A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border

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It was on the South Texas border that the Mexican War began and the Civil War ended. Over the centuries the border area has been the setting for extraordinary endeavors, retrieved here in A Wild and Vivid Land: Jose de Escandon's gallant band of colonizers, the grandiose dreamers who struggled to create the 1840 Republic of the Rio Grande, the ill-fated Mier Expedition, and the soldiers who fought at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma in 1846. The dramatic historical events and the strong (sometimes headstrong) personalities that shaped the region's growth and development are skillfully integrated in evocative accounts of the steamboat commerce on the Rio Grande, where Richard King began to amass his fortune, the Civil War cotton trade, the sheep and cattle industry, the coming of the railroads (including the story of Uriah Lott's seven-thousand-dollar-a-mile Texas Mexican) in the 1880s, and the citrus and oil and gas industries of the twentieth century. Also recounted are Juan Cortina's brazen 1859 raid on Brownsville, the Union occupation of the Lower Rio Grande Valley in December 1863, the legendary defense of Laredo in March 1864, Catarino Garza's run from the Texas Rangers in the chaparral in the 1890s, and the stories of ordinary men and women who, throughout, endured floods and depression, bandits, revolutions, and drought.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876111673
  • Publisher: Texas State Historical Association
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JERRY THOMPSON, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, is among the best and most prolific historians of the Civil War in the Southwest and is an authority on the Texas-Mexico border. He is the author of numerous books and articles.

ANTHONY R. SANCHEZ JR. is a Laredo businessman and member of the Board of Regents at the University of Texas at Austin.

BRIAN E. O'BRIEN is a Laredo businessman.

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