The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paris, Texas - the Movie

The movie is re-considered with commentary in French.
Se lancer dans la critique de son film préféré constitue une démarche très intimidante, voire inabordable. Face à l'oeuvre cinématographique qui vous a le plus touché, remué, bouleversé, comment ne pas rester, par un simple avis, en deçà de la réalité ? En effet, les mots semblent vains et incapables de traduire avec justesse l'émotion et la beauté qui transpirent de Paris, Texas, film d'une force telle qu'il me serre les tripes et me renverse l'âme à chaque vision.
Récit de la renaissance d'un homme (Travis, incarné par Harry Dean Stanton), des années après une histoire d'amour passionnelle avec Jane (Nastassja Kinski), qui l'a littéralement consumé et anéanti, le film de Wenders imprime définitivement sur la rétine, dans le coeur et dans la chair du spectateur des images, des plans, des émotions, des sensations d'une force incomparable et indescriptible. Les multiples visions de ce film me serrent irrémédiablement le coeur et me rendent physiquement fébrile tant l'histoire et sa narration parviennent à se frayer un passage jusqu'à la fibre la plus infime de mon être." 

Arte Publico Archival Collection

The UHD (University of Houston Downtown) Blog reports on the availability of the UH-based Arte Publico collection via EBSCO.

New full-text archive: Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection

"EBSCOhost has just released the Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection, a historical archive focusing on content related to Hispanic history, literature and culture in the United States. 

This new archive includes materials drawn from the "Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project," the largest national project ever to locate, preserve and disseminate Hispanic culture in its written form.  These collections include Spanish and English language books, pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines from colonial times until 1960. 

Although national in scope, the Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection is particularly strong in materials reflecting Hispanic cultures in Texas. These Texas materials include accounts of the Texas Revolution, publications on Texas government and civil rights, a selection of Texas newspapers and magazines, and more.  

Look for Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 1 under Other Choices on the History and Spanish database pages of the UHD Library website."


Phil Collins and the Alamo

Yes, Phil Collins the British singer is fascinated with the Alamo. D Magazine.  Peter Simek begins his article "File this under most random celebrity obsession: British rock star, former Genesis man, and one of those rare drummer/front men, Phil Collins, has an obsession with the Alamo. In fact, he has the largest private collection of Alamo memorabilia in the world. He will be in Dallas on May 10 to speak about his life and the collection at the Dallas Historical Society. There is more information in the release after the jump (but please ignore the ridiculousness of the unqualified remark about Collins being the best drummer in the world contained therein). Also, note to Phil Collins: Begin every lecture with the drum intro from "In the Air Tonight" and your audiences will swell."  Read more about it ....

Is Holland Taylor Ann Richards?

Galveston's 1894 Grand Opera House releases this:
"The Grand 1894 Opera House will present the launch of "Money, Marbles, and Chalk" – an affectionate sketch of Ann Richards in its first version and a one-woman show starring Emmy Award-winning stage and screen actress, Holland Taylor.  Celebrating a "darling daughter of Texas", this production is scheduled for a limited engagement, May 14-16.  Show times are Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; Sunday matinee, 2pm."  Read more at

And who says Galveston lost its sense of purpose and humor in the hurricane?

Is Kathleen Turner Molly Ivins?

Maria Recio reports for the McClatchy Newspapers

Texas Mystery Month - May

Make Mine Mystery posts activities throughout the state for "Texas Mystery Month" under the title "Texas Mystery Month, Mark Troy."  It begins
"Twelve years ago, the Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas chapter came up with the idea of celebrating mysteries in Texas in the month of May. Twelve years later, that idea is still going strong. So, if you write mysteries or if you like mysteries, Texas is the place to be in May. Here is the lineup of events, courtesy of Sarah Ann Robertson, of HoTXSinC. I, personally, would love to welcome you to College Station, Texas on May 1.
Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter is pleased to announce the
Twelfth Annual 2010 Texas Mystery Month in May. Texas Mystery Month is a community service project of Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Project. The purpose of Texas Mystery Month is to spotlight Texas Mystery Authors. All Texas Mystery Authors are invited to participate.
Texas Mystery Month events include panel discussions, book signings, author presentations and more. Austin, College Station, Houston, San Antonio and Seguin are celebrating Texas Mystery Authors with activities in May, Texas Mystery Month."  Read more about it:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Texas Observer Writers Festival Lacunae

The Rag Blog
Dick Reavis in the "Rag Blog" posts a telling commentary on the Texas Observer "Writers' Festival." Re the lack of Tejano or African Texan authors.  The numerous comments that followed are equally instructive.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Southern Methodist University Press to Die?

   Michael Merschel in his "Texas Pages" at the Dallas News brings news about the apparent closing of the venerated Southern Methodist University Press, est. 1937 and still quite active.  He begins
"The future of the award-winning Southern Methodist University Press is at risk today after university provost Paul W. Ludden announced plans to suspend operations for budgetary reasons. (Link is to today's Dallas Morning News story.)
Ludden noted that "challenging budgetary times" are when "difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions must be made." He said that "By suspending operations rather than closing the press with finality, we retain the option to resume the press in a renewed form in the future."
Mark Long's comment regarding the reversion of copyright control to the original authors is point to remember -- for the authors and potential re-printing by other presses.
The Parlor wonders if this will be followed by a re-start with only digital publishing as did Rice University recently.
Read more about it :

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

TEKS Watch

Inquiring minds may wish to follow UTEP's
"The state of Texas is currently revising its K-12 social studies Texas curriculum. The process begins with the standards--known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)--and will then move on to textbooks, testing, and educator certification.

TEKSWatch exists to educate citizens--in Texas and the nation--and encourage them to participate in the conversation."

Texas Wildflowers by Slight Clutter


Texas Wildflowers by slight clutter

Creative Commons, some rights reserved


Texas Wildflowers [saturated] by slight clutter.

Slight Clutter's original caption: "Took off on a hunt for wildflowers yesterday. My search took me to Brenham, Texas. This photo was taken alongside the road near an overpass.

I have to add that I suffered greatly for my "art," leaving Brenham with at least four dreadfully painful fire ant bites. Oh, but don't worry, they got there's in the end -- I promise you. mwahaahaahaahaa! "

Journal of Texas Women Writers

 Journal of Texas Women Writers  a digital Journal
Description from the Texas Digital Library page:  "Journal of Texas Women Writers (JoTWW) is an online, peer-reviewed, biannual journal dedicated to fostering Texas women's writing and to studying texts by Texas women writers. JoTWW publishes creative writing (nonfiction, fiction, poetry, etc.) by women writers from or currently living in Texas, scholarly articles about the lives and texts of women writers from Texas and/or women writers who have lived for significant periods in Texas, brief encyclopedic entries on cultural issues relevant to Texas women's writing, as well as reviews of creative, critical, and biographical studies that include Texas women writers. JoTWW's critical articles focus on well-known Texas women writers, such as Katherine Anne Porter (below), Sandra Cisneros, Mary Karr, and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, on lesser-known Texas women writers (such as Dorothy Scarborough, Jane Gilmore Rushing, and Naomi Shihab Nye), and on non-Texas women writers whose texts are set in—or are in some way related to—Texas."
Vol. 1 No. 2 (2009) Table of Contents

Vol 1, No 2 (2009)

Digital Collections - Texas History, Literature, etc.

The Texas Digital Library ( ) connects you to a variety of colleges' digital collections.
See some sample stories at
The TDL Conference is May 17-18
TCDL 2010 logo

State Preservation Plan - 10 year review

Tracey Silverman passes along this news.

Logo for the Texas Historical Commission Statewide Plan




Every 10 years, the THC and our partners develop a Statewide Preservation Plan for Texas. This is an important opportunity to lay a pathway for Texans to preserve, protect and leverage our historic and cultural assets for the betterment of our communities. We envision this plan being a dynamic, web-based tool loaded with resources, best practices, case studies and local applications. It will have an eye toward achievable goals and activities that we can all implement at the local, regional and state level. But in order for this plan to be about you, we need your help. Here are two easy ways you can get involved:


1.      Come to a planning forum. We'll be in your neck of the woods this summer, so mark your calendars for a statewide planning forum near you. Get up to date details on these forums, including printable flyers, by visiting our meetings page.

