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The Texas Republic July 3rd, 2002. ISBN 1-55369-140-7 Paperback. Texas History, and pioneer life in Texas. $33.95 American. Part One of a trilogy: The Texas Republic, (1835-1846) Texas’ Independence. After the Republic, (1846-1859) The Mexican War to Secession. The End of Life.(1860-1878)The Civil War, and Reconstruction. Written as an early pioneer’s diary (a fictional diary based on historical persons and true events). See the story from the “eye-witness” point-of-view of a new settler to Texas.
Andrew was a freed slave who came from Louisiana to Texas to get a land grant. After meeting Sam Houston in Nacogdoches, he gets a land grant with his new wife, Delephine, a life-long friend. Andrew intends to build a cabin near a new fort on the Trinity. He is to report to Nacogdoches for three years in the army. As Andrew makes the trip to start building his cabin, bandits rob him, he is wounded, and his wife is killed.
Some Cherokees on a hunting party find Andrew, thinking at first that he is their trading partner, William Goyens, a freedman like Andrew. The Cherokee heal Andrew and take him in as a member of their tribe. Andrew later marries a Cherokee woman named Say-te-Qua (Morning Star), who is the tribe’s dream interpreter, a daughter of Chief Mush of the East Texas Cherokee.
Meanwhile, Mexico makes raids on Texan settlements, taking cattle and horses for their use. The settlers are struggling under an already harsh tax burden from a distant Mexico City. Sam Houston, as the head of the Texas Army, asks the Cherokee to scout for them. Andrew again meets Sam Houston to start his time of service as a citizen-soldier. Andrew’s journey takes him through the events that lead to the battle of San Jacinto, and Texas’ Independence, helping the reader to experience the people and times that made Texas the only state to be a republic for close to a decade.
Andrew, as the storyteller and main character, learned to read by copying letters from an old Bible that he found. He could draw from an early age. He drew pictures to say what he couldn’t write to show his admiration for those people who influenced him in his life (his mentors, such as Sam Houston and William Goyens, and tormentors such as Lamar).
I wrote and illustrated the books from stories I heard as a child and from careful research, such as accounts of true events taken from research from old newspaper articles to get things like records of wheat crops, storms, and events where the settlers clashed with each other, and with the Indians. I tried to draw the characters so the readers can see the real faces of characters important to the story.
NOTE: The book contains a copy of an actual letter written by Sam Houston to Caddo Chief Bintah inviting him to the 1843 Great Council. I copied the Sam Houston letter from the University of Oklahoma historical archives, which are quite vast. The letter had been burned in a house fire so I hand copied it to make it presentable and make a good copy of it for the readers to enjoy.
I’ve gotten information and backing for my books from several Texas organizations: the Lonesome Dove Church, the first organized church and settlement in the North Texas and the Red River settlements, the Sam Houston History Museum of Huntsville, the Collin County History Museum, and Heard Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc., both of McKinney. The Boy Scouts of America are additional supporters, since their scouting “Great Council” is fashioned after Sam Houston’s 1843 Great Council. The Grapevine and Farmersville Historical Societies, which have ties to the story, have also offered support.
My personal interests range from art, to music, and to restoring antiques. I also have made many of the objects seen in the illustrations in the book. My interest in writing, specifically, has been a life long journey of over 40 years. In my grandfather’s family, the youngest member of the family was trusted with the family’s history. This tradition came from my mother’s family, who were East Texas Cherokees. My mother’s name was Kituwha, or “Green Valley.” She took the name “Kit (with the Christian name Sarah) Green.” I’m the youngest of fraternal twins, so it was my duty and obligation to pass on the family’s history. I wrote many of these stories down as a youth and memorized them. It has been a burden and a joy all at the same time.
It is well worth reading these very detailed accounts of early Texas. You will see things from the Black and Native American perspectives, as well as those of the French, German, English, and Irish settlers who came here to farm some of the richest land available. Many of the Indian tribes in Texas were tribes who moved from the northern states. This blend of different cultures made for some interesting situations that the reader will experience ‘first hand.’
There is also a Glossary of Texan Terms for those that don’t speak “Texan” (Spanish and Indian words).
All three books were written from an accurate timeline and each year was a folder of events that I arranged chronologically in order to present the stories in the proper place and time frame.
When you read the stories you will get a good picture of what life was like for the early pioneers. Read about the people and events that made Texas, and Texans larger than life.
Thank you. JLB. The Texas Republic.