Reading Recommendations: Frontier Texas, History of a Borderland to 1880, Robert F. Pace and David S. Frazier.
The West Texas Frontier, the area encompassing the region stretching from Fort Worth to the Caprock, from Palo Duro Canyon to the San Saba River, has been a crossroads of humanity for thousands of years. Each group of humans who have trekked across its sundrenched prairies has had to contend with the challenges of life in an area that has always been a climatic, geographical, political, and cultural borderland. In addressing these challenges, the people of the frontier have also had to develop perserverance, toughness, and determination, all the necessities for life on the Texas frontier.
This book tells the epic story of this region and its many transitions throughout the centuries. It traces the struggles and triumphs of many groups as they tried to tame the region for their own purposes. Early humans hunted mammoths and other game in the region. In the more recent centuries, this pattern evolved as the Jumanos followed the great Bison herds.
Other groups, the Apaches, then the Comanches, hunted and fought their way into the borderland region, only to be met by a new variety of neighbor , the Spanish. The narrative tells the story of how each of these groups contended with each other and with the harsh environment to scratch out an existence according to their own views of life.
Soon, the Spanish interest in the region became obscured with the Mexican and then Texas Revolutions. With the growing numbers of Texicans crowding into the region, the dramatic struggle for control and dominance only increased. By 1845, with Texas's entrance into the United States, more formal efforts to tame the frontier came with forts and soldiers. Cattlemen and their herds now shared the plains with the buffalo and the Plains Indians.
Battles and ambushes, justice and injustice defined the struggle for the next several decades. The military abandoned the region during the Civil War, only to return with force upon its completion. The vast postwar expansion of the cattle industry and the systematic slaughter of the buffalo herds ensured that Americans would claim the region permanently, and that the Plains Indians' dominance of the frontier had come to an end.
By 1880 barbed wire, windmills, railroads, and town demonstrated that the frontier had been permanently transformed.
And, Texas Women On The Cattle Trails, edited by Sara R. Massey.
Texas Women On The Cattle Trails
"Largely neglected on accounts of the early Western cattle industry, women often played a more active role than ranching tradition has indicated. Some even rode the long trails on horseback or in a wagon, stoically carrying their share and more of the work load, facing the hardships and hazards with their cattle driving men folk. The authors describe the remarkable lives of sixteen such pioneer women who made their mark in what has long been considered a mans world."
And, for those interested in the political scene: Madam President, Is America ready to send Hillary Clinton to the White House?; Suzanne Goldenberg.
Nothing can be more timely than a look at a woman who, win or lose, is set to be one of the dominant personalities of 2008. And few seem better placed to assess Hillary Clinton than the always keen-eyed Suzanne Goldenberg.
See you at Rylander!