Will wolves return to Texas?

There used to be several subspecies of the grey wolf in Texas and now, to all intents and purposes, there are no wolves at all. They were driven out over the course of the twentieth century, the Mexican wolf practically becoming extinct and the red wolf often being reduced to interbreeding with coyotes. Their systematic… Read More

Hispanic influence on the vocabulary of the Old West

The Hispanic legacy in ranching, cattle driving and the Old West in general is readily apparent in many of its words and terms. The word ranch is familiar to everyone these days as a word for a large stock-farm and herding establishment. This meaning only emerged in the early 1830’s and its origin, strangely, is… Read More

History: Newspaper archives – education

Education in the ‘Wild West’ usually conjures up an image of a packed classroom with mixed ages and genders, struggling their way through rather basic arithmetic or spelling. The reality is that it wasn’t all like that – sometimes the education was definitely advanced, and not just for boys, either. Here is an actual advert… Read More

Wild flowers of Texas

Texas is renowned for its colourful wild flowers which often occur in huge spreads and are the subject of ‘sightings’, when people come from far and wide to view the short-lived splendour. Natural prairies were always full of wild flowers, blooming among the grasses. Here is a small selection of some of the brightest and… Read More

The story of Cynthia Ann Parker

Cynthia was a little girl living with her extended family in a settlement fortified against Comanche raids, later called Fort Parker. On May 19th 1836 when she was 10 or thereabouts, the settlement was attacked by Comanche, Kiowa and Kichai Indians, taking the settlers completely unawares. Her grandfather, John Parker, had negotiated treaties with Indians… Read More

Comanche in Texas

Conflict with Indians began long before Texas had become an independent state and continued for 30 years after Texas joined the United States. There were several Indian tribes in the area but by far the largest, most successful and most notorious was the Comanche nation, known as the Lords of the Plains. Of all the… Read More

What the Civil War did to Texas

Texas joined the Confederates in March 1861 after seeing Abraham Lincoln elected without a single vote from the Southern States, and thus allied itself with the Deep South and its interests. There weren’t may plantation owners in Texas, but those that there were, had a disproportionate influence. The 182,000 black slaves that worked on the… Read More