Fertile Ground, Narrow Choices: Women on Texas Cotton Farms, 1900-1940 / Edition 1

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Overview

A moving account of women's lives on Texas cotton farms during the first half of the 20th-century, this book reveals their substantial contributions to the southern agricultural economy and to family life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book covers the life and role of women on the farms in a most delightful way. It is necessary reading for those of us raised on tales of how live was in those years….Rebecca Sharpless did a great service to the history and culture of Central Texas by writing this fine book."—The Mexia News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807847602
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1999
  • Series: Studies in Rural Culture
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Sharpless is director of the Baylor University Institute for Oral History in Waco, Texas.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Women, Cotton, and the Crop-Lien System
1. Women, Daughters, Wives, Mothers: Gender and Family Relationships
2. Keeping Warm, Keeping Dry: Housekeeping and Clothing in the Blackland Prairie
3. Living at Home: Food Production and Preparation in the Blackland Prairie
4. Making a Hand: Women's Labor in the Fields
5. Life Beyond the Farm: Women and Their Communities
6. Staying or Going: Urbanization and the Depopulation of the Rural Blackland Prairie
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Maps

Major physical features of the Blackland Prairie of Texas
Counties of the Blackland Prairie of Texas
Moves of the Rice family, Hunt County, Texas

Illustrations

Spring plowing, Williamson County
Mother and children at a cotton wagon, Kaufman County
Board and batten tenant farmer's house, Ellis County
Landowner's daughter weighing cotton, Kaufman County
African American church on the open prairie, Ellis County

Tables

Table 1. Number of Tenants and Landowners in Four Blacklands Counties, 1900-1940
Table 2. Average Age of Farmers' Wives at First Marriage in Four Blacklands Counties, by Ethnic Group, 1900 and 1910
Table 3. Average Number of Births and Surviving Children Born to Farmers' Wives under Age Forty-Five in Four Blacklands Counties, by Ethnic Group, 1900 and 1910
Table 4. Months of Field Work Women Performed Per Year, by Ethnic Group
Table 5. Percentage of Women Performing Farming Tasks, by Ethnic Group, in Hill County, 1921
Table 6. Literacy Rates for Women under Age Forty-Five in Four Blacklands Counties, by Ethnic Group, 1900 and 1910
Table 7. Change in Numbers of Tenants and Farm Owners in Four Blacklands Counties, 1930 and 1940
Table 8. Population Growth of Towns in Four Blacklands Counties, 1900-1940
Table 9. Population Growth of Major Blacklands Cities, 1900-1940

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