlums who at various times banded together for criminal purposes. Western historians and those interested in gunfighters and lawmen will heartily enjoy this colorful and meticulously researched narrative.

Read More »

Petra's Legacy

The matriarch of one of the most important families in Texas history, Petra Vela Kenedy has remained a shadowy presence in the annals of South Texas. In this biography of Petra Vela Kenedy, the authors not only tell her story but also relate the history of South Texas through a woman’s perspective. Utilizing previously unpublished letters, journals, photographs, and other primary materials, the authors reveal the intimate stories of the families who for years dominated governments, land acquisition, commerce, and border politics along the Rio Grande and across the Wild Horse Desert.

Read More »

Integrating the 40 Acres: The 50-Year Struggle for Racial Equality at the University of Texas

You name it, we can't do it. That was how one African American student at the University of Texas at Austin summed up his experiences in a 1960 newspaper article―some ten years after the beginning of court-mandated desegregation at the school. In this first full-length history of the university's desegregation, Dwonna Goldstone examines how, for decades, administrators only gradually undid the most visible signs of formal segregation while putting their greatest efforts into preventing true racial integration. In response to the 1956 Board of Regents decision to admit African American undergraduates, for example, the dean of students and the director of the student activities center stopped scheduling dances to prevent racial intermingling in a social setting.

Read More »

Changing National Identities at the FrontieTexas and New Mexico 1800-1850

Hispanics, Native Americans, and Anglo Americans made agonizing and crucial identity decisions in this southwestern region during the first half of the nineteenth century. Whereas the Mexican government sought to bring its frontier inhabitants into the national fold by relying on administrative and patronage linkages, Mexico's northern frontier gravitated toward the expanding American economy. Andrés Reséndez explores how the diverse and fiercely independent peoples of Texas and New Mexico came to think of themselves as members of one particular national community or another, in the years leading up to the Mexican-American War.

Read More »

The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1936-1981

Despite controversies over current educational practices, Texas boasts a rich and vibrant bilingual tradition—and not just for Spanish-English instruction, but for Czech, German, Polish, and Dutch as well. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Texas educational policymakers embraced, ignored, rejected, outlawed, then once again embraced this tradition.

Read More »

Felix Longoria's Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican American Activism

Private First Class Felix Longoria earned a Bronze Service Star, a Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Medal, and a Combat Infantryman's badge for service in the Philippines during World War II. Yet the only funeral parlor in his hometown of Three Rivers, Texas, refused to hold a wake for the slain soldier because "the whites would not like it." Almost overnight, this act of discrimination became a defining moment in the rise of Mexican American activism. It launched Dr. Héctor P. García and his newly formed American G.I. Forum into the vanguard of the Mexican civil rights movement, while simultaneously endangering and advancing the career of Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who arranged for Longoria's burial with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

Read More »

Sam Houston

In the decades preceding the Civil War, few figures in the United States were as influential or as controversial as Sam Houston. In Sam Houston, James L. Haley explores Houston’s momentous career and the complex man behind it. Haley’s fifteen years of research and writing have produced possibly the most complete, most personal, and most readable Sam Houston biography ever written. Drawn from personal papers never before available as well as the papers of others in Houston’s circle, this biography will delight anyone intrigued by Sam Houston, Texas history, Civil War history, or America’s tradition of rugged individualism.

Read More »

The Path to a Modern South: Northeast Texas between Reconstruction and the Great Depression

Federal New Deal programs of the 1930s and World War II are often credited for transforming the South, including Texas, from a poverty-stricken region mired in Confederate mythology into a more modern and economically prosperous part of the United States. By contrast, this history of Northeast Texas, one of the most culturally southern areas of the state, offers persuasive evidence that political, economic, and social modernization began long before the 1930s and prepared Texans to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the New Deal and World War II.

Read More »

Viva Kennedy: Mexican Americans in Search of Camelot

For a few brief months during the presidential campaign of 1960, Mexican Americans caught a glimpse of their own Camelot in the promise of John F. Kennedy. Grassroots "Viva Kennedy Clubs" sprang up not only in the southwestern United States but also across California and the upper Midwest to help elect the young Catholic standard bearer. The leaders of the Viva Kennedy Clubs were confident and hopeful that their participation in American democracy would mark the beginning of the end of discrimination, violence, and poverty in the barrio.

Read More »

Women, Culture, and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920

Why in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries did middle- and upper-class southern women-black and white-advance from the private worlds of home and family into public life, eventually transforming the cultural and political landscape of their community? Using Galveston as a case study, Elizabeth Hayes Turner asks who where the women who became activists and eventually led to progressive reforms and the women sufferage movement. Turner discovers that a majority of them came from particular congregations, but class status had as much to do with reofrm as did religious motivation.

Read More »

Texas, New Mexico, and the Compromise of 1850: Boundary Dispute and Sectional Crisis

Writing on the Texas-New Mexico boundary issue, the author of this book provides an analysis of the dispute, the compromise, and the overall implications for the Civil War. He examines the crisis through a close reading of Texan and New Mexican documents, government papers and other data.

Read More »

Changing Tides: Twilight & Dawn in the Spanish Sea, 1763-1803

Well-organized and clearly written, this volume, the third part of a history of the Gulf of Mexico in the Spanish colonial era, rests on a thorough integration of secondary publications with the author's archival research. The first part of series is Spanish Sea: Gulf of Mexico in North American discovery (1985); second part is The French thorn: rival explorers in the Spanish Sea, 1682-1762 (1991)

Read More »