TSHA Press

Publishing books on Texas history since 1918.

TSHA is the state’s longest-running publisher of books on Texas history, having published our first volume in 1918. Through the years, we have established a reputation as a publisher of high-quality, award-winning books on a wide variety of topics, including exploration, biography, architecture, historic sites, high school football, labor unions, and suburbanization. All lovers of Texas's rich pasts will find something to enjoy among our books.

List of Publications (108 total) Page 1 of 9

Tejano Patriot: The Revolutionary Life of José Francisco Ruiz, 1783–1840

Art Martínez de Vara’s Tejano Patriot: The Revolutionary Life of José Francisco Ruiz, 1783–1840 is the first full-length biography of this important figure in Texas history. Best known as one of two Texas-born signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Ruiz’s significance extends far beyond that single event.  Born in San Antonio de Béxar to an upwardly mobile family, during the war for Mexican independence Ruiz underwent a dramatic transformation from a conservative royalist to one of the staunchest liberals of his era.

Steeped in the Spanish American liberal tradition, his revolutionary activity included participating in three uprisings, suppressing two others, and enduring extreme personal sacrifice for the liberal republican cause. He was widely respected as an intermediary between Tejanos and American Indians, especially the Comanches. As a diplomat, he negotiated nearly a dozen peace treaties for Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas, and he traveled to the imperial court of Mexico as an agent of the Comanches to secure peace on the northern frontier. When Anglo settlers came by the thousands to Texas after 1820, he continued to be a cultural intermediary, forging a friendship with Stephen F. Austin, but he always put the interests of Béxar and his fellow Tejanos first.

Ruiz had a notable career as a military leader, diplomat, revolutionary, educator, attorney, arms dealer, author, ethnographer, politician, Indian agent, Texas ranger, city attorney, and Texas senator. He was a central figure in the saga that shaped Texas from a remote borderland on New Spain’s northern frontier to an independent republic.

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By Art Martínez de Vara

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

The Old Army in Texas (Second Edition): A Research Guide to the U.S. Army in Nineteenth Century Texas

A classic work in Texas military history, The Old Army in Texas is now available in paperback with a new foreword by Robert Wooster. U.S. Army officer and historian Thomas “Ty” Smith presents a comprehensive and authoritative single-source reference for the activities of the regular army in the Lone Star State during the nineteenth century. 

Beginning with a series of maps that sketch the evolution of fort locations on the frontier, Smith furnishes an overview with his introductory essay. The second part of this guide lists the departmental commanders, the location of the military headquarters, and the changes in the administrative organization and military titles for Texas. Part III provides a dictionary of 223 posts, forts, and camps in the state. The fourth part gives a year by year snapshot of total army strength in the state, the regiments assigned, and the garrisons and commanders of each major fort and camp. 

Supplying the only such synopsis of its kind, the guide's Part V offers a chronological description of 224 U.S. Army combat actions in the Indian Wars with vivid details of each engagement. The 900 entries in the selected bibliography of Part VI are divided topically into sections on biographical sources and regimental histories, histories of forts, garrison life, civil-military relations, the Mexican War, and frontier operations. 

The Old Army in Texas is an indispensable reference and research tool for students, scholars, and military history aficionados. It will be of great value to those interested in Texas history, especially military history and local and regional studies. This superb reference work is illustrated with a number of maps and rare photographs of the U.S. Army in nineteenth century Texas.

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By Thomas T. Smith and Robert A. Wooster

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Watt Matthews of Lambshead: Updated Edition

The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to offer a third edition of Watt Matthews of Lambshead, a major work of art and an important historical document. Since the first edition was published in 1989, Laura Wilson’s chronicle of this iconic ranch has proven to be a popular and important contribution to the story of Texas. In words and especially in Wilson’s starkly beautiful images, Watt Matthews of Lambshead captures a way of life that is iconically Texan, one now only available to a vanishing number of residents of the Lone Star State, where even rural landscapes are increasingly dominated by industrial activities like high-density feedlots and oil extraction. In The 50+ Best Books on Texas (1998), A. C. Greene wrote that “[Watt] Matthews … was the last living link with all the Texas cowboy and ranch mythology and lore from the 1850s.” The ranch has continued to operate after his death in 1997, and this edition includes an afterword that details recent developments. A new foreword by Anne Wilkes Tucker, curator emeritus of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, puts the book in the context of Wilson’s career as one of the most notable photographers of the contemporary American West.

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By Laura Wilson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Texas and World War I

On November 11, 1918, what was then called “the Great War” ended. The consequences of four years of warfare in Europe reverberated throughout the world, leaving few places untouched. Even though it was far from the scenes of conflict, Texas was forever changed, as historian Gregory W. Ball details in Texas and World War I.

