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 2 of 9

On History's Trail: Speeches and Essays by the Texas State Historian, 2009–2012

On History’s Trail: Speeches and Essays of the Texas State Historian, 2009-2012 contains twenty-nine speeches and essays from Light Townsend Cummins’s time as the State Historian of Texas, when he spoke to dozens of groups across the Lone Star State and beyond. The subjects include the settlement of Canary Islanders in Texas and Louisiana, the Red River War, Dallas sculptress Allie V. Tennant, the "hometown" of Audie Murphy, and much more. While wide-ranging in time and place, this collection emphasizes the importance of biography and the individual in Texas history, never losing the warmth and humanity that is Cummins’s hallmark. The most important point of On History’s Trail, though, is the most valuable lesson Cummins learned while State Historian: The history of Texas is alive and well today. There are more people reading and researching the history of the state than ever before. The range of topics in this volume shows the viability, breadth, and range of the state’s remarkable history.

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By Light Townsend Cummins

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Red Water, Black Gold: The Canadian River in Western Texas, 1920–1999

Red Water, Black Gold: The Canadian River in Texas 1920-1999 tells the story of the Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle. It is a tale of grand designs, high hopes, deep holes, politics, fishing, follies, foibles, and environmental change. Although efforts had been made to tap the Canadian River’s waters before 1920, the discovery of oil in the Panhandle gave new urgency to the search for permanent water supplies. Additionally, the spread of groundwater irrigation amid the discovery of the limits of Ogallala Aquifer spurred regional interests to tap the Canadian. But overestimates of the river’s flow and unfamiliarity with the critical role groundwater played in maintaining that flow led to complications and frustrations, culminating in a lawsuit over the location of the banks of a seemingly waterless river. This book is a valuable addition to the water history of Texas and the American West and to the growing body of worldwide regional water histories. Combining traditional historical sources with hydrology, climatology, and geology, Red Water, Black Gold complicates the traditional story of top-down water management as well as telling the thus-far untold story of the Canadian River in Texas.

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By Margaret A. Bickers

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Julian Onderdonk in New York: The Lost Years, the Lost Paintings

Famed for his bluebonnet landscapes, San Antonio native Julian Onderdonk may be the most well-known artist Texas has ever produced. Onderdonk spent several years outside the state, though, seeking to make a name for himself in New York City. He spent much of his time in New York as the very definition of a starving artist. In Julian Onderdonk: The Lost Years, the Lost Paintings, James Graham Baker explores the artist’s New York years, so often neglected by previous scholars. Through painstaking research, Baker reveals that Onderdonk painted hundreds of images under pseudonyms during his time in New York. These images not only reveal the means by which the artist struggled to make ends meet, but add another dimension to our understanding of the artist’s oeuvre. It is not possible to appreciate and understand Julian Onderdonk and his art without including these works. Largely composed of landscapes and marine scenes depicting the vanishing rural areas and shorelines around New York City, they show that Onderdonk was more than simply a "bluebonnet painter."

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By James Graham Baker

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

The Hoggs of Texas: Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family, 1887–1906

In The Hoggs of Texas: Letters and Memoirs of an Extraordinary Family, 1887–1906, Virginia Bernhard delves into the unpublished letters of one of Texas’s most extraordinarily families and tells their story. In their own words, which are published here for the first time. Rich in details, the more than four hundred letters in this volume begin in 1887 in 1906, following the family through the hurly-burly of Texas politics and the ups-and-downs of their own lives. The letters illuminate the little-known private life of one of Texas’s most famous families. Like all families, the Hoggs were far from perfect. Governor James Stephen Hogg (sometimes called "Stupendous" for his 6'3", 300-plus pound frame), who lived and breathed politics, did his best to balance his career with the needs of his wife and children. His frequent travels were hard on his wife and children. Wife Sallie’s years of illness casted a pall over the household. Son Will and his father were not close. Sons Mike and Tom did poorly in school. Daughter Ima may have had a secret romance. Hogg’s sister, “Aunt Fannie," was a domestic tyrant. The letters in this volume, often poignant and amusing, are interspersed liberally with portions of Ima Hogg's personal memoir and informative commentary from historian Virginia Bernhard. They show the Hoggs as their world changed, as Texas and the nation left horse-and-buggy days and entered the twentieth century.