·         Canyon - May 20, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

·         Canton - May 25, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Canton Plaza Museum

·         Beaumont - June 15, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse

·         El Paso - June 28, 6-8:30 p.m.  (location TBD)

·         Alpine - June 29, evening reception; June 30, planning forum, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Museum of the Big Bend

·         Brownsville - July 15, 6-8:30 p.m. at the Alonso Building

·         San Angelo - July 22, 1:30-4 p.m. at the Cactus Hotel

·         Austin - July 28, 4-6:30 p.m. (location TBD)

RSVP to any of these meetings by contacting Rebecca Orr at or 512.936.9615.

2.      Visit our blog! We recently launched the Statewide Plan blog as a tool to keep everyone informed and involved. You'll find information about the plan and work to date, our draft themes/issues, news, resources and ways to get involved. We envision the blog to be an open dialogue about historic preservation, the challenges we face and the opportunities we can harness through a statewide plan. Come often and share what's on your mind.

We look forward to your participation!


Tracey Silverman, Agency Planner, Administrative Division, Texas Historical Commission, P.O. Box 12276, Austin, TX 78711-2276, 512.936.9615.

Monday, May 03, 2010

1813 Texas Revolution

Somos Austin    

For Austin historian, Tejano declaration has special meaning

"Every year since 2007, history scholars and history buffs dressed in period costumes of the early 1800s gather to re-enact a forgotten piece of the story of Texas — the declaration by Tejano settlers of the first Republic of Texas on April 6, 1813.
As he prepares to commemorate that history again tomorrow in San Antonio — at 2 p.m. in front of the Spanish Governor's Palace, 105 Plaza de Armas — historian Dan Arellano says the fourth-annual Tejano Declaration of Independence re-enactment has even more meaning this time.
If the social studies curriculum endorsed by the State Board of Education is approved next month, the First Republic won't be overlooked anymore, at least not in Texas schoolbooks, said Arellano, the president of the Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin. The Austin group co-sponsors the re-enactment with the Bexareno Genealogy Society of San Antonio."

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Lone Star Lit 101

Cyndi   Cindy Hughes , Executive Director of the Writers League of Texas and founding director of the Texas Book Festival, provides an interesting list of Texas authors from the previous two decades in the "Dog Canyon."  She calls it "Lone Star Lit 101."  Includes literature, history,  a wide variety of literary forms: Bestsellers, Prize winners, Westerns, Children's books, Poets, Journalists, Texas Monthly, Dang Good Books, Mysteries, Inspirational, Grand Dames, Romances, Science Fiction, and Historians. About 70 authors in all.
She says "Unlike so-called Southern literature, which tends to focus on family, the history of the south, and even race and Gothic mystique, Texas lit doesn't have a distinctive Texas voice or typical subject matter. That is quite okay with me. Why should Texas writers echo one another and all be forced to write about Texas? I would argue that the fact that Texas writers crank out such an amazing variety of books makes our literary scene the most vibrant in the whole United States. Take that, Big Apple!"
Folks at the Parlor and Bookshelf suggest that the lack of a distinctive voice simply marks Texas as a large and diverse community where the wide open spaces also reflect the wide open minds of Texans.

Retro / Metro Texas

Michael B. Ennis provides and interesting essay on old Texas and new Texas under the title "No Hat, No Cattle" via Texas Monthly.

DRT Elaine Davis Award

News from "Inside the Gates" at the Alamo:

"The Daughters of The Republic of Texas Library is now accepting applications for the 2010 Elaine B. Davis Research Award.
Professors, undergraduates, graduate students, genealogists, and independent scholars interested in using the library's unique materials for research are encouraged to apply. The Davis Award provides one grant of $400. The winning applicant must use the funds to offset travel, lodging, and photocopy costs incurred in the course of conducting research at the DRT Library."  Read more about it:

Friday, April 09, 2010

Texas Observer Writers' Festival

 The Observing folks offer a new Writers' Festival
2010 banner
Join us for the First Annual
Texas Observer Writers' Festival
Celebrating Texas books and authors

