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Bloody Bill Longley: the Mythology of a Gunfighter

Bloody Bill Longley: the Mythology of a Gunfighter

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Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Miller, Rick
Description: William Preston “Bill” Longley (1851-1878), though born into a strong Christian family, turned bad during Reconstruction in Texas, much like other young boys of that time, including the deadly John Wesley Hardin. He went on a murderous rampage over the last few years of his life, shotgunning Wilson Anderson in retribution for Anderson’s killing of a relative; killing George Thomas in McLennan County; and shooting William “Lou” Shroyer in a running gunfight. Longley even killed the Reverend William R. Lay while Lay was milking a cow. Once he was arrested in 1877, and subsequently sentenced to hang, his name became known statewide as an outlaw and a murderer. Through a series of “autobiographical” letters written from jail while awaiting the hangman, Longley created and reveled in his self-centered image as a fearsome, deadly gunfighter—the equal, if not the superior, of the vaunted Hardin. Declaring himself the “worst outlaw” in Texas, the story that he created became the basis for his historical legacy, unfortunately relied on and repeated over and over by previous biographers, but all wrong. In truth, Bill Longley was not the daring figure that he attempted to paint. Rick Miller’s thorough research shows that he was, instead, a ...
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Captain John R. Hughes: Lone Star Ranger

Captain John R. Hughes: Lone Star Ranger

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Date: February 15, 2011
Creator: Parsons, Chuck
Description: Captain John R. Hughes, Lone Star Ranger is the first full and complete modern biography of a man who served as a Texas Ranger from 1887 until early 1915. He came to the attention of the Rangers after doggedly trailing horse thieves for nearly a year and recovering his stolen stock. After helping Ranger Ira Aten track down another fugitive from justice, Hughes then joined Company D of the Texas Rangers on Aten’s recommendation, intending to stay for only a few months; he remained in the service for nearly thirty years. When Sgt. Charles Fusselman was killed by bandits, Hughes took his place. When Captain Frank Jones was killed by bandits in 1893, Hughes was named captain of Company D. As captain, Hughes and his men searched the border and identified every bandit involved in the killing of Jones. They all received justice. Toward the end of his career Hughes became a senior captain based in Austin, and in 1915, having served as a captain and ranger longer than any other man, he retired from the force. His later years were happy ones, with traveling and visiting friends and relatives. He became a Texas icon and national celebrity, receiving more ...
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Theoria, Volume 18, 2011

Theoria, Volume 18, 2011

Date: 2011
Creator: Heidlberger, Frank
Description: Annual journal containing essays, studies, book reviews, and other articles related to the history of Western Music Theory, methods of analysis, and analytical discussions of musical compositions. The appendix includes corrigenda from the preceding volume, information about contributors to the current volume, and an index of content in previously-issued volumes.
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Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War

Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War

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Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: LeJeune, Keagan
Description: Louisiana’s Neutral Strip, an area of pine forests, squats between the Calcasieu and Sabine Rivers on the border of East Texas. Originally a lawless buffer zone between Spain and the United States, its hardy residents formed tight-knit communities for protection and developed a reliance on self, kin, and neighbor. In the early 1900s, the timber boom sliced through the forests and disrupted these dense communities. Mill towns sprang up, and the promise of money lured land speculators, timber workers, unionists, and a host of other characters, such as the outlaw Leather Britches Smith. That moment continues to shape the place’s cultural consciousness, and people today fashion a lore connected to this time. In a fascinating exploration of the region, Keagan LeJeune unveils the legend of Leather Britches, paralleling the stages of the outlaw’s life to the Neutral Strip’s formation. LeJeune retells each stage of Smith’s life: his notorious past, his audacious deeds of robbery and even generosity, his rumored connection to a local union strike—the Grabow War—significant in the annals of labor history, and his eventual death. As the outlaw’s life vividly unfolds, Always for the Underdog also reveals the area’s history and cultural landscape. Often using the particulars of ...
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Walls That Speak: the Murals of John Thomas Biggers

Walls That Speak: the Murals of John Thomas Biggers

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Date: November 15, 2010
Creator: Theisen, Olive Jensen
Description: John Thomas Biggers (1924–2001) was one of the most significant African American artists of the twentieth century. He was known for his murals, but also for his drawings, paintings, and lithographs, and was honored by a major traveling retrospective exhibition from 1995 to 1997. He created archetypal imagery that spoke positively to the rich and varied ethnic heritage of African Americans, long before the Civil Rights era drew attention to their African cultural roots. His influence upon other artists was profound, both for the power of his art and as professor and elder statesman to younger generations. Olive Jensen Theisen’s long-time commitment to the art of John Biggers resulted from the serendipitous discovery of an early Biggers mural in a school storeroom in the mid-1980s. Theisen immediately recognized the artist, the work, and its significance. She then set about returning The History of Negro Education in Morris County, Texas to a place of honor and found herself becoming a friend and recorder of John Biggers’s stories and experiences relating to the creation of his other murals too, including Family Unity at Texas Southern University. Containing more than eighty color and black-and-white illustrations, Walls That Speak is a richly illustrated update ...
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Written in Blood: the History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen

Written in Blood: the History of Fort Worth's Fallen Lawmen

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Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Selcer, Richard F.
Description: In 2009 Fort Worth unveiled an elaborate, million-dollar memorial to its fallen police and firefighters going all the way back to the city’s beginnings in 1873. Fifty-eight of the ninety-five names on the memorial were policemen. Written in Blood is a more inclusive version of that idea because it covers more than just members of the Fort Worth Police Department; it includes men from all branches of local law enforcement who died defending law and order in the early years: policemen, sheriffs, constables, “special officers,” and even a police commissioner. Richard F. Selcer and Kevin S. Foster tell the stories of thirteen of those early lawmen—an unlucky number to be sure. They range from Tarrant County Sheriff John B. York through Fort Worth Police Officer William “Ad” Campbell covering the years from 1861 to 1909. York was the first local lawman to die—in a street fight. Campbell was last in this era—shot-gunned in the back while walking his beat in Hell’s Half-Acre. Co-authors Selcer and Foster bring academic credentials and “street cred” to the story, explaining how policemen got (and kept) their jobs, what special officers were, and the working relationship between the city marshal’s boys and the sheriff’s boys.
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Life and Death in the Central Highlands: an American Sergeant in the Vietnam War, 1968-1970

Life and Death in the Central Highlands: an American Sergeant in the Vietnam War, 1968-1970

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Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: Gillam, James T.
Description: In 1968 James T. Gillam was a poorly focused college student at Ohio University who was dismissed and then drafted into the Army. Unlike most African Americans who entered the Army then, he became a Sergeant and an instructor at the Fort McClellan Alabama School of Infantry. In September 1968 he joined the First Battalion, 22nd Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. Within a month he transformed from an uncertain sergeant—who tried to avoid combat—to an aggressive soldier, killing his first enemy and planning and executing successful ambushes in the jungle. Gillam was a regular point man and occasional tunnel rat who fought below ground, an arena that few people knew about until after the war ended. By January 1970 he had earned a Combat Infantry Badge and been promoted to Staff Sergeant. Then Washington’s politics and military strategy took his battalion to the border of Cambodia. Search-and-destroy missions became longer and deadlier. From January to May his unit hunted and killed the enemy in a series of intense firefights, some of them in close combat. In those months Gillam was shot twice and struck by shrapnel twice. He became a savage, strangling a soldier in hand-to-hand combat ...
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Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas

Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas

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Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: Moore, Stephen L.
Description: This fourth and final volume of the Savage Frontier series completes the history of the Texas Rangers and frontier warfare in the Republic of Texas era. During this period of time, fabled Captain John Coffee Hays and his small band of Rangers were often the only government-authorized frontier fighters employed to keep the peace. Author Stephen L. Moore covers the assembly of Texan forces to repel two Mexican incursions during 1842, the Vasquez and Woll invasions. This volume covers the resulting battle at Salado Creek, the defeat of Dawson’s men, and a skirmish at Hondo Creek near San Antonio. Texas Rangers also played a role in the ill-fated Somervell and Mier expeditions. By 1844, Captain Hays’ Rangers had forever changed the nature of frontier warfare with the use of the Colt five-shooter repeating pistol. This new weapon allowed his men to remain on horseback and keep up a continuous and deadly fire in the face of overwhelming odds, especially at Walker’s Creek. Through extensive use of primary military documents and first-person accounts, Moore sets the record straight on some of Jack Hays’ lesser-known Comanche encounters. “Moore’s fourth and final volume of the Savage Frontier series contains many compelling battle narratives, ...
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Birthing a Better Way: 12 Secrets for Natural Childbirth

Birthing a Better Way: 12 Secrets for Natural Childbirth

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Date: August 15, 2010
Creator: Cook, Kalena
Description: Birthing a Better Way: 12 Secrets for Natural Childbirth presents a fresh, proactive, and positive approach to why you may want to consider the safest and most satisfying kind of birth—natural childbirth—especially in these times of overused medical interventions. Kalena Cook, a mother who experienced natural childbirth, and Margaret Christensen, M.D., a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist, have written this much-needed book for expectant mothers and their caregivers, imparting proven safe or “evidence-based” information with compelling narratives. Think of What to Expect in Natural Childbirth meets Chicken Soup for the Natural Birthing Soul! Unlike other books that overwhelm with data, Birthing a Better Way simplifies the best key points. Going beyond actual birth accounts, the authors reveal 12 Secrets which bring confidence in the normal process of birth and inspire you to believe in what your body is beautifully designed to do—a far cry from what is portrayed in the media or from some fear-based conventional medical practices. More than fifty powerful testimonials include healthy mainstream women who answer why they chose natural birth (instead of Pitocin, inductions, epidurals and C-sections), what it was like, and even how it compared to a medicated birth. Six physicians share why they birthed their own ...
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The Johnson-sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style

The Johnson-sims Feud: Romeo and Juliet, West Texas Style

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Date: August 15, 2010
Creator: O'Neal, Bill
Description: In the early 1900s, two families in Scurry and Kent counties in West Texas united in a marriage of fourteen-year-old Gladys Johnson to twenty-one-year-old Ed Sims. Billy Johnson, the father, set up Gladys and Ed on a ranch, and the young couple had two daughters. But Gladys was headstrong and willful, and Ed drank too much, and both sought affection outside their marriage. A nasty divorce ensued, and Gladys moved with her girls to her father’s luxurious ranch house, where she soon fell in love with famed Texas Ranger Frank Hamer. When Ed tried to take his daughters for a prearranged Christmas visit in 1916, Gladys and her brother Sid shot him dead on the Snyder square teeming with shoppers. One of the best lawyers in West Texas, Judge Cullen Higgins (son of the old feudist Pink Higgins) managed to win acquittal for both Gladys and Sid. In the tradition of Texas feudists since the 1840s, the Sims family sought revenge. Sims’ son-in-law, Gee McMeans, led an attack in Sweetwater and shot Billy Johnson’s bodyguard, Frank Hamer, twice, while Gladys—by now Mrs. Hamer—fired at another assassin. Hamer shot back, killed McMeans, and was no-billed on the spot by a grand ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Press