The Vanished Texas Of Theodore Gentilz

The dusty, busy town of San Antonio, Texas, must have seemed an immeasurable distance from home to the twentyfour-year-old Jean Louis Theodore Gentilz. Two months at sea and a grueling overland journey from Galveston separated the young man from his comfortable life as the son of a wealthy Parisian coachmaker. Now, late in 1843, he first looked upon the life he had traded for it. Many would have regretted the change, but something about the big, untidy new land got under Gentilz’ skin, and Texas would be his home for the rest of his life.Read more »

Saving the Longhorns

These hardy Texas beasts with “too much legs, horns, and speed” had long since been replaced by stodgier breeds. Now they were facing extinction…

If you are someone who thought the Texas longhorn was as dead as the passenger pigeon, here is a bit of news. At one time closer to extinction than the buffalo ever was, this historic breed is again doing quite well, thanks to a few dedicated cattlemen who recognized the debt owed by the Southwest to the millions of longhorn beeves that plodded up the Chisholm and Western trails to Kansas and Nebraska railheads in the two decades following the Civil War and brought a large measure of prosperity to the impoverished Lone Star State. Read more »

"MY REAL FRIEND, JOE"

Death came early and violently to Joe Chadwick. He was barely twenty-four when he died at Goliad, Texas, in 1836. Only a few weeks before, he had sent his mother a portrait of himself just painted by his good friend George Catlin, the great artist of the early American West. Catlin was pleased with the picture, which he made in St. Louis late in 1835.Read more »

The Storming Of The Alamo

None of its defenders survived, so that legends obscure their fate. But the facts do no dishonor to these beleaguered men, sworn to fight on until the end “at the peril of our lives, liberties and fortunes”

Few battles in our history have had more reverberations than the siege and assault of the Alamo, and yet no battle of consequence has been so skimpily reported.

In this action fewer than 200 men, most of them Americans, were besieged by 3,000 Mexican troops in a fortress built on the ruins of a Spanish mission at San Antonio, in Texas, then a part of Mexico, from February 23 to March 6, 1836, when the walls were stormed and the defenders slaughtered to the last man.

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Pioneers In Petticoats

Legend says the frontier was “hell on women,” but the ladies claim they had the time of their lives

I once had a conversation about the ways of the West with a wise and literate old man who had been a cowpuncher in Montana in the golden days of Charlie Russell and Teddy Blue. John R. Barrows was the author of a book called Ubet , describing the adventures of his parents who ran a stage station rejoicing in that typically jaunty frontier name. They had gone west with a wagon train from Wisconsin in 1879, taking several small children.