This accessible history recounts the ways in which the war affected Texas and Texans politically, socially, and economically. Texas’s position on the United States border with Mexico and on the western edge of the American South profoundly influenced the ways in which the war affected the state, from fears of invasion from the across the Rio Grande—fears that put the state’s significant German American population under suspicion—to the racial tensions that flared when African American soldiers challenged Jim Crow.

When thousands of Texas men were drafted into the U.S. Army and the federal government developed a host of training grounds and airfields (many close to the state’s burgeoning cities) in response to U.S. entry into the war, this heavily rural state that had long been outside the national mainstream became more “American” than ever before.

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By Gregory W. Ball

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

San Antonio: A Tricentennial History

This is the first general history of San Antonio, Texas, the seventh largest city in the nation. Its past is complex and ranges across 300 years, from the community’s origins as a tiny Spanish frontier town to its contemporary status as a vital American mega-city. Site of some of the most violent struggles between warring empires and people—historians believe San Antonio may be the most fought-over city in U.S. history—it is perhaps most celebrated for the iconic 1836 battle of the Alamo. The city is also home to four beautifully restored Spanish missions, which in 2015 UNESCO designated a World Heritage Site and have become integral to San Antonio’s robust tourist economy, along with the fabled Riverwalk. This study weaves together a series of environmental, social, political, and cultural pressures that have shaped life in the Alamo City over the last three centuries. Residents have long fought to protect and utilize water and other resources even as they have struggled to achieve equal rights and build a more open and democratic society. Activists from all sectors of this multicultural city have believed deeply in its promise even though they have had to push hard to secure and expand its potential. Their efforts were every bit as intense in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as they have been in the twenty-first. Written for a general audience, but with a scholarly attention to detail and nuance, San Antonio: A Tricentennial History immerses readers in the city’s fascinating and fraught past.

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By Char Miller

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911-1921

Listen to author Ty Smith discuss this book on TPR’s “Texas Matters” radio program broadcast June 4, 2018.Even before Pancho Villa’s 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and the following punitive expedition under General John J. Pershing, the U.S. Army was strengthening its presence on the southwestern border in response to the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Manning forty-one small outposts along a three-hundred mile stretch of the Rio Grande region, the army remained for a decade, rotating eighteen different regiments, primarily cavalry, until the return of relative calm. The remote, rugged, and desolate terrain of the Big Bend defied even the technological advances of World War I, and it remained very much a cavalry and pack mule operation until the outposts were finally withdrawn in 1921.With The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911–1921, Thomas T. “Ty" Smith, one of Texas’s leading military historians, has delved deep into the records of the U.S. Army to provide an authoritative portrait, richly complemented by many photos published here for the first time, of the final era of soldiers on horseback in the American West.THOMAS T. SMITH, Col. (Ret.) U.S. Army, of San Antonio is the author of The U.S. Army and the Texas Frontier Economy, 1845–1900 (Texas A&M University Press, 1999) and The Old Army in Texas: A Research Guide to the U.S. Army in Nineteenth-Century Texas (Texas State Historical Association, 2000). He is a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association.

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By Thomas T. Smith

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850-1880

"Few academic volumes remain timely and relevant more than thirty years after they were first published. This is one of those exceptional books."—from the foreword by Andrew J. TorgetHistorians have published countless studies of the American Civil War and the era of Reconstruction that followed those four years of brutally destructive conflict. Most of these works focus on events and developments at the national or state level, but much less attention has been given to studying how ordinary people experienced the years from 1861 to 1876. What did secession, civil war, emancipation, victory for the United States, and Reconstruction mean at the local level in Texas? Exactly how much change did the era bring to the focus of the study, Harrison County: a cotton-growing, planter-dominated community with the largest slave population of any county in the state? Providing an answer to that question is the basic purpose of A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850–1880. First published by the Texas State Historical Association in 1983, the book is now available in paperback, with a foreword by Andrew J. Torget, one of the Lone Star State’s top young historians.Randolph B. Campbell is Regents' Professor of History at the University of North Texas. One of the leading historians of Texas of his generation, he has served as Chief Historian of the Texas State Historical Association and is the author of numerous articles and books, including An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821–1865 and Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State.Andrew J. Torget is associate professor of history at the University of North Texas and the author of Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800–1850.

