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 (109 total) Page 3 of 10

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 .

Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier: A Narrative and Photographic History

The Civil War on the Rio Grande frontier began in Zapata County only days after the first shots of the bloody conflict were fired at Fort Sumter, and the conflict ended at Palmito Hill more than a month after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. Far from Washington and Richmond and the killing fields of the east, this dark corner of the Confederacy has a rich history of Civil War photography. One of the superbly talented photographic artists operating in Matamoros and Brownsville during this epic era was a Prussian named Louis de Planque. With his lens, de Planque skillfully captured the leading personalities of the era, including Servando Canales, Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, Mariano Escobedo, Tomás Mejía, Richard King, Mifflin Kenedy, and John S. "Rip" Ford.

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Almonte's Texas: Juan N. Almonte's 1834 Inspection, Secret Report, and Role in the 1836 Campaign

In late 1833 Mexico began to have serious fears that its northeastern territory in Texas would be lost to North American colonists. To determine the actual state of affairs, Mexico sent Col. Juan N. Almonte to Texas on an inspection--the last conducted by a high-ranking Mexican official before revolution separated Texas from Mexico. Upon his return to the Mexican capital in November 1834, Almonte wrote a secret report of the measures necessary to avoid the loss of Texas--a report that has been unknown to scholars or the general public. Here it is presented in English for the first time, along with more than fifty letters that Almonte wrote during his inspection. This documentation offers crucial new insights on Texas affairs and will change the way historians regard Mexico’s attitudes toward the foreign colonists and their revolution of 1835-1836. When Santa Anna marched an army north to crush the Texas rebellion, Almonte was by his side as a special advisor. He kept a journal, lost at the Battle of San Jacinto, which is presented here with full annotation. Almonte’s role in the 1836 campaign is examined, as well as his subsequent activities that relate to Texas. Through Almonte’s Texas we gain an overdue appreciation of this man who played a leading role in the history of Texas and Mexico.

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The La Salle Expedition to Texas: The Journal of Henri Joutel, 1684-1687

The La Salle Expedition in Texas presents the definitive English translation of Henri Joutel’s classic account of Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle’s 1684–1687 expedition to establish a fort and colony near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Written from detailed notes taken during this historic journey, Joutel’s journal is the most comprehensive and authoritative account available of this dramatic story of adventure and misadventure in Texas. Joutel, who served as post commander for La Salle, describes in accurate and colorful detail the daily experiences and precise route La Salle’s party followed in 1687 from the Texas coast to the Mississippi River. By carefully comparing Joutel’s compass directions and detailed descriptions to maps and geographic locations, Foster has established where La Salle was murdered by his men, and has corrected many erroneous geographic interpretations made by French and American scholars during the past century. Joutel’s account is a captivating narrative set in a Texas coastal wilderness. Foster follows Joutel, La Salle, and their fellow adventurers as they encounter Indians and their unique cultures; enormous drifting herds of bison; and unknown flora and fauna, including lethal flowering cactus fruit and rattlesnakes. The cast of characters includes priests and soldiers, deserters and murderers, Indian leaders, and a handful of French women who worked side-by-side with the men. It is a remarkable first hand tale of dramatic adventure as these diverse individuals meet and interact on the grand landscape of Texas. Joutel’s journal, newly translated by Johanna S. Warren, is edited and annotated with an extensive introduction by William C. Foster. The account is accompanied by numerous detailed maps and the first published English translation of the testimony of Pierre Meunier, one of the most knowledgeable and creditable survivors of La Salle’s expedition.

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El Llano Estacado: Exploration and Imagination on the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, 1536-1860

El Llano Estacado, a major new work of Western History, reveals the historical heart of one of the world’s unique regions--the enormous mesaland of the Southern High Plains in Texas and New Mexico. From the Canadian River in the north to the Edwards Plateau in the south, from the Pecos River in the west to the fantastic canyonlands of the Red, Pease, Brazos, and Colorado Rivers in the east, the 50,000 square miles of "the Llano" are chronicled over three centuries with an eye to the history and compelling mystery of this special land. Armchair detectives will especially relish the comprehensive discussion of the lost--now possibly rediscovered--Coronado expedition route across the plains. This story of the legendary Llano Estacado from 1536 to 1860 informs our understanding of discovery and geography in the Southwest. El Llano Estacado is more than a good read; it is also a native son’s meditation on the role of imagination and myth in how we perceive this unique environment. From the dawn of historic contact with the Southern High Plains, a remarkable series of Spanish, French, Mexican, and Anglo-American explorers and adventurers attempted to make sense of its curious environment."Lo Llano," the first part of this saga, is a detective story on the Lost Coronado Trail. The key to this ancient Southwest mystery--where did the Spanish go in Texas in 1541?--is understanding what they saw and how they remembered it in their writings. Part Two, "The Llano Frontier," studies the three centuries of Spanish exploration and imagination following Coronado. "The Illimitable Prairie," part three of the study, analyzes the romantic discovery of the Llano in the Anglo imagination. In the final part, "The Great Zahara," the author rides the trail of the classic Anglo explorers of the Llano: James W. Abert, Randolph Marcy, John Pope, and others. The visual representations of the Llano are also revealed through numerous illustrations of rare maps and lithographs. El Llano Estacado is a grand history and geography told in an imaginative, interdisciplinary style befitting a high land. The mysteries and mirages of this great Southwestern landscape are the stuff of adventurers’ quests and now readers’ dreams.

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A Brave Boy and a Good Soldier Educator's Guide: John C. C. Hill and the Texas Expedition to Mier

Educators Guide: Shortly before his fourteenth birthday, John Christopher Columbus Hill left home with his father and older brother to join the ill-fated 1842 Texas expedition to Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico, to end any questions over ownership of Texas. John Hill's capture and subsequent adoption by President Antonio López de Santa Anna is one of the most fascinating and curious to come out of this extraordinary episode in Texas history. After a series of escalating events, including Mexican Gen. Adrián Woll's sudden siege of San Antonio, the Texas Rangers sent out a call for volunteers. On Christmas Day, 1842, the Texans encountered the Mexican army at Mier, and the ensuing battle lasted until the next afternoon. During the fight, John Hill killed at least twelve Mexican soldiers; his brother was seriously wounded; and all of the surviving Texans were captured. John was sent back to Mexico City, while his father and brother stayed with the rest of the group. The Texan prisoners subsequently escaped from prison and were recaptured. A furious Santa Anna demanded that they all be executed. The ensuing decision, to execute one-tenth of the group through a drawing of black beans from a jar, is one of the most legendary events in Texas history.In Mexico City, young John Hill asked President Santa Anna to release his father and brother, who were still in prison. Santa Anna agreed, on the condition that he be allowed to adopt John and raise him in Mexico. John's father agreed, and he and John's brother returned to Texas. John stayed in Mexico City and was enrolled at the Colegio de Minería, or College of Mining, from which he graduated in 1850 with a doctorate in engineering and a degree in mining.The story of John C. C. Hill is one of the most remarkable stories to emerge from Texas's struggle for independence. This volume, offered with an educator's guide for classroom use, will appeal to young and old readers alike.

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By Mary Amberson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

A Brave Boy and a Good Soldier: John C. C. Hill and the Texas Expedition to Mier

Shortly before his fourteenth birthday, John Christopher Columbus Hill left home with his father and older brother to join the ill-fated 1842 Texas expedition to Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico, to end any questions over ownership of Texas. John Hill's capture and subsequent adoption by President Antonio López de Santa Anna is one of the most fascinating and curious to come out of this extraordinary episode in Texas history. After a series of escalating events, including Mexican Gen. Adrián Woll's sudden siege of San Antonio, the Texas Rangers sent out a call for volunteers. On Christmas Day, 1842, the Texans encountered the Mexican army at Mier, and the ensuing battle lasted until the next afternoon. During the fight, John Hill killed at least twelve Mexican soldiers; his brother was seriously wounded; and all of the surviving Texans were captured. John was sent back to Mexico City, while his father and brother stayed with the rest of the group. The Texan prisoners subsequently escaped from prison and were recaptured. A furious Santa Anna demanded that they all be executed. The ensuing decision, to execute one-tenth of the group through a drawing of black beans from a jar, is one of the most legendary events in Texas history.In Mexico City, young John Hill asked President Santa Anna to release his father and brother, who were still in prison. Santa Anna agreed, on the condition that he be allowed to adopt John and raise him in Mexico. John's father agreed, and he and John's brother returned to Texas. John stayed in Mexico City and was enrolled at the Colegio de Minería, or College of Mining, from which he graduated in 1850 with a doctorate in engineering and a degree in mining.The story of John C. C. Hill is one of the most remarkable stories to emerge from Texas's struggle for independence. This volume, offered with an educator's guide for classroom use, will appeal to young and old readers alike.

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By Mary Amberson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

A Breed So Rare: The Life of J. R. Parten, Liberal Texas Oil Man, 1896–1992

No Texas archetype is more indelibly stamped on the public perception than the Texas oil man--a shrewd, flamboyant figure captured most recently in the character of J. R. Ewing in the long-running television series "Dallas." During the 1980s when this program was playing worldwide, reinforcing the stereotype of the oil man as a conservative, unprincipled rogue, another Texas oil man named J. R.--in this case, J. R. Parten--was quietly concluding a remarkable career that spanned most of the twentieth century. Although J. R. Parten shared some characteristics with the fictional J. R. Ewing--he was a highly successful and tough-minded entrepreneur--Parten was a quiet gentleman, loyal to his friends, and a man of honor and principle. Little known during his lifetime, he remains a relatively anonymous figure despite the fact that he played a number of historically significant roles in Texas and the nation, and counted numerous bigger-than-life characters as colleagues, associates, and friends: Huey Long, Sam Rayburn, John Henry Faulk, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Harry Truman, among others.Through numerous interviews and unlimited access to Parten’s personal papers, the author tells the fascinating story of Parten’s life, from small town East Texas at the turn of the century to the capitals of the world. After studying at the University of Texas from 1913 to 1917, he served in World War I as the youngest major in the field artillery. He entered the oil business in 1919 and was a true pioneer in the industry, establishing numerous energy businesses that earned millions of dollars and employed thousands of people. While serving on the University of Texas Board of Regents from 1935 to 1941, Parten used his knowledge of the oil business to greatly increase the university’s income from its oil holdings, and fought tenaciously for academic excellence and freedom of speech for students and faculty. When democracy was threatened during World War II, Parten was a dominant figure in the development of the "Big Inch" and "Little Inch" pipelines, which stretched from East Texas to the East Coast and provided critical fuel for the victorious Allied war effort. In 1945 Parten served as chief of staff for the U.S. delegation to the Allied War Reparations Commission in Moscow and later participated in the Potsdam Conference in Berlin.A lifelong Democrat of moderately liberal cast, Parten was a player in state and national politics, often crusading on the liberal and losing side of elections and issues. In 1950 he helped establish the Fund for the Republic in an effort to counter threats to basic civil liberties during the Red Scare of the 1950s. His support for the Texas Observer and for sometimes unpopular politicians and ideas brought important liberal ideas to the local and national stage. As a generous philanthropist and political activist--often behind the scenes--Parten supported world peace and opposed nuclear weapons and the Vietnam War. A man who stood firmly behind his beliefs, Parten was a quiet doer in a culture that is more likely to recognize the flamboyant gesture. He held fast to his principles, but as a lifelong learner he was always willing to change. J. R. Parten was a man who made a difference.

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By Don Carleton

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

A Cowman's Wife

Women played a vital and, until recently, frequently overlooked role in the settlement of the American West. They were not only mothers, schoolteachers, and nurses, but also cowgirls, outlaws, and ranchers. Mary Rak's career as a ranchwoman, and eventually an author, began in 1919, when she and her husband Charles Lukeman Rak purchased a 22,000-acre spread fifty miles north of Douglas, Arizona. She went on to recount her struggle to learn the cattle business and cope with the numerous problems of life on an isolated ranch.The new introduction to this rangeland classic was written by the late Sandra L. Myres. Her research into the lives and writings of ranchwomen provides an excellent background for understanding Mary Rak and her work.

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By Mary Rak

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

A History of Ashton Villa

This volume tells the story of the stately Italianate Galveston mansion known as Ashton Villa. Built in 1859, Ashton Villa stood out in antebellum Galveston for its extensive use of new materials: brick and cast iron. It has weathered many a storm, including the Great Hurricane of 1900, when floodwaters invaded its first floor. Now as a historic house museum, Ashton Villa speaks eloquently about the lives and aspirations of an upper-class Texas family in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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By Kenneth Hafertepe

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

A History of the French Legation in Texas

This readable and thoroughly documented volume relates the fascinating story of the French Legation in Austin. The oldest house in the city, it was built in 1840-1841 as the residence of the French chargé d'affaires to the fledgling Republic of Texas. Alphonse Dubois, the self-styled "Count de Saligny," dazzled frontier Texans with elegant parties until he was recalled after less than a year in Austin.

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By Kenneth Hafertepe

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

A Revolution Remembered: The Memoirs and Selected Correspondence of Juan N. Seguín

Scion of one of San Antonio’s leading early families, Juan Nepomuceno Seguín grew up in a Texas beset by violence and destruction. During the 1820s he matured in a household that welcomed Stephen F. Austin, and like many prominent Tejanos, the young Seguín came to see Anglo-Americans as a boon to the development of his beloved homeland. With the eruption of rebellion in Texas in October 1835, he volunteered for service in the Texas army and was involved in some of the most memorable events in the War of Independence, from the siege of Bexar to the Runaway Scrape and the battle of San Jacinto.As the most prominent Tejano military figure during the war, and an important political figure thereafter, Seguín made enemies among the newly arriving Anglo-Americans unaware of the contributions of numerous Tejanos to the Texas cause. His opposition to land-grabbers in the San Antonio area and the machinations of political enemies while serving as mayor of San Antonio forced him to seek safety in Mexico, where he was impressed into military service. Among his controversial actions during his six-year exile were involvement in Gen. Adrián Woll’s occupation of San Antonio in September 1842 and command of a Mexican cavalry company during the Mexican War.After his return to Texas in 1848, he became involved in San Antonio politics and was a founding member of the Bexar County Democratic Party. He served as an election precinct chairman and as Wilson County judge during Reconstruction before finally retiring in 1870 to Nuevo Laredo, where two of his sons had set up residence. He died in the Mexican border town in 1890.Jesús F. de la Teja has written the most extensive biographical study yet done on this controversial Tejano, who deserves a place among the more familiar names in the litany of the illustrious patriots of the Texas Revolution. Here is a wealth of information for serious historians but, even more, a readable and informative account for any person interested in early Texas history. This reprint edition of the out-of-print classic contains a new introduction.

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By Frank de la Teja, Ph.D.

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .