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Bill Thayer

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History of Texas

Histories and Source Documents

For now, there is no comprehensive history of the state on my site; but at the same time, several of the 76 books on American history onsite go into some detail, at one point or another, on some facet of Texas history. Those with the most are listed below.

[image ALT: A version of the seal of the state of Louisiana.]

Official Mexican Report on the Texas-Louisiana Boundary: The original report — although translated into English — prepared by Mexican surveyors in 1828 and establishing the boundary at the Sabine River. The United States put the border at the Rio Grande: the discrepancy was ultimately one of the principal causes of the Mexican War.

[image ALT: A map of (what would become) the eastern United States at the end of the 19c, shaded to show the Spanish portion in the west and the American portion in the east; where the two regions touch is deliberately blurry. It is the icon on this site for Arthur Preston Whitaker's book, 'The Spanish-American Frontier: 1783‑1795'.]

The Spanish-American Frontier: 1783‑1795 (by Arthur Preston Whitaker), subtitled The Westward Movement and the Spanish Retreat in the Mississippi Valley, is about Spain and Louisiana and the Mississippi and Kentucky; but Texas, her frontier, and her land claims also enter into the story, especially in chapters 4 and 9.

[image ALT: A map of the United States in which the South is broken off somewhat separately. The image is further explained on the text of the linked webpage, and serves as the icon on my site for Dumond's book, 'The Secession Movement, 1860‑1861'.]

Dwight Lowell Dumond's The Secession Movement, 1860‑1861 details how the North and South pulled apart. It's far more complex than is presented in school texts, which after all are designed as propaganda; Texas's particular path to secession is of course covered, if briefly, in chapter 10.

[image ALT: A Sturm-und‑Drang engraving of a battle scene in which six horsemen charge and overrun a cannon defended by three soldiers, two of whom brandish rifles — one of them appears to have been shot a second before — and the third, a drummer, lies dead in the foreground. It is meant to depict a scene of the Mexican War battle of Resaca de la Palma.]

The battle of Resaca de la Palma was an heroic episode in Lone Star history; a journal article covers it in fair detail, with illustrations and, more importantly, a map.

[image ALT: A close-up of a collection of papers spread out on a table. It is the icon used on this site to represent my American History Notes subsite.]

[ 9/21/11: 4 webpages, 154 pages of print ]

Here and there in the American History Notes section of the site there are other bits of Texas material; for now, four items chiefly concerned with the state, in as chronological an order as possible:

The Louisiana-Texas Frontier

Texas and the Boundary Issue, 1822‑1829

President Jackson and the Texas Revolution

The Mexican Raid of 1875 on Corpus Christi (primary source)

[image ALT: A flag consisting of a field divided into equal horizontal stripes, but the left third is fully occupied by a vertical with a single star. It is the flag of the State of Texas.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is the state's flag, of course, clearly inspired by that of the United States, but striking in its simplicity: its single star makes Texas the "Lone Star State".

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Site updated: 21 Sep 11