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 4 of 10

A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border

With more than 150 images, many never before published, historian Jerry Thompson tells the story of what Pulitzer Prize-winning historian William H. Goetzmann has called a "wild and vivid land." From the Coahuiltecan Indians and the Spanish colonizers who clustered along the banks of the Rio Grande, to the cattlemen and oil wildcatters who conquered the brush country, Thompson details six centuries of exciting and entertaining history in a thoroughly researched and comprehensive text, lavishly illustrated by the work of artists Lino Sanchez y Tapia, Theodore Gentilz, and Frederic Remington, photographers Robert Runyon, E. O. Goldbeck, and Russell Lee, and many others.It was on the South Texas border that the Mexican War began and the Civil War ended. Over the centuries the border area has been the setting for extraordinary endeavors and events, many of them related in A Wild and Vivid Land: José de Escandon's gallant band of colonizers, the grandiose dreamers who struggled to shape the 1840 Republic of the Rio Grande, the ill-fated Mier expedition, and the soldiers who fought at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma in 1846. The dramatic historical events and the strong personalities that influenced the region's growth and development are skillfully presented in words and pictures. Readers will see the steamboat commerce on the Rio Grande, where Richard King of King Ranch fame began to amass his fortune; the Civil War cotton trade; the sheep and cattle industries; the coming of the railroads in the 1880s; and the citrus and oil and gas industries of the twentieth century. Thompson also recounts Juan Cortina's brazen raid on Brownsville; the Union occupation of the Lower Rio Grande Valley in December 1863 and the Confederacy's legendary defense of Laredo in 1864; Catarino Garza's run from the Texas Rangers in the chaparral in the 1890s; and the ordinary men and women who, throughout, survived floods and depressions, bandits, revolutions, and drought.The exciting history presented here is distinguished by scrupulous scholarship and by the author's clear enthusiasm and love for South Texas. This book of remarkable pictures and stories is the kind of book one returns to again and again, that causes one to muse and dream on the past. The South Texas border becomes vivid in the mind--a singular and an unforgettable encounter.Contents:• The Land• Coahuiltecans• Spanish Exploration• José de Escandón• Camargo, Reynosa, Revilla, and Mier• Dolores• Laredo• San Patricio, Corpus Christi, and Dolores• Revolutions• Republic of the Rio Grande• Second Texas-Mexico War• Mier Expedition• Mexican War• Steamboats on the Rio Grande• Brownsville• Cortina War• Secession and Civil War• Guerrilla Warfare in the Nueces Strip• Reconstruction• Catarino Garza• Gregorio Cortez• Mexican Revolution• Railroads• Sheep and Cattle Industry• Jovita and Nicasio Idar• Citrus• Oil and Gas• Falcon Dam and Reservoir

Read More »

By Jerry D. Thompson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Army Exploration in the American West. 1803–1863

First published in 1959, this book tells the story of the U.S. Army's role in exploring the trans-Mississippi West, particularly the role of the Topographical Engineers. An interdisciplinary book, it addresses the military's role in the founding of archaeology and ethnology in this country and includes art and photography as part of the story.

Read More »

By William Goetzmann

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

At the Heart of Texas: One Hundred Years of the Texas State Historical Association, 1897-1997

