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Preview — Lone Star by T.R. Fehrenbach
Read between April 30, 2017 - September 27, 2018
No civilization could exist without cities—the words are synonymous—
Yet, such is human ingenuity that no other species ever used the resources of a country more fully: the Coahuiltecans consumed spiders, ant eggs, lizards, rattlesnakes, worms, insects, rotting wood, and deer dung.
This word was spelled “Texas” frequently in old Spanish, in which the “x” was substituted for a “j” sound, and from this mistaken tribal name the land derived its name.
called the country Louisiana, after Louis XIV, and the river the Colbert, for the French minister, thus covering all bets. The Indians, however, continued to call the stream Misi Sipi, or Big River.
Formerly, he had not discovered any use for Texas, which at this time the Spanish called New Philippines—
Captive Indians were branded with the letter “G” (for guerra, signifying prisoner of war) on their cheeks with a hot iron, and thus marked as personal property. Many of these men were put to herding their masters’ cattle, and the transfer of the personal identifying mark, or brand, from
man to beast came about soon afterward. The brand, in New Spain, took on both legal and symbolic connotations. It became sacred.
Southern planters never thought of themselves as anything but a part of the maritime British world. When they revolted against the home country in 1775–76, they were not so much turning their backs on Europe as demanding new and more favorable arrangements with the Old World. Washington, in reestablishing economic ties with Britain, made this very clear. The Anglo-American leadership, after independence, did not want political connections or political involvement. They had a cold and clear understanding America did not have sufficient power to play that role.
They had three public virtues: thrift, because they had always been poor and Knox taught poverty was a disgrace; self-reliance, because in the new Reformed world every man felt himself something of an island; and industry, agreeing with St. Paul that who did not work should not eat. They interpreted the New Testament mainly as a moral destruction of aristocracy and beggardom. The quality of social mercy was not strained, but the idea made Scotch-Irish uncomfortable. Calvin, through Knox, extolled material success and despised human weakness. He had destroyed the old Christian concept of a ...more
These men were borderers, a filter between the wild frontier and the farmer-hunters, who came next. They were skilled in forest lore and knowledgeable about the Indian enemy. They were leaders in the worst of Indian years, and their advice was often sought, if not invariably followed. Many of them—and again Boone was one of these—had a certain respect and admiration for the Indians. But their gravitation was back toward civilization,
The rulers have not honesty and the people have not intelligence.”
But Texan patriotism was never based on concepts of government or on ideas. It grew out of the terrible struggle for the land. Significantly, Hispanic and European observers have continually called the true Texan—the descendant and inheritor of the frontier experience—the most “European,” or territorial, of Americans. The Texan’s attitudes, his inherent chauvinism and the seeds of his belligerence, sprouted from his conscious effort to take and hold his land. It was the reaction of essentially civilized men and women thrown into new and harsh conditions, beset by enemies they despised. The ...more
But above all they had a mystical view of the growth of the United States—a country grown so great that even fools could not completely destroy it.
A good horse could earn money for its owner, and there existed also a phenomenon that could only be compared to Americans’ passion for automobiles in later times: some farmers had, or acquired, horses they really could not afford.
No other breed, probably, could have lived contentedly for years on a far-flung frontier, where the distances between houses or farms was measured in miles. No Hispanic race, psychologically, could have endured it; the very notion chilled most Latin peoples to the core. They were gregarious; the Anglo-American, comparatively, was not.
Houston tended to be an ethical, rather than a moral, man.
Here ended that abortive culture in Texas, the cotton kingdom.
The first phase of the Civil War in Texas was over. The next phase was to last at least a hundred years.
Every Texan historian is aware of whole chunks of Texas history moved in fiction to other states, simply because the reiteration of violence and conflict on the soil of Texas became boring to Americans.
guerrilla (literally, “little war”).
observer said, Ford was after Indians, not out to learn geography. Now began the bloodiest
Ford, pistol in hand, loudly announced that the next man who tried to race would have to outrun a Texas bullet. As one Texas historian described the scene, he “restored morale.”
On the trail, he had been a charro hero; he was now only a poorly paid ranch hand.
When men suffer, they become politically radical; when they cease to suffer, they favor the existing order. WALTER PRESCOTT WEBB, PLAINS HISTORIAN
The Democrat platform of 1886 echoed most of the Alliance’s demands, and even more extreme, called for a law requiring stockholders of a corporation to be made financially responsible for all debts incurred by the corporation. This would have obviated the usefulness of corporations, of course, but in these years corporate enterprise was being much abused. Railroads and others could incur obligations with élan and go bankrupt with impunity, some men making fortunes in the process, while the general debacle and panic that ensued damaged everyone.
An industrial society had to be complex, and in no tightly organized society would human psychology afford much honor or reward to manual labor.
Few white men could equate their lot with the Negro and maintain an American self-esteem. No men willingly accept a loss of caste.
The Texan mind was always too direct, out of the frontier, to learn the true possibilities of hypocrisy.
He was moving into different country, yes—foreign, no.