Lehrer graphic
Jim Lehrer

executive editor and anchor of The NewsHour on PBS will talk about his new novel
A Random House Hardcover to be released April 20, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 12-6 pm, Scholz Garten in Austin
Then join us for six sessions on books, art and culture:
Jan Reid & Bill Minutaglio - Writing About Texas Music
Joe Landsdale& Robert Leleux - East Texas Scribblers
H.W. Brands, Jim Hightower, & Sissy Farenthold - Pride and Populism
Alison Macor& Josh Rosenblatt - Austin Film on Paper
Jake Silverstein& Bob Moser - Texas Journalism, Fact and Fiction
Sarah Bird& Spike Gillespie - Texas-Sized Humor

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Preserve Historic Structure and Archeological Sites

An ALERT from the Texas Historical Commission

Texas Preservation Trust Fund

Fiscal Year 2010 Grant Program


The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is accepting Texas Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program applications for fiscal year 2010. Application forms are now available on the THC web site at, or by contacting the THC at 512/463-6094. 


The deadline for receipt of applications is 5 p.m. on Friday, June 11, 2010.


The Texas Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program application process for fiscal year 2010 will be a two step process. First, all applicants are required to submit a brief application form to the THC for review. The THC will select the highest priority projects from the initial applications and invite those applicants to move forward to the second step. Successful applicants will continue the process by submitting detailed project proposals by November 30, 2010. Full project proposals will be considered by the THC for final grant awards in January 2011.


The Texas Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program is your opportunity to save and protect Texas' threatened historic structures and significant archeological sites. Grant awards may be used for restoration work, architectural planning, archeological investigation, preservation planning, curatorial, resource survey, and heritage educational training. 


By submitting an application, you are notifying our office of educational needs in your community and advising us of endangered historic properties and archeological sites that may soon be lost if this valuable assistance is not provided. We encourage you to submit an application so we may continue to demonstrate the need for our efforts.


Play a part in preserving significant historic resources and providing heritage education across Texas!


For questions regarding this grant program, contact the THC Architecture Division at 512/463-6094.

Historic School Buildings

National Trust for Historic Preservation

An ALERT from the Texas Historical Commission:
National Trust for Historic Preservation Seeks Applications for Pilot Grant Program for Historic School Buildings

Do you know of a historic school in need of preservation funding? The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, is currently seeking applications for a new pilot grant program that will fund the stabilization or rehabilitation of historic school buildings by providing funding for construction expenses. Once construction is complete, these buildings must be open to the public for use by the community.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, government agencies, and school districts/school boards are eligible to apply. Religious organizations are not eligible for funding. The maximum grant amount will be $50,000.

Grant application must be postmarked by April 30, 2010. To read the complete guidelines and eligibility requirements, and to download an application form, visit the National Trust's web site, and scroll down to
the section titled "Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation Preservation Fund."


Southwest Field Office / National Trust for Historic Preservation
500 Main Street, Suite 1030 / Fort Worth, Texas 76102 / Phone: 817-332-4398 / Fax: 817-332-4512

Wildflowers Map DoT

The Texas Department of Transportation keeps an interactive map showing the current reportings of "Texas Wildflowers and Fall Foliage."  Today there are 97 reporting sites.  The map will not reproduce here, but find it at

Archives War video

  Sarah Jackson (that's not Sarah in the photo; it's Angelinia Eberly shooting off her cannon's mouth; photo courtesy of Wikipedia) at the Harris County Archives alerts us to a new video on the removal of the capital from Austin to Houston and the famous or infamous "Archives War."  The video is part of television channel KTBU 55's historical "Postcards From Texas" series.  President Lamar wished to move the capital for a good reason - attract settlement across Texas.  Then Houston, the next president and the city, objected.  I don't mean to shock you, but politics, personal jealosies, city pride, national security, and pecuniary matters of concern motivations emerge.  We wont spoil the plot of the story by telling you who eventually won.  But remember, the story is "weird."  See "Houston: The Original Capital", according to historian Stephen Hardin, archivist David Gracy, and others at

Skulls, Slaves, and Sex, Secrets of Early Texas

The Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground pass along this Symposium news:


ANNOUNCING  the 10th Annual Battle of San Jacinto Symposium - Saturday April 17, 2010 - Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, University of Houston Central Campus


Discovery of the Mexican Soldier Skulls -- In 2009, Symposium founder Jeff Dunn discovered the existence of six skulls of Mexican soldiers who were killed in the battle of San Jacinto.  Four of these skulls were retrieved by American naturalist John James Audubon during his trip to Galveston and Houston in May 1837 and sent to his friend Samuel Morton.  Morton was a natural scientist who lived in Philadelphia and collected crania from around the world.  Two other Morton colleagues also sent him skulls of slain Mexican soldiers from San Jacinto battlefield.  Morton's unique collection, including these six Mexican soldier skulls, is now preserved at  the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.  Following this exciting discovery the Symposium Committee through Jan DeVault retained internationally-renowned Doug Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution to conduct a forensic examination of the skulls.  His research findings will be presented publicly for the first time at the 2010 Symposium.  More on the Mexican skulls is available right now, just click this title  "The Mexican Soldier Skulls of San Jacinto" .

But we aren't stopping with skulls.  We also have outstanding scholars who will be talking about slavery in Texas, Sam Houston's legal problems with his Texas girlfriend, and sex in revolutionary Texas!

Our speakers for the 2010 Symposium:

Jeff Dunn, founder of the San Jacinto Symposium, on the discovery of the Mexican skulls

Dr. Ron Tyler, Director, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, on John James Audubon's visit to Texas in May 1837

Doug Owsley, Division of Physical Anthropology, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, on the forensic examination of the six skulls of Mexican soldiers killed at the battle of San Jacinto, discovered in the Samuel Morton Collection

Dr. Andrew Torget, Assistant Professor of History, University of North Texas, Denton, on his groundbreaking digital Texas Slavery Project

James W. Paulsen, Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston, on the marital legal issues that complicated the romance between Sam Houston and Anna Raguet

Lael Morgan, author and lecturer of Communications, University of Texas at Arlington, on sex in revolutionary Texas

And returning as moderator, Dr. James E. Crisp, Associate Professor of History, North Carolina State University.


See also:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

El Paso Literary Heritage - Con Tinta

From La Bloga, we learn that El Paso literary heritage receives notice via two of of their children who led lives of leadership in the Tejano and Chicano literary renaissance.  They've received "Achievement Awards" from Con Tinta (see ), which "believes in affirming a pro-active presence in American literature. We come together in the spirit of intellectual/artistic dialogue and of recognizing our literary/social histories. Con Tinta's mission is to create awareness through cultivating emerging talent, through promoting creative expression, and through establishing alliances with other cultural/political organizations."  Pásame el sobre, por favor.  And the winners are ....
The awards will be given at the upcoming Association of Writers and Writing Programs ( )
2006 (Austin) – raúlrsalinas and Rolando Hinjosa-Smith
2007 (Atlanta) – Judith Ortiz Cofer
2008 (New York City) – Sandra María Esteves and Tato Laviera
2009 (Chicago) – Carlos Cortez
2010 (Denver) – Abelardo "Lalo" Delgado and Dr. Alicia Gaspar de Alba

Medina Courthouse - Storage or Restoration

Medina County offcials are beset with problems. Yes, they need office space, yes, the courthouse could be restored, yes, the Texas Historical Commission will pay much of the Restoration cost, yes but the 1940's wings must be removed to qualify for the funds. Hey, says one guy, just leave it as it is and use it for storage.
Written story at

DRT Texas 23rd History Forum May 22

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo.


News from the "Inside the Gates" at the Alamo

"The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library in San Antonio will be holding its twenty-third Texas History Forum on Saturday, May 22, 2010, in Alamo Hall on the Alamo Complex. Entitled "Historiography: Texas History Detectives," this year's Forum will feature presentations by three distinguished historians, Gregg Cantrell, James E. Crisp, and Light T. Cummins.

What is historiography?

Historiography is the history of historical writing, specifically the history of how scholars have interpreted historical topics over time. In order to understand this, historiography also necessitates the study of why historians have chosen to examine and describe the past in particular ways."  Read more about it at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fess Parker dies but Davy lives!