"History like that of Texas is rare. . . . Is it not discreditable to the people of Texas, that they should leave the collection of material for the history of the State to the great endowed Northern libraries? . . . Let Texas arouse herself for very shame, and begin at once the discharge of her filial duty." So wrote George Pierce Garrison in the first issue of the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, published in July 1897, just months after the establishment of the organization on March 2. The state of Texas was just half a century old; the city of Austin, going back to the days of the Republic, was a little older—a few years past its half-century; and the University of Texas, where Garrison was "the history professor," was not yet fourteen. Earlier attempts to organize historical societies in Texas, traced in the opening chapter, illuminate the factors that came ultimately to be decisive in the success of the Association: the wisdom in linking the organization with the University of Texas, the inclusion of lay historians, and the continued insistence on high academic standards. And, from the beginning, the Association has established a tradition for publishing in the Quarterly, in addition to the Anglo story, the stories of the Indians, the Spanish, and the French. According to author Richard B. McCaslin, "It may be that the Association survived where its predecessors had not because Garrison, who was as much a Progressive historian as any of his contemporaries, understood the value of inclusiveness." The text is organized in chronological chapters by the tenures of the seven directors, George Garrison to Ron Tyler, all of whom were professors in the UT history department. Within the larger framework of the directors, the programs, and the publications, McCaslin gives shape to the unique interaction of forces—university, political, and the academic/lay membership—that has accorded the Association a character and suppleness that continues to ensure its long endurance. The book is profusely illustrated, and sidebars culled from past issues of the Quarterly complement the text.Winner of the Award of Merit from the Philosophical Socierty of Texas

Read More »

By Richard B. McCaslin

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Austin: A History of the Capital City

State capital and home of the University of Texas, Austin is the one city that belongs to all Texans. This finely written book, illustrated with historic photographs, tells the story of Austin’s transformation from an "Indian haunted" frontier village into a residential mecca and high-tech hot spot.Called by Sam Houston at its founding the "most unfortunate site upon earth for the seat of government," the infant community struggled for three decades against political enemies and competing towns before winning recognition as the permanent capital. The founding of the University of Texas turned the seat of politics into the seat of education, but Austin’s nineteenth-century dreams of becoming a river port and a factory town came to naught.A slave city in a slave state, Austin cast its lot with the Confederacy. Retaining a frontier flavor into the 1890s, post-Civil War Austin became the headquarters of the Texas gambling fraternity and a magnet for cowmen seeking "booze and women of the night."Turning the nineteenth-century frontier town into an appealing twentieth-century residential community taxed the energies of civic leaders for several decades. Virtually parkless and with no paved streets in 1900, Austin by the 1940s boasted tree-lined boulevards, a cornucopia of parks and pools, and a leisurely lifestyle. But for African American residents these were years of oppressive segregation. Mexicans encountered similar treatment as Austin became a tri-ethnic community during the 1920s and 1930s.Segregation gradually gave way in a divisive but nonviolent struggle. While adjusting to this, Austin experienced eye-popping expansion. Fearful that Austin would become "another Houston," residents sought to preserve the lifestyle that had made the capital city such an attractive place to live.

Read More »

By David C. Humphrey

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Basic Texas Books: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works for a Research Library(Revised Edition)

Anyone interested in Texas history will find Jenkins's bibliography indispensable. After fourteen years of research into the more than 100,000 books published on Texas since Cabeza de Vaca's Relación of 1542, Jenkins, formerly an Austin rare book dealer, author, and bibliophile, selected 224 books that he considered essential for any Texas library. The entry on each book provides a substantial critical essay and full bibliographical details on every printing and issue. An additional 1,017 books are discussed and appraised, and an annotated guide to 217 Texas bibliographies is included. This revised edition, now available at a new low price, includes more than 100 changes and additions to the 1983 edition.

Read More »

By John H. Jenkins

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times

Black leaders in Texas, both men and women, have contributed numerous examples of perseverance and triumph. This volume examines the lives of some of those black Texans who, in the words of Frederick Douglass, led the movement to "devise and carry out measures for their own social advancement, and for the general improvement of their condition." An excellent supplementary textbook.

Read More »

By Alwyn Barr and Robert A. Calvert

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Chronicles of the Big Bend: A Photographic Memoir of Life on the Border

As a young teamster on a pack-mule train, Wilfred Dudley Smithers saw the Rio Grande's Big Bend for the first time in 1916, and it captured his imagination forever. For decades thereafter he returned to Texas' last great frontier—the great bend of the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border—chronicling the region and its people in words and photographs.After half a century of photography, Smithers' superlative collection of nine thousand images ended up at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1976 more than one hundred of these were reproduced in Chronicles of the Big Bend, a critically acclaimed work that until now has long been out of print.The years that Smithers chronicled in the Big Bend were sometimes violent ones. Pancho Villa and Chico Cano were among the many "bandits" playing hide-and-seek with the U.S. Cavalry—events Smithers recorded. He was also an eyewitness to liquor-running and smuggling during Prohibition. His principal subjects, however, were the people of the Big Bend: local ranchers, Mexican American and American families, miners, Texas Rangers, and others living simple lives in this harsh and beautiful land.With words and camera Smithers wanted to capture "vanishing lifestyles, primitive cultures, old faces, and odd, unconventional professions. Before my camera I wanted huts, vendors, natural majesties, clothing, tools, children, old people, the ways of the border." He also told his own life story along with that of the Big Bend.There are illustrated chapters on the military, law enforcement, curanderos (healers), liquor smugglers, avisadores (secret-message senders), and the national park. Smithers' word sketches and black-and- white photographs capture the harsh reality and stark beauty, the dust and the mystery of the frontier era of the Big Bend that ended in 1944 when it became a national park. Chronicles of the Big Bend is a rare documentary look at a frontier region as it was known by only a few and as it will never be seen again. It is a deeply personal human portrait of the majestic Big Bend.WILFRED DUDLEY SMITHERS (1895–1981) was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1895. He began taking photographs at age fifteen while living in San Antonio, and later worked as a teamster, joined the U.S. Army, operated a photo studio, served as a news correspondent, and helped pioneer aerial photography.

Read More »

By W. D. Smithers

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Civil War Texas

Written by one of the deans of Texas history, Civil War Texas provides an authoritative, comprehensive description of Texas during the Civil War as well as a guide for those who wish to visit sites in Texas associated with the war. In one compact volume, the reader or tourist is led on an exciting historical journey through Civil War Texas.Because most of the great battles of the Civil War were fought east of the Mississippi River, it is often forgotten that Texas made major contributions to the war effort in terms of men and supplies. Over 70,000 Texans served in the Confederate army during the war and fought in almost every major battle. Ordnance works, shops, and depots were established for the manufacture and repair of weapons of war, and Texas cotton shipped through Mexico was exchanged for weapons and ammunition.The state itself was the target of the Union army and navy. Galveston, the principal seaport, was occupied by Federal forces for three months and blockaded by the Union navy for four years. Brownsville, Port Lavaca, and Indianola were captured, and Sabine Pass, Corpus Christi, and Laredo were all under enemy attack. A major Federal attempt to invade East Texas by way of Louisiana was stopped only a few miles from the Texas border.The Civil War had significant impact upon life within the state. The naval blockade created shortages requiring Texans to find substitutes for various commodities such as coffee, salt, ink, pins, and needles. The war affected Texas women, many of whom were now required to operate farms and plantations in the absence of their soldier husbands. As the author points out in the narrative, not all Texans supported the Confederacy. Many Texans, especially in the Hill Country and North Texas, opposed secession and attempted either to remain neutral or work for a Union victory. Over two thousand Texans, led by future governor Edmund J. Davis, joined the Union army.In this carefully researched work, Ralph A. Wooster describes Texas's role in the war. He also notes the location of historical markers, statues, monuments, battle sites, buildings, and museums in Texas which may be visited by those interested in learning more about the war. Photographs, maps, chronology, end notes, and bibliography provide additional information on Civil War Texas.

Read More »

By Ralph A. Wooster

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Contours of Discovery: Printed Maps Delineating the Texas and Southwestern Chapters

Historic maps are a great untapped resource for studying aspects of social, political, and diplomatic history, the history of art, and linguistics. They show how various European nations perceived Texas and the Southwest and reflect the struggles for empire in the New World.These twenty-two maps, eighteen of which are reproduced in full color (22 x 17 inches or smaller), will be of value to anyone interested in Texas. An illustrated 66-page guide is included, authored by Robert Sidney Martin, Professor and Lillian Bradshaw Endowed Chair, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Women's University, and J. C. Martin, Interim Director of the Texas State Historical Association. Contours of Discovery comes in a handsome and durable portfolio, and all of the maps are suitable for display or framing.

Read More »

By Robert Sidney Martin and James C. Martin

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Dallas: A History of "Big D"

Dallas first grabbed the national imagination in 1936 when it hosted the Texas Centennial Exposition. Since then, the fascination with "Big D" has seldom flagged. If the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 cast a pall over the city, the success of the Dallas Cowboys and the popularity of the television series "Dallas" revived the image of a glitzy, hustling metropolis at the center of the Sunbelt.In this concise overview, Hazel examines the city's roots as a frontier market town, its development as a regional transportation center, and its growing pains as it entered the twentieth century. Ku Klux Klan dominance in the 1920s is chronicled, as well as the half-century of control by an elite group of businessmen. The narrative concludes with a look at today's city, struggling with issues of diversity.The author pays special attention to the role of ethnic groups in shaping Dallas: the French colonists of the 1850s; the German, Swiss, and Italian immigrants of the 1870s and 1880s; the Mexican Americans of the early twentieth century; and the Southeast Asians of recent decades. He also examines the role of African Americans, who came with the first Anglos and struggled for more than a century to gain equality.Dallas: A History of Big D is based on pioneer letters and reminiscences, as well as the research of recent years. Written in a popular style, it will appeal to scholars and general readers curious about how Dallas grew to become the nation's eighth largest city.

Read More »

By Michael V. Hazel, Ph.D.

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Documents of Texas History

Documents of Texas History, a valuable reference work for students, teachers, scholars, and history aficionados, provides an in-depth, firsthand understanding of Texas history. The 141 documents selected for this book are accounts of significant events in Texas history, beginning with Cabeza de Vaca's 1528 expedition and ending with the national influence of the Dallas Cowboys and their Super Bowl victory.In between these two events-separated by more than four centuries-are scores of documents on a broad range of social, cultural, and political events that have shaped the history of Texas and often affected the nation. Fascinating to read, they relate history as it was lived by the participants and their contemporary observers.The documents are drawn from a great number of sources: archives, historical periodicals, rare books, government publications, and newspapers. They are arranged in chronological order and each document is prefaced by an introduction that provides background and interpretation of the event or topic at hand. The editors' careful selections provide an excellent overview of Texas history in all its depth and diversity.

Read More »

By David M. Vigness, Ernest Wallace, George B. Ward, and

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Exploration and Empire: The Explorer and the Scientist in the Winning of the American West

In this classic work, Goetzmann argues that the exploration of the American West was not a series of haphazard adventures motivated by personal gain, but rather a series of carefully planned missions to promote the national good. He draws on the diaries and letters of explorers to contrast the early American expeditions, sponsored by the federal government to promote national development, with private British ventures, such as the Hudson’s Bay Company, which sought commercial gain.Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were the first explorers with a broad and explicit sense of national purpose, setting out in 1804 with instructions from President Thomas Jefferson to collect information "covering the whole range of natural history from geology to Indian vocabularies." And as Lewis and Clark traveled toward the American Northwest, William Dunbar and Dr. George Hunter journeyed south to collect information on the newly acquired Louisiana Territory.Two major eras of Western exploration followed the one launched by Lewis and Clark: the period of settlement and investment (1845-1860) and the era of the great surveys (1860-1900). During the first of these, explorers such as John B. Weller and John Russell Bartlett became political diplomats as well as discoverers as they surveyed the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. During the second period, explorers were no longer discoverers or diplomats, but academic scientists, such as Josiah Dwight Whitney, whose philosophy influenced twentieth-century attitudes toward conservation and the environment.

Read More »

By William Goetzmann

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .