Where more poignantly than in a small country graveyard can a traveler fathom the flow of history and tradition? During the past twenty years, Terry G. Jordan has traveled the back roads and hidden trails of rural Texas in search of such cemeteries. With camera in hand, he has visited more than one thousand cemeteries created and maintained by the Anglo-American, black, Indian, Mexican, and German settlers of Texas. His discoveries of sculptured stones and mounds, hex signs and epitaphs, intricate landscapes and unusual decorations represent a previously unstudied and unappreciated wealth of Texas folk art and tradition. Texas Graveyards not only marks the distinct ethnic and racial traditions in burial practices but also preserves a Texas legacy endangered by changing customs, rural depopulation, vandalism, and the erosion of time.
About the Author
A sixth-generation Texan, the late Terry G. Jordan held the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas in the Department of Geography at the University of Texas at Austin. His many publications include Texas Log Buildings and German Seed in Texas Soil, both published by the University of Texas Press.
Table of Contents
- 1. The Truth about Cemeteries
- 2. The Southern Folk Cemetery in Texas
- 3. Traditional Southern Grave Markers
- 4. The Mexican Graveyard in Texas
- 5. The Texas German Graveyard
- 6. A Legacy Squandered?
- Map of Texas Counties
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a study of three types of old Texas cemeteries: the "southern" type (Anglo, African-American, and Native American), German, and Mexican. The author discusses the typical features of each kind and tries to establish the origins of those features. One of the points that I found most interesting was that the three cultures that make up the "southern" type had all adopted similar burial customs and that each culture had adopted some features from each of the others (i.e., no one culture completely dominated) despite having segregated cemeteries and not necessarily sharing the same religion. The book contains plenty of photographs showing the different types of grave markers, which I liked. Although the book is very much an academic study, it is well-written and easy to read.