Cattle Capitol: Misrepresented Environments, Nineteenth Century Symbols of Power, and the Construction of the Texas State House, 1879-1888

Cattle Capitol: Misrepresented Environments, Nineteenth Century Symbols of Power, and the Construction of the Texas State House, 1879-1888

Date: May 2011
Creator: Miller, Michael M.
Description: State officials, between 1882 and 1888, exchanged three million acres of Texas Panhandle property for construction of the monumental Capitol that continues to house Texas government today. The project and the land went to a Chicago syndicate led by men influential in business and politics. The red granite Austin State House is a recognizable symbol of Texas around the world. So too, the massive tract given in exchange for the building, what became the "fabulous" XIT Ranch, also has come to symbolize the height of the nineteenth century cattle industry. That eastern and foreign capital dominated the cattle business during this period is lesser known, absorbed by the mythology built around the Texas cattle-trail period - all but at an end in 1885. This study examines the interaction of Illinois Republicans and Texas Democrats in their actions and efforts to create what have become two of Texas's most treasured symbols.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
In justice to our Indian allies:  The government of Texas and her Indian allies, 1836-1867.

In justice to our Indian allies: The government of Texas and her Indian allies, 1836-1867.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Yancey, William C.
Description: Traditional histories of the Texas frontier overlook a crucial component: efforts to defend Texas against Indians would have been far less successful without the contributions of Indian allies. The government of Texas tended to use smaller, nomadic bands such as the Lipan Apaches and Tonkawas as military allies. Immigrant Indian tribes such as the Shawnee and Delaware were employed primarily as scouts and interpreters. Texas, as a result of the terms of her annexation, retained a more control over Indian policy than other states. Texas also had a larger unsettled frontier region than other states. This necessitated the use of Indian allies in fighting and negotiating with hostile Indians, as well as scouting for Ranger and Army expeditions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Slaveholders and Slaves of Hempstead County, Arkansas

Slaveholders and Slaves of Hempstead County, Arkansas

Date: May 2008
Creator: Houston, Kelly E.
Description: A largely quantitative view of the institution of slavery in Hempstead County, Arkansas, this work does not describe the everyday lives of slaveholders and slaves. Chapters examine the origins, expansion, economics, and demise of slavery in the county. Slavery was established as an important institution in Hempstead County at an early date. The institution grew and expanded quickly as slaveholders moved into the area and focused the economy on cotton production. Slavery as an economic institution was profitable to masters, but it may have detracted from the overall economic development of the county. Hempstead County slaveholders sought to protect their slave property by supporting the Confederacy and housing Arkansas's Confederate government through the last half of the war.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
"Victory is Our Only Road to Peace": Texas, Wartime Morale, and Confederate Nationalism, 1860-1865

"Victory is Our Only Road to Peace": Texas, Wartime Morale, and Confederate Nationalism, 1860-1865

Date: May 2008
Creator: Lang, Andrew F.
Description: This thesis explores the impact of home front and battlefield morale on Texas's civilian and military population during the Civil War. It addresses the creation, maintenance, and eventual surrender of Confederate nationalism and identity among Texans from five different counties: Colorado, Dallas, Galveston, Harrison, and Travis. The war divided Texans into three distinct groups: civilians on the home front, soldiers serving in theaters outside of the state, and soldiers serving within Texas's borders. Different environments, experiences, and morale affected the manner in which civilians and soldiers identified with the Confederate war effort. This study relies on contemporary letters, diaries, newspaper reports, and government records to evaluate how morale influenced national dedication and loyalty to the Confederacy among various segments of Texas's population.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Wyatt Cephas Hedrick: Builder of Cities

Wyatt Cephas Hedrick: Builder of Cities

Date: May 2008
Creator: Liles, Deborah M.
Description: Wyatt Cephas Hedrick, builder and architect, was born in Virginia in 1888 and came to Texas in 1913. At his death in 1964, Hedrick's companies had managed construction projects worth more than $1.3 billion. Hedrick's architectural business designed and built edifices of all kinds, including educational facilities, hotels, military bases, railroad terminals, courthouses, and road systems. His companies built all over the United States, and in some foreign countries, but primarily in Texas. The purpose of Hedrick's structures and their architectural styles changed to accommodate historical events. This can be seen by examining many of the commissions he received during the 1920s and 1930s. Hedrick had a unique opportunity to participate in years of great change and development in Texas, and he played a vital role in the history of those times. This thesis examines the career of Wyatt C. Hedrick from his beginnings in Virginia through his years in Texas, closing in 1940. As a builder, he played a major role in changing the skylines of Texas cities, especially Fort Worth.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Adapting on the Plains: the United States Army's Evolution of Mobile Warfare in Texas, 1848-1859

Adapting on the Plains: the United States Army's Evolution of Mobile Warfare in Texas, 1848-1859

Date: May 2013
Creator: Buchy, Mark B.
Description: The Army, despite having been vexed for a century on how to effectively fight the Plains Indians, ultimately defeated them only a decade after the Civil War. This thesis will bring to the forefront those individuals who adapted fighting techniques and ultimately achieved victories on the Texas frontier before the Civil War. The majority of these victories came as a result of mounted warfare under the direction of lower ranking officers in control of smaller forces. The tactic of fighting Indians from horseback was shown to be effective by the Rangers and later emulated by the Army.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
What Went Wrong?  How Arrogant Ignorance and Cultural Misconceptions Turned Deadly at the San Antonio Courthouse, March 19, 1840

What Went Wrong? How Arrogant Ignorance and Cultural Misconceptions Turned Deadly at the San Antonio Courthouse, March 19, 1840

Date: May 2008
Creator: Copeland, Cristen Paige
Description: Although the Council House Fight is well written about in the annals of early Texas history, this all-encompassing study will reveal a whole new picture. Unlike previous works that maintained one point of view, multiple perspectives were analyzed and explored to allow a more comprehensive view of the Council House Fight to emerge. Primary focus on social and cultural misunderstandings, as well as the mounting hostility between the Penateka Comanche and Texians across the frontier, will demonstrate their general distrust and hatred of the other. Detailing their complicated relationship will prove that neither the Texians nor the Comanche were without blame, and both shared responsibility for the deterioration of events on and before March 19, 1840.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Rise of a Two-Party State: A Case Study of Houston and Harris County, Texas, 1952-1962

The Rise of a Two-Party State: A Case Study of Houston and Harris County, Texas, 1952-1962

Date: December 2007
Creator: Dunbar, Crystal Rose
Description: This thesis discusses the rise of the Republican party in Texas and specifically Harris County. The time period is the decade between the Presidential election of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the campaign of Jack Cox for Governor. Changes in the structure and leadership of the Republican party at the state level and specific precincts are examined in detail in chapter one. Leaders in Houston during this time period, such as Jesse Jones, Roy Cullen, and Oveta Culp Hobby are discussed in chapter two. The elections of Eisenhower, Cox, and Republican John Tower are analyzed in chapter three. The conclusion finds six major factors for the political changes occurring in Harris County, including economic and demographic changes. Main sources for this work included the Harris County Democratic party records and the Jack Cox Papers at the Center for American History, the Eisenhower Library, and the John Tower Papers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Texas Confederate Home for Men, 1884-1970

The Texas Confederate Home for Men, 1884-1970

Date: August 2011
Creator: Kirchenbauer, Amy Sue
Description: Founded in 1886 by a local veteran’s organization, the Texas Confederate Home for Men served thousands of veterans throughout its tenure. State-run beginning in 1891, the facility became the center of controversy multiple times, with allegations of mistreatment of residents, misappropriation of funds, and unsanitary conditions in the home. Despite these problems, for several decades the home effectively provided large numbers of needy veterans with a place where they could live out their remaining years. The home was finally closed by the state in 1965, and the buildings were demolished in 1970. The facility’s success helped to inspire Texas to introduce a veteran pension system, and brought forth a new era in the state’s willingness to take care of veterans once their wars were over.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Prison Productions: Textiles and Other Military Supplies from State Penitentiaries in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War

Prison Productions: Textiles and Other Military Supplies from State Penitentiaries in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War

Date: August 2011
Creator: Derbes, Brett J.
Description: This thesis examines the state penitentiaries of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas that became sources of wartime supplies during the Civil War. A shortage of industry in the southwest forced the Confederacy to use all manufactories efficiently. Penitentiary workshops and textile mills supplied a variety of cloth, wood, and iron products, but have received minimal attention in studies of logistics. Penitentiary textile mills became the largest domestic supplier of cloth to Confederate quartermasters, aid societies, citizens, slaves, and indigent families. This study examines how penitentiary workshops converted to wartime production and determines their contribution to the Confederate war effort. The identification of those who produced, purchased, distributed, and used penitentiary goods will enhance our knowledge of overall Confederate supply.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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