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The Archives

The Archives will become a repository of articles, images and information that may have been published elsewhere through the years. Please contact us for permission to use or publish these resources elsewhere.

Articles

  • A Hard Lot: Texas Women in the Runaway Scrape
    From the beginning, the women of Gonzales had supported the Texian revolt. In October, 1835, when Mexican dragoons attempted to reclaim the town’s cannon, the ladies had urged their men to resist. When the shooting started, Naomie DeWitt took scissors to her wedding dress to provide a flag that depicted a lone star, the cannon, and a belligerent challenge to the Mexicans. Read more …
  • San Jacinto: The Experience of Battle
    The late Sir John Keegan observed: “Many armies, beginning as crowds, remain crowdlike throughout their existence.” He was probably not thinking of the Texian Army of 1836 as he wrote those words, but they go far to explain its conduct. Read more …
  • “Valor, Wisdom, and Experience”: Early Texas Rangers and the Nature of Frontier Leadership.
    Spurred by Napoleonic notions of glory, Luther Giddings followed General Zachary Taylor into Mexico in 1846. As an officer in the First Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, he was no spit-and-polish regular. The Ohioan nonetheless shared a number of assumptions with West Pointers.  Read more …
  • Lines in the Soil: Lines on the Soul: Myths, Fallacies and Canards That Obscure the Battle of the Alamo.
    His first visit to the Alamo greatly stirred A. B. Lawrence. The year was 1840 and the old mission still lay in ruins. Nevertheless, already San Antonio de Béxar’s leading tourist attraction, its cold stones possessed the ability to inspire. Read more …
  • Plácido Benavides: Texas Hero or Tejano Turncoat?
    This article is a reconsideration, correction, and cautionary tale for historians—young and old. In 2006, Dr. Frank de la Teja, professor and chairman of the Texas State University History Department, approached me to participate in a symposium on his campus. The conference, he explained, would examine the contributions of Tejano leaders before the formation of the Texas Republic. He invited me, and several other Texas historians interested in Tejano topics, to prepare lectures on individual leaders. Under Frank’s editorship, the expanded essays eventually saw publication in the anthology, Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas. Frank asked me to take on Plácido Benavides. Read more …
  • J.H. Kuykendall’s Recollections of William B. Travis
    Nestled deep within the bowels of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, is a document few have examined, or even know about. It is a narrative sketch of William Barret Travis by his law clerk, J. H. Kuykendall. This reminiscence, contains details about Travis’s character and personality that no other source reveals. Find below some of my observations concerning this rare source—and the full text of Kuykendall’s recollections. Read more …

Teachers’ Corner

This section of the website is devoted to the thousands of fourth- and seventh-grade Texas History teachers who toil in the trenches to introduce the state’s rich legacy to the next generation. They all have my profound respect and admiration.

They will find below a number of resources they can use in their classes—without restriction and free of charge.

For twenty years my wife Deborah was an award-winning Texas History teacher in Victoria and Abilene. She is retired now, but she has agreed to assist me with this portion of the site. She has accumulated a wealth of materials and is happy to share them.

So, if you are a teacher, a student, or the parent of a student—watch this space! Deb and I are going to work hard to make sure that it is loaded with useful content.

  • Primary Document – Travis’s Letters (download PDF)
    Compare and contrast the letters written by William Barret Travis while the Alamo was under siege.
  • Excerpt from Noah Smithwick (download PDF)
    Evolution of a State: or Recollections of Old Texas Days. Austin, Texas: Gammel Book Company, 1900. Pgs. 112-117.
  • Battles of the Texas Revolution
    Presentation (download PDF-1.7 MB file)
    Lesson Plans (download PDF)
    Information Sheet (download PDF)