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By Virginia Bernhard

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Matamoros and the Texas Revolution

The traditional story of the Texas Revolution remembers the Alamo and Goliad but has forgotten Matamoros, the strategic Mexican port city on the turbulent lower Rio Grande. In this provocative book, Craig Roell restores the centrality of Matamoros by showing the genuine economic, geographic, social, and military value of the city to Mexican and Texas history.Given that Matamoros served the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Texas, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, and Durango, the city’s strategic location and considerable trade revenues were crucial. Roell provides a refreshing reinterpretation of the revolutionary conflict in Texas from a Mexican point of view, essentially turning the traditional story on its head. Readers will learn how Matamoros figured in the Mexican government's grand designs not only for national prosperity, but also to preserve Texas from threatened American encroachment. Ironically, Matamoros became closely linked to the United States through trade, and foreign intriguers who sought to detach Texas from Mexico found a home in the city.Roell’s account culminates in the controversial Texan Matamoros expedition, which was composed mostly of American volunteers and paralyzed the Texas provisional government, divided military leaders, and helped lead to the tragic defeats at the Alamo, San Patricio, Agua Dulce Creek, Refugio, and Coleto (Goliad). Indeed, Sam Houston denounced the expedition as “the author of all our misfortunes." In stark contrast, the brilliant and triumphant Matamoros campaign of Mexican General José de Urrea united his countrymen, defeated these revolutionaries, and occupied the coastal plain from Matamoros to Brazoria. Urrea's victory ensured that Matamoros would remain a part of Mexico, but Matamorenses also fought to preserve their own freedom from the centralizing policies of Mexican President Santa Anna, showing the streak of independence that characterizes Mexico's northern borderlands to this day.

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By Craig H. Roell

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: The ‘Great Pedestrian’ of North and South America

Cabeza de Vaca’s mode of transportation, afoot on portions of two continents in the early decades of the sixteenth century, fits one dictionary definition of the word “pedestrian." By no means, however, should the ancillary meanings of “commonplace" or “prosaic" be applied to the man, or his remarkable adventures. Between 1528 and 1536, he trekked an estimated 2,480 to 2,640 miles of North American terrain from the Texas coast near Galveston Island to San Miguel de Culiacán near the Pacific Coast of Mexico. He then traveled under better circumstances, although still on foot, to Mexico City. About a year later, Cabeza de Vaca returned to Spain. In 1540, the king granted Cabeza de Vaca civil and military authority in modern-day Paraguay. After arriving on the coast of Brazil in 1541, he was unable to find transportation by ship to the seat of his governorship. He then led a group of more 250 settlers through 1,200 miles of unchartered back country, during which he lost only two men.Cabeza de Vaca’s travels are amazing in themselves, but during them he transformed from a proud Spanish don to lay advocate of Indian rights on both American continents. That journey is as remarkable as his travels. It was this “great awakening"  that landed him in more trouble with Spaniards than Indians. Settlers at Asunción rebelled against the reformist governor, incarcerated him, tried to poison his food on two occasions, and finally sent him to Spain in irons. There he was tried and convicted on trumped-up charges of carrying out policies that were the exact opposite of what he had promoted—the humane protection of Indians.This book examines the two great “journeys" of Cabeza de Vaca—his extraordinary adventures on two continents and his remarkable growth as a humanitarian.

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By Donald E. Chipman

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

They Called It the War Effort: Oral Histories from World War II Orange, Texas

Over the course of World War II, Orange, Texas’s easternmost city, went from a sleepy southern town of 7,500 inhabitants to a bustling industrial city of 60,000. The bayou community on the Sabine became one of the nation’s preeminent shipbuilding centers. In They Called It the War Effort, Louis Fairchild details the explosive transformation of his native city in the words of the people who lived through it. Some residents who lived in the town before the war speak of nostalgia for the time when Orange was a small, close-knit community and regret for the loss of social cohesiveness of former days, while others speak of the exciting new opportunities and interesting new people that came. Interviewees tell how newcomers from rural areas in Louisiana and East Texas tried to adjust to a new life in close living quarters and to new amenities–like indoor toilets. People from all walks of life talk of the economic shift from the cash and job shortages of Depression era to a war era when these things were in abundance, but they also tell of how wartime rationing made items like Coca-Cola treasured luxuries. Fairchild deftly draws on a wide array of secondary sources in psychology and history to tie together and broaden the perspectives offered by World War II Orangeites. The second edition of this justly praised book features more interviews with non-white residents of Orange, as Japanese Americans and especially African Americans speak not only of the challenges of wartime economic dislocations, but also of living in a southern town where Jim Crow still reigned.Publication of this book was supported by a generous grant from the Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Foundation

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By Louis Fairchild

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Arsenal of Defense: Fort Worth's Military Legacy

Named after Mexican War general William Jenkins Worth, Fort Worth began as a military post in 1849. More than a century and a half later, the defense industry remains Fort Worth’s major strength with Lockheed Martin’s F-35s and Bell Helicopter’s Ospreys flying the skies over the city.Arsenal of Defense: Fort Worth’s Military Legacy covers the entire military history of Fort Worth from the 1840s with tiny Bird’s Fort to the massive defense plants of the first decade of the twenty-first century.Although the city is popularly known as “Cowtown" for its iconic cattle drives and stockyards, soldiers, pilots, and military installations have been just as important—and more enduring—in Fort Worth’s legacy.Although Bird’s Fort provided defense for early North Texas settlers in the mid nineteenth century, it was the major world conflicts of the twentieth century that developed Fort Worth’s military presence into what it is today. America’s buildup for World War I brought three pilot training fields and the army post Camp. During World War II, headquarters for the entire nation’s Army Air Forces Flying Training Command came to Fort Worth.The military history of Fort Worth has been largely an aviation story—one that went beyond pilot training to the construction of military aircraft. Beginning with Globe Aircraft in 1940, Consolidated in 1942, and Bell Helicopter in 1950, the city has produced many thousands of military aircraft for the defense of the nation. Lockheed Martin, the descendant of Consolidated, represents an assembly plant that has been in continuous existence for over seven decades.With Lockheed Martin the nation’s largest defense contractor, Bell the largest helicopter producer, and the Fort Worth Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Federal Medical Center Carswell the reservist’s training pattern for the nation, Fort Worth’s military defense legacy remains strong. Arsenal of Defense won first place in the Press Women of Texas Communications Contest (2012).

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By J'Nell L. Pate

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Ima Hogg: The Governor's Daughter

Texas legend has it that James Stephen Hogg, Governor of Texas from 1890 to 1894, named his daughters Ima and Ura, but that is only half-true: there never was a Ura. Ima had three brothers, Will, Mike, and Tom. Ima Hogg, who was born in 1882 and died in 1975 at age 93, became a legend in her own right, and this book is her story. It is also the story of the extraordinary bond between a father and a daughter. James Stephen Hogg, who worked his way from a hardscrabble life in the piney woods of East Texas to the Governor's Mansion in Austin, was a giant in Texas politics, both literally (standing six feet three inches tall and weighing close to 300 pounds) and figuratively, as the champion of the "little people" against big business in the 1890s. He adored his daughter, and after his wife, Sallie Stinson Hogg, died of tuberculosis in 1895, Ima and her father drew even closer. Jim Hogg, a widower in his 40's with four children--Will, 20; Ima, 13, Mike, 10, and Tom, 8--left politics to practice law in Austin, and Ima became the "sunshine" of her father's household. While Ima attended the University of Texas and then studied music in New York City, ex-Governor Hogg pursued business interests, and was one of the early investors in the Texas oil boom after the Spindletop gusher in 1901. He was not a rich man when he died in 1906, but the old plantation he bought in Brazos County near West Columbia would eventually produce oil that would make Ima and her brothers wealthy. The Hogg children lived well, but they also devoted part of their time and money to the enrichment of the educational and cultural life of Texas. Will gave generously to the University of Texas, his alma mater, and to many other institutions, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Houston YMCA. “Miss Ima," as she was known (she never married), founded the Houston Symphony, served on the Houston School Board, established the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and restored several historic Texas buildings, including the house at the Varner-Hogg Historic Site, which had been her father's beloved country home. In 1966 she gave her own house, filled with the priceless Early American art and furniture she had collected, as the Bayou Bend Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Thousands of people visit Bayou Bend every year, and this book describes its history, as well as that of an extraordinary Texas woman.  Ima Hogg: The Goverrnor's Daughter is number 20 in the Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series. 

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By Virginia Bernhard

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

José Antonio Navarro: In Search of the American Dream in Nineteenth-Century Texas

The first biography to appear in more than a generation on the most influential Tejano leader of the nineteenth century, José Antonio Navarro: In Search of the American Dream in Nineteenth-Century Texas fills one of the most glaring gaps in the current historical literature on Texas. The product of a lifetime of research by author David McDonald, this volume is sure to stand as the definitive treatment of Navarro’s life for decades to come. McDonald corrects many long-standing misconceptions concerning Navarro and fleshes out the details of his life in a way no author has done before.Born in San Antonio in 1795, José Antonio Navarro lived through a tumultuous era in Texas history that saw the transitions of Texas from a Spanish colony to a Mexican state, an independent republic, an American state, a Confederate state, and an American state once again. More than just bearing witness to these events, however, José Antonio Navarro helped shape them. He served in the legislatures of Coahuila y Texas, the Republic of Texas, and the state of Texas. He was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and a steadfast defender of the rights of all Tejanos and people of Mexican descent in Texas, ensuring at both the 1836 Consultation that created the Texas Republic and the 1845 drafting of the state constitution after annexation that political rights would not be restricted solely to those with white skin and pure European ancestry. José Antonio Navarro has won a 2013 citation from the San Antonio Conservation Society's Publications Awards Committee.José Antonio Navarro: In Search of the American Dream in Nineteenth-Century Texas is more than just a political biography; it is a story of the American Dream. Navarro and his family worked hard to improve their lives on the Texas frontier, starting with his father, an immigrant from the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Navarro was not only an influential politician, but a successful businessman and rancher. This pattern of improvement continued into the next generation of the family when Navarro’s son Ángel entered Harvard College to study law. José Antonio Navarro was also an early friend of Stephen F. Austin, sharing a vision of Texas with the famed empresario in which both Tejanos and Anglos could thrive. Navarro believed that Texas was a place where peoples of all colors and backgrounds should be able to realize the American Dream.

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By David R. McDonald

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Peg Leg: The Improbable Life of a Texas Hero, Thomas William Ward, 1807-1872

Irish-born Thomas William ("Peg Leg") Ward ventured to Texas in 1835 to fight in the Texas Revolution, but in his first day of action his right leg was hit by Mexican cannon fire in and amputated. Four years later he lost his right arm to cannon fire in an accident. Though confronted with an unending problem of mobility and tormented by pain in his residual leg, Ward surmounted his horrific injuries to become a notable public figure.Ward’s public career spanned three decades and a multiplicity of responsibilities--military officer, three-time mayor of Austin, presidential appointments as U.S. Consul to Panama and a federal customs official in Texas--but it was as Texas land commissioner during the 1840s that he particularly made his mark. At a time when land was the principal asset of the Texas republic and the magnet that attracted immigrants, he fought to remedy the land system’s many defects and to fulfill the promise of free land to those who settled and fought for Texas.If Ward had a remarkable career, his life was nonetheless troubled by symptoms comparable to those experienced by recent war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder--a hair-trigger temper, an impulse to violence, and marital discord. His wife, Susan Ward, though deeply in love with him at the start, eventually left him and accused him in two bitterly fought court cases of verbal, psychological, and physical abuse. To many of his fellow Texans, however, Ward remained a hero who had sacrificed his leg for a noble cause--independence from Mexico.

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Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Sacred Memories: The Civil War Monument Movement in Texas

War memorials are symbols of a community’s sense of itself, the values it holds dear, and its collective memory. They inform us more, perhaps, about the period in which the memorials were erected than the period of the war itself.Kelly McMichael, in her book, Sacred Memories: The Civil War Monument Movement in Texas, takes the reader on a tour of Civil War monuments throughout the state and in doing so tells the story of each monument and its creation. McMichael explores Texans’ motivations for erecting Civil War memorials, which she views as attempts during a period of turmoil and uncertainty--"severe depression, social unrest, the rise of Populism, mass immigration, urbanization, industrialization, imperialism, lynching, and Jim Crow laws"--to preserve the memory of the Confederate dead, to instill in future generations the values of patriotism, duty, and courage; to create a shared memory and identity "based on a largely invented story"; and to "anchor a community against social and political doubt."Her focus is the human story of each monument, the characters involved in its creation, and the sacred memories held dear to them.

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Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .