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 6 of 10

Land is the Cry!: Warren Angus Ferris, Pioneer Texas Surveyor and Founder of Dallas County

Land Is the Cry! is the fascinating, untold story of Warren Ferris, a New York Yankee who deserves to be remembered as the "Father of Dallas County." Except for a twist of fate, Dallas, Texas, would have been named "Warwick" by its two founders, surveyor Ferris and land speculator William P. King. Historian A. C. Greene calls Warren Ferris the most "unappreciated figure in Dallas history." But Ferris has more than regional significance, for his remarkable story encompasses three arenas: the Niagara frontier of western New York, the fur-trading country of the Rocky Mountains, and frontier northeast Texas during the years of the Republic.Ferris merited fame even before he came to Texas in 1837. While working as a trapper and fur trader in the Rocky Mountains for six years, Ferris kept a diary of his adventures. This journal, the classic Life in the Rocky Mountains, accompanied by a map which he drew from memory, provided a unique and valuable picture of trapper and Indian life in the 1830s. Ferris also gave the public its first written description of Yellowstone's amazing geysers. As a businessman seeking to become a landowner, fur trader Ferris followed his brother Charles to Texas the year after the Texas Revolution. He became the official surveyor for Nacogdoches County, which then included much of northeast Texas west to the Trinity River. Although his brother returned to their hometown of Buffalo, New York, Warren Ferris spent another thirty-five years of his eventful life in Texas.Surveying at the Three Forks of the Trinity in 1839, Ferris entered the area before John Neely Bryan, the traditionally recognized founder of Dallas, and Ferris's surveys determined the line of streets and roads that shaped the future county. In 1847, Ferris settled down to farming east of White Rock Creek where he raised a family and helped build a community. This literate and versatile character was also a prolific letter writer, and much of the family correspondence to and from Buffalo has been preserved. These Ferris letters, and other family materials covering the period 1828-1885, help reconstruct the exciting life and times of Warren Ferris.Although Ferris might appear to be a stereotypical figure of Frederick Jackson Turner's trans-Mississippi West--fur trapper, surveyor, farmer--he is a complex and fascinating man. His long and varied career reveals some of the best and worst characteristics of the nineteenth-century frontiersman. A man worthy of the Romantic period, he was a flawed hero. His moods and motives often conflicted, producing a tension between his ideals and behavior. Warren Ferris's life is rich in human drama, an important frontier story of violent aggression, intrigue and scheming, poignant romance and bitter family quarrels. Susanne Starling has told a fascinating tale about an important figure of American frontier life.

Read More »

By Susanne Starling

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

McKinney Falls: The Ranch Home of Thomas F. McKinney, Pioneer Texas Entrepreneur

McKinney Falls State Park, which lies across the Colorado River from Austin, is the 672-acre center of a 40,000 acre tract where Texas pioneer Thomas Freeman McKinney established his ranch. This carefully researched and well-written history relates the fascinating life story of the influential frontiersman and entrepreneur who lived and ranched at McKinney Falls.Born in Kentucky in 1801, McKinney led an adventuresome life on the early Texas frontier. In 1823, he and his cousin Phil Sublett left Missouri with a Santa Fe caravan. Finding the market there glutted, they took their goods on south to Chihuahua, Mexico. Returning through Saltillo and San Antonio, they stopped long enough in Stephen F. Austin's fledgling Texas colony for McKinney to claim a league of land. En route home, the men stopped in Nacogdoches where both young men settled and married.McKinney became a successful trader, eventually moving to the Brazos River valley, a jumping off point for his pack trains of cotton to Saltillo. Handy with a Kentucky rifle and fluent in Spanish, he traveled in Texas and Mexico as a businessman and made valuable contacts for the commission business he founded at the mouth of the Brazos in 1834. His firm of McKinney and Williams prospered and helped supply the Texas revolution in 1835-36.In 1837, McKinney and others founded the Galveston City Company. When he moved the McKinney & Williams commission house there, he became one of the wealthiest leaders of the new Republic. He was a power behind the political scenes, supporting Sam Houston, among others. After statehood, he served in the Texas House of Representatives. A Unionist like Houston in 1860, McKinney opposed secession, but when Texas left the Union, he reluctantly helped the struggling Confederacy. Eventually Confederate mismanagement and corruption ruined McKinney and he lost his fortune. When he died at McKinney Falls in 1871, after years of ranching and raising thoroughbred horses, Thomas F. McKinney had lived an eventful and influential life that spanned the entire early history of Texas.

Read More »

By Margaret S. Henson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Mistress of Manifest Destiny: A Biography of Jane McManus Storm Cazneau, 1807-1878

Jane McManus Storm Cazneau (1807-1878) was a complex person who died at sea the way she lived--at the center of a storm of controversy. Whether as Aaron Burr’s mistress, land speculating in Texas, behind enemy lines during the Mexican War, filibustering for Cuba or Nicaragua, promoting Mexican revolution from a dugout in Eagle Pass, or urging free blacks to emigrate to the Dominican Republic, Cazneau seldom took the easy path. She foresaw a nation with equal rights for all in a world in which representative government was the norm rather than the exception.As a journalist, an advisor to national political figures, and publicist, she helped shape United States domestic and foreign policy from the mid-1840s into the 1870s. Cazneau’s most unique contribution was as a staff writer for John L. O'Sullivan, editor of the United States Magazine and Democratic Review, where she described the mission of the United States as "Manifest Destiny," thereby coining one of the most significant and influential phrases in American political history.A single parent and working mother, Cazneau was not a women’s rights woman who agitated for suffrage. She ridiculed the Seneca Falls housewives’ complaints because real oppression existed for women in the factories, in the needle trades, on Indian reservations, and in the Caribbean. Cazneau advised working women to educate themselves and take better-paying men’s clerical jobs.Although it appeared that her schemes and speculations failed, many of the policies she advocated eventually succeeded. She promoted the need for a steam navy and merchant marine fifty years before Alfred T. Mahan. She wrote about the problems of the working class sixty years before it became a Progressive crusade, advocated agrarian reform fifty years before Populists took up the cause, and assisted republican revolutionaries a hundred years before the United States awoke to the needs of the ordinary people in the sister republics of the Western Hemisphere.Cazneau's letters, books, journal, and newspaper articles leave little more than a hint of her intelligence and conversational wit, a mere suggestion of her sexuality and explosive temper, a glimpse of her courage and spirituality, and a trace of her sense of humor reflected in the sparkle of violet eyes beneath raven hair and a dark complexion that was her distinguishing trait. She was dedicated to the expansion of republican government; she had a special place in her heart for the abandoned and neglected, whether persons or animals; and she had a deep and abiding love for her country and faith in its people and in its future.

Read More »

By Linda S. Hudson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

New Texas History Movies

Many will remember Texas History Movies, a cartoon booklet that was distributed to Texas history students from the 1920s through the 1960s by Mobil Oil with its familiar Flying Red Horse logo. For decades Texas History Movies taught thousands of school children the varied history of Texas, from Columbus to the discovery of oil. Though the original version is now considered racist, it was for many students their first and only taste of Texas history.It is with great pride that the Texas State Historical Association announces the publication of our newest version of this timeless Texas history classic by the late Jack Jackson, award-winning scholar and illustrator. The New Texas History Movies is a totally revised edition with new cartoon strips and text by Jackson. Jackson gained fame as an underground cartoonist in the 1960s and, later, as an independent scholar who specialized in the history of the Spanish presence in Texas.Jack took much pride in this revision, for the original Texas History Movies was a great inspiration to him. As Jackson states in the afterword, it was his objective "to create a 'time- machine' effect that would make readers feel like they were there when the events occurred." He hoped that his "rendition of the old classic, Texas History Movies, would 'grab' a few young minds and make them want to learn more about the interesting people and events briefly touched on in this booklet." It could almost be said that Jack's love for Texas history began with Texas History Movies; and it is fitting that his work has come full circle with his rendition of this enduring Texas history classic.An Educator's Edition with additional content by Jana Magruder is available to help teachers incorporate this book into the seventh- grade curriculum. The TEKS-based guide contains activities and TAKS-based assessments for each chapter. It is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary connections between history and language arts teachers while building student skills in reading, writing, and social studies. Included in this Educator's Edition is a CD-ROM containing the materials necessary for easy classroom use.

Read More »

By Jack Jackson

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Old Red: Pioneering Medical Education in Texas

Tucked away in a corner of the University of Texas Medical Branch campus stands a majestic relic of an era long past. Constructed of red pressed brick, sandstone, and ruddy Texas granite, the Ashbel Smith Building, fondly known as Old Red, represents a fascinating page in Galveston and Texas history. It has been more than a century since Old Red welcomed the first group of visionary faculty and students inside its halls. For decades, the medical school building existed at the heart of UTMB campus life, even through periods of dramatic growth and change. In time, however, the building lost much of its original function to larger, more contemporary facilities. Today, as the oldest medical school building west of the Mississippi River, the intricately ornate Old Red sits in sharp contrast to its sleeker neighbors. Old Red: Pioneering Medical Education in Texas examines the life and legacy of the Ashbel Smith Building from its beginnings through modern-day efforts to preserve it. Chapters explore the nascence of medical education in Texas; the supreme talent and genius of Old Red architect, Nicholas J. Clayton; and the lives of faculty and students as they labored and learned in the midst of budget crises, classroom and fraternity antics, death-rendering storms, and threats of closure. The education of the state’s first professional female and minority physicians and the nationally acclaimed work of physician-scientists and researchers are also highlighted. Most of all, the reader is invited to step inside Old Red and mingle with ghosts of the past—to ascend the magnificent cedar staircase, wander the long, paneled hallways, and take a seat in the tiered amphitheater as pigeons fly in and out of windows overhead.

Read More »

By Heather Green Wooten, Ph.D.

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Pigskin Pulpit: A Social History of Texas High School Football Coaches

High school football is one of the identifying institutions of twentieth-century Texas. It is not unusual to see youthful football players placed on the same pedestal as the cowboy, oil man, or other icons of the Lone Star State. In fact, it is shaped in the image of its coaches who are, by and large, an enigma to most of us. We think of them as caricatures, men who are alternately revered and vilified (usually depending on how many games they have won recently), but they have always been members of a traditional, closed society, and we do not really know them in their complexities.Pigskin Pulpit opens the Texas high school coaching profession to historical scrutiny for the first time, examining this breed of men who shaped the game--and generations of players--in their own images. Tracing side-by-side the development of the game and the coaching profession from its beginnings to today, author Ty Cashion explains how this avocation wove itself so tightly into the fabric of Texas culture.Football fans and critics of the game alike will be drawn into this probing, analytical study that is sure to become a Texas classic.

Read More »

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Portraits of Community: African American Photography in Texas

African Americans have for the most part been absent from Texas's photographic history. Scholarly texts on photography rarely mention black Texans, and few museums have catalogued or displayed their work. Portraits of Community redresses this situation by presenting more than two hundred powerful images of black Texans taken by a group of little-known black photographers and includes deatiled interviews with the men and women behind the cameras. Alan Govenar, a writer, folklorist, photographer, and filmmaker in Dallas, has created a memorable book.

Read More »

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Prints and Printmakers of Texas: Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual North American Print Conference

This eclectic collection pulls together some of the best presentations made at the North American Print Conference held in Austin, Texas. Focusing on the printing arts in Texas, this group of leading scholars and authorities covered a wide range of subjects from early lithography and photography in Texas to today's armadillo posters and T-shirts. The high arts and popular culture alike are treated in this broad overview of prints and printmaking on the Texas frontier and in its urban centers.Contributors:• R. Pearce-Moses, "From Niépce to Now: Thirty Million Photographs in Texas"• R. Cox, "Dust Bowl Realism: Texas Printmakers and the FSA Photographers of the Great Depression"• F. Carraro, "Jerry Bywaters: A Texas Printmaker"• D. Farmer, "The Printmakers Guild and Women Printmakers in Texas, 1939-1965"• P. H. Brink, "The Galveston That Was: Requiem or Inspiration?"• N. Jacobson, "Armadillos, Peccadilloes, and the Maverick Posterists of Austin, Texas"• J. H. Fox, "TexStyle Art: The Evolution of Quality Silkscreened Imagery upon T-Shirts in Austin, Texas, 1968-1988"• K. B. Ragsdale, "W. D. Smithers: Pictorial Chronicler of the Big Bend Country of Texas"• B. Huseman, "The Beginnings of Lithography in Texas"• K. J. Adams, "Texas Impressions: Graphic Arts and the Republic of Texas, 1836-1845"• J. P. McGuire and D. Haynes, "William DeRyee, Carl G. von Iwonski, and Homeography, a Printing Process"• C. Brandimarte, "Immaterial Girls: Prints of Pageantry and Dance, 1900-1936"• R. Flukinger, "The Panoramic Photography of E. O. Goldbeck"

Read More »

By Ron C. Tyler

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Remember Goliad!: A History of La Bahía

When Sam Houston's revolutionary soldiers won the Battle of San Jacinto and secured independence for Texas, their battle cry was "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" Everyone knows about the Alamo, but far fewer know about the stirring events at Goliad.Craig Roell's lively new study of Goliad brings to life this most important Texas community.Though its population has never exceeded two thousand, Goliad has been an important site of Texas history since Spanish colonial days. It is the largest town in the county of the same name, which was one of the original counties of Texas created in 1836 and was named for the vast territory that was governed as the municipality of Goliad under the Republic of Mexico.Goliad offers one of the most complete examples of early Texas courthouse squares, and has been listed as a historic preservation district on the National Register. But the sites that forever etched this sleepy Texas town into historical consciousness are those made infamous by two of the most controversial episodes of the entire Texas Revolution--the Fannin Battleground at nearby Coleto Creek, and Nuestra Señora de Loreto (popularly called Presidio La Bahía), site of the Goliad Massacre on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836.This book tells the sad tale of James Fannin and his men who fought the Mexican forces, surrendered with the understanding that they would be treated as prisoners of war, and then under orders from Santa Anna were massacred. Like the men who died for Texas independence at the Alamo, the nearly 350 men who died at Goliad became a rallying cry. Both tragic stories became part of the air Texans breathe, but the same process that elevated Crockett, Bowie, Travis, and their Alamo comrades to heroic proportions has clouded Fannin in mystery and shadow.In Remember Goliad!, Craig Roell tells the history of the region and the famous battle there with clarity and precision. This exciting story is handsomely illustrated in a popular edition that will be of interest to scholars, students, and teachers.

Read More »

By Craig H. Roell

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

Road, River, and Ol’ Boy Politics: A Texas County’s Path from Farm to Supersuburb

In 1946, Williamson County, Texas, was profoundly rural. Reflecting the Democratic Party represented in Congress by Lyndon Baines Johnson, the county was based on an isolated agricultural economy and contained a rich brew of ethnic groups and cultures. Half a century later, Williamson County was one of the five fastest growing counties in the United States, a staunchly Republican homogeneous supersuburb north of Austin whose economy depended on the global market for computers and other high-technology products. How did this radical transformation occur?It came about largely through the machinations of a handful of local political and economic "bosses" who brought to Williamson County two great federal public works projects: Interstate Highway 35 and a dam on the tiny San Gabriel River. Those projects swept away the farmers and ranchers whose way of life had defined the county for 100 years and triggered explosive population growth. In Road, River, and Ol' Boy Politics, Linda Scarbrough tells a cautionary tale about the difficulties of anticipating ripple effects from large-scale public works "solutions" and of adequately planning for their environmental, economic, and cultural consequences. It is a central Texas tale that is pertinent in all of America's "oasis" cities across the dry Sun Belt, a repeating story that has come to define American patterns of suburban development.In her examination of the roots of the transformation of traditional agricultural land in an American county into modern suburbia, Scarbrough identifies three essential ingredients that are necessary for dynamic growth: the promise of a new source of water, the promise of a new major highway, and a politically skillful and determined local leader. Without these three key ingredients, the kind of growth that has occurred outside Austin, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, and Salt Lake City is not likely to happen.This book analyzes the spectacular growth and radical transformation of one American county in the last half of the twentieth century in the same way that Robert Caro's The Power Broker parsed the development of New York City and Long Island, New York, by looking at the public works projects of Robert Moses and how they set the stage for New York's economic domination over the eastern United States. The chief difference is that in Williamson County, Texas, no Robert Moses existed; instead, there were several "little Moses" characters who profoundly altered this agricultural outpost outside Austin through the public works they brought to fruition.

Read More »

By Linda Scarbrough

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .

S. Seymour Thomas, 1868-1956: A Texas Genius Rediscovered

This beautifully illustrated biography of S. Seymour Thomas is the compelling tale of a young boy from Texas who grew up to achieve artistic fame in Europe. A leading international artist in his day who studied at the Art Students League in New York and at the Académie Julian in Paris, Thomas is little known today. This new book by eminent art historian Cecilia Steinfeldt serves both as a tribute to a man of substantial artistic accomplishments and as an effort to revive interest in his distinguished career.Born in San Augustine, Texas, in 1868, Thomas moved with his family to Dallas a few years later. He was first recognized as an artist at the age of eight, when he won a certificate from the North Texas Fair Association for a pencil drawing of hunting dogs. At age twelve he illustrated a book about outlaw Sam Bass. As a teenager, after the family moved to San Antonio, Seymour began painting with oils and studied under Theodore Gentilz. It was during this time that Seymour painted his famous view of the San José Mission, featured on the book's cover.In Paris, Thomas won several medals at salons and met fellow American art student Helen Haskell, who became his wife. Once he had established his reputation as an artist, he turned most of his efforts toward portraiture, producing likenesses that combined a meticulous attention to detail with an effort to bring out each sitter's personality.This book, published by the Texas State Historical Association for the Witte Museum, is a fitting tribute to Seymour Thomas's life and work. Rich in details from family letters and diaries and illustrated with color reproductions of Thomas's paintings, as well as with family photos and examples from his sketchbooks, the book is a significant addition to our knowledge of Texas art and artists.

Read More »

By Cecilia Steinfeldt

Available for purchase at Legacy of Texas .