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Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas

The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to offer a reprint edition of Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas, Gregg Cantrell’s path-breaking biography of the founder of Anglo Texas. Cantrell’s portrait goes beyond the traditional interpretation of Austin as the man who spearheaded American Manifest Destiny. Cantrell portrays Austin as a borderlands figure who could navigate the complex cultural landscape of 1820s Texas, then a portion of Mexico. His command of the Spanish language, respect for the Mexican people, and ability to navigate the shoals of Mexican politics made him the perfect advocate for his colonists and often for all of Texas. Yet when conflicts between Anglo colonists and Mexican authorities turned violent, Austin’s accomodationist stance became outdated. Overshadowed by the military hero Sam Houston, he died at the age of forty-three, just six months after Texas independence. Decades after his death, Austin’s reputation was resurrected and he became known as the “Father of Texas." More than just an icon, Stephen F. Austin emerges from these pages as a shrewd, complicated, and sometimes conflicted figure.

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Washington on the Brazos: Cradle of the Texas Republic

With Washington on the Brazos: Cradle of the Texas Republic, noted historian Richard B. McCaslin recovers the history of an iconic Texas town. The story of the Texas Republic begins and ends at Washington, but the town’s history extends much further. Texas leaders gathered in the new town on the west bank of the Brazos in March 1836 to establish a new republic. After approving a declaration of independence and constitution, they fled as Santa Anna's army approached. The government of the Republic of Texas returned there in 1842, but after the United States annexed Texas in 1846, Austin replaced Washington as the capital of the Lone Star State. The town became a thriving river port in the 1850s, when steamboat cargoes paid for many new buildings. But the community steeply declined when its leaders decided to rely on steamers rather than invest in a railroad line, although German immigrants and African American residents kept the town alive. Later, Progressive Era plans for historic tourism focused the town’s central role in the Texas Republic brought renewed interest, and a state park was founded. The Texas centennial in 1936 and the hard work of citizens’ organizations beginning in the 1950s transformed this park into Washington-on-the-Brazos, the state historic site that serves today as the primary focus for preserving the history of the Republic of Texas.  

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By Richard B. McCaslin

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Lone Star Blue and Gray: Essays on Texas and the Civil War (Second Edition)

The sixteen essays collected here illustrate the rich traditions and continuing vitality of Texas Civil War scholarship. From the bitter disputes over secession to the ways in which the conflict would be remembered, Texas and Texans were caught up in the momentous struggles of the American Civil War.Tens of thousands of Texans joined military units, and scarcely a household in the state was unaffected as mothers and wives assumed new roles in managing farms and plantations. Still others grappled with the massive social, political, and economic changes wrought by the bloodiest conflict in American history. Along with these articles, editors Ralph A. and Robert Wooster provide a succinct introduction to the war and Texas and recommended readings covering virtually every aspect of the war as experienced in the Lone Star State.Ralph A. Wooster was named Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus by Lamar University in 2006. He is the author or editor of eleven books, including Civil War Texas: A History and a Guide (TSHA, 1999), a fellow and past president of the Texas State Historical Association and the East Texas Historical Association, as well as the recipient of numerous teaching awards.Robert Wooster is Regents Professor of History at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where he has taught since 1986. A Fellow and past president of the Texas State Historical Association, he has received several teaching awards and is author, editor, or co-editor of fourteen books, most recently The American Military Frontiers: The United States Army in the West, 1783–1900, which received the Western History Association’s Robert M. Utley Award.

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By Ralph A. Wooster and Robert A. Wooster

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

The Wests of Texas: Cattle Ranching Entrepreneurs

With the Wests of Texas, noted author Bruce M. Shackelford tells the story of the West family of Lavaca County, forgotten Texas legends. Originally from Tennessee, Washington and Mary West moved to Lavaca County, Texas, in the early 1850s. There they raised three sons who were destined to leave an indelible mark on the Texas cattle industry. At the end of the Civil War, George, the eldest, made his first trail drives as so many Texans did. But unlike many who made the trip, George saw the venture as the business of moving cattle to market and became a professional drover. As his brothers Sol and Ike came of age, George brought them into his already growing business of trailing cattle herds north. The brothers became some of the most important drovers in cattle business, standing out during the era of the great trail drives. In their lifetimes their accomplishments were legendary, but today they have been largely forgotten. Their history and achievements are examined in this beautiful volume illustrated with photographs and personal effects from the family.

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By Bruce Shackelford

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

The La Salle Expedition on the Mississippi River: A Lost Manuscript of Nicolas de La Salle

The La Salle Expedition on the Mississippi River presents the definitive English translation of Nicolas de La Salle’s diary account of René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle’s 1682 discovery expedition of the Mississippi River from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. This previously unknown manuscript copy was discovered recently in the collection of rare books in the Texas State Archives.It provides the most complete and authoritative account available of this historic North American adventure and territorial claim. By careful cross- document analysis, Foster projects an extended expedition chronology that adds about two weeks to the journey, corrects the date that La Salle’s claim was announced, and revises erroneous interpretations made by most contemporary French and American scholars. The work includes maps prepared by the noted Southwest cartographer John V. Cotter

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By William C. Foster

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .