Little scholarly analysis has been devoted to the hypothesis that antebellum Texas women generally married within their own socioeconomic (slaveholding) class, and thus had only limited choice in the selection of marriage partners. This quantitatively based investigation suggests that the popular image should be carefully qualified. This study reveals that although a majority of Texas women who married during the early 1850s chose men who had the same slaveholding status, a significant minority crossed class lines. By using marriage records of the period in correlation with information gleaned from the census, conclusions were reached. Contemporary women's diaries, letters and reminiscences were investigated, in addition to a historiography of marriage in the South, which created the background for this study.
The problem with which this study is concerned is that of analyzing the implementation of the stated purposes of Lon Morris College of Jacksonville, Texas from 1847 to 1973. Histories and journals of the period, records and publications of the school and other institutions, and oral interviews of persons involved in its development provide data for the study. As a historical analysis, the study is divided according to successive periods in the school's development.