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Frontier Texas: History of a Borderland to 1880

Overview

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 trekked across its sun-drenched prairies 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 developed perseverance, toughness, and ...
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Overview

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 trekked across its sun-drenched prairies 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 developed perseverance, toughness, and determination-all 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. Then came the Jumanos following the great bison herds, then the Apaches, the Comanches, the Spaniards, and the Texans. By 1845, with Texas' entrance into the United States, more formal efforts to tame the frontier brought forts and soldiers. Cattlemen and their herds 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 towns demonstrated that the frontier had been permanently transformed.

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Editorial Reviews

Glenn M. Busset
One of the top hard-to-put-down frontier history books....Thoroughly readable, meticulously researched and smoothly written...a delight to read.
The Manhattan Mercury
Midwest Book Review
A highly accessible history for lay readers and serious students alike.
West Texas Historical Association Year Book
". . . an excellent starting point for anyone interested in studying Texas history. . . . well written and easily understood, touching on the highlights with enough detail to keep the reader interested, but not too much as to bore them. The bibliography is useful for further exploration into Texas history and the index is handy when searching for specific names, places, or events."
Southwest Book Views
a highly readable ...and handsome volume for the bookshelf.
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
". . . a lively narrative."
The Journal of Southern History
". . . written in a lively style and is filled with interesting tidbits of Texas frontier history placed within a broader context. . . . Frontier Texas is an excellent read for all audiences. Academics should beware--this book makes history fun."
New Mexico Historical Review
"Written in the best narrative tradition, Frontier Texas is full of good stories, wonderful yarns, and pleasing anecdotes. . . . [an] engaging and informative little book that will stand solidly on its own."
Marie Beth Jones
The authors tell their colorful story with skill and enthusiasm....It's history for those who love to read about how things really were.
The Brazosport Facts
Fritz Lanham
an engaging introduction to the region...lively and anecdote- filled.
Houston Chronicle
True West Magazine
. . a primer for a good overall glimpse of this fiery Western frontier.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933337517
  • Publisher: McWhiney Foundation
  • Publication date: 12/1/2004
  • Pages: 274
  • Sales rank: 1,389,253
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author


ROBERT F. PACE is chair of the History Department at McMurry University.DONALD S. FRAZIER is a professor of history at McMurry. Frazier served as history consultant for Frontier Texas, an interactive historical attraction which opened this year in Abilene.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : the Texas frontier borderland 11
Ch. 1 Comanches, Spaniards, and the land, 1700-1821 20
Ch. 2 Settlements, forts, and soldiers, 1821-1861 37
Ch. 3 Ranching and the cattle frontier to 1861 72
Ch. 4 Civil war and the Texas frontier, 1861-1865 96
Ch. 5 The military returns to the frontier, 1865-1880 130
Ch. 6 Destruction of the buffalo and the rise of the cattle frontier, 1855-1880 165
Ch. 7 The frontier transformed 206
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