Davy Crockett\Well, Fess Parker, the Texan who played Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, for all us baby boomers out there, has died.  But Evan Lewis, Western writer, wishes to contradict that fact in his delightfully ranging Western website "Davy Crockett's Almanack."  See his posting for a remarkable collection of Parker in the obligtory coonskin cap and dozens of other images (movie posters, book jackets, wallets, comic books, paraphenalia, photos, purses, serving trays, song sheets, cups, record albums, buttons, etc.) in graphic display at
And, yes, Betsy is included.  I still wish I had that lunch bucket.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Methodical Clerical Change in Harleton

THIS IS TEXAS, in case you forgot


The Longview News Journal carried this story "Pastor, 90, retires from Church" by Glenn Evans.  It begins:

"HARLETON — Built in 1914, the sanctuary at Harleton United Methodist Church was a six-year-old structure when Curtis Jennings was born.

The Rev. Jennings retired from his second go-around as a Methodist minister on Sunday, 24 years after coming to the historic sanctuary tucked in the sharp S-curve where FM 450 enters the Harrison County town.

"I always had the desire to preach to a small-town church," Jennings, who turned 90 this past Wednesday, said before the service. "This has been a real privilege. I don't intend to quit (preaching). As long as I have left, I'm going to read my Bible and brag on my wonderful God."

Succumbing to a call to preach in 1949, Jennings retired a first time in 1984. Two years later the former welder and World War II veteran was moving to East Texas. On Sunday, he recalled receiving 84 new church members and lamented the deaths of 40 others during his tenure."  Read more about it at

(Full disclosure: The Main Parlor's father was from Harleton, and the Parlor himself once studied for the Methodist pulpit.)

Some librarian needs to make a "ready reference card" under the subject "Preachers - Long serving"  Some historian needs to visit the various Texas denominational historical depositories and find who were the 10 oldest preachers in Texas for a collected biography volume.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Observations on the Pulpwood Queens Book Club

Robert Leleux, "Tex in the City" beautiful penman of the Observing Tribe, has gone to Canossa, aka Jefferson, and paid his humble dues unto Queen Kathy and returned with laudatory commentary much higher than the mouse under the throne. 
For the retinue's applause said report "Fake Fur, Big Hair, and la Vie Litteraire," is hereby made available for your perusal at your leisure, and pertaining to your reading pleasure.  For those still beyond the pale, wandering in ignorance, you also may draw sustenance through Leleux's narrative.  And yes a photographic depiction so sensitively captured by Ron Munden does precede the narrative exposition for those with no reading skills whatsoever.
Leleux begins: "Most folks celebrate the holidays with their own quaint traditions, and I'm surely no exception. Every year around Martin Luther King Day, a couple of hundred friends and I converge upon the deep woods of East Texas, dressed in hot pink satin, leopard-print capes and enough rhinestone tiaras to choke the entire Royal Court of the Cotton Bowl parade. Then we rat each other's wigs, throw a couple of high-steppin' theme parties, and award much-coveted statuettes to the person, for instance, who wore the best Barbie costume. Also to the person who wrote the year's best American novel." - and Leleux continues his stunning reportage online at
(The Parlor must make full disclosure:  My mother was born and raised in Jefferson.)

Austin's Old 300 Settlers' Descendants

    Stephen F. Austin's settlements of Southeast Texas began formally with his first group of 300 settlers.  Those descendants have a organization and website.  A portion of their introductory webpage reads:
"Thank you for visiting our web site. As Descendants of Austin's Old Three Hundred, we are proud of our heritage and pleased that you are interested in finding out about us.  

In brief, you should know our organization held its first meeting on
June 27, 1987, in the Stephen F. Austin State Park at San Felipe, Texas.
Our initial motivations became our organization's objectives: to keep alive for inspiration, for this generation and succeeding ones, the memories of
the spirit, courage, and character of the men and women who made up Stephen Fuller Austin's first colony of Texas, known as "The Old Three Hundred."

We encourage and foster research leading to the preservation and publication of history and records about this first group of courageous Texians; therefore, we not only help sponsor students who participate in the Texas State Historical Association's "Texas History Day," but also each year we award "The Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred Research Fellowship" for the best research proposal by a doctoral candidate focusing on Texas history during the years 1820 through 1836.  Austin's Old Three Hundred is proud to partner with the Texas State Historical Association in both of these educational endeavors.

We also assist in the preservation and protection of historical places and artifacts, including old cemeteries and other sites where Old Three Hundred colonists are buried."
Some other pages include

Austin's Original Old 300
Board Members
Membership Application
News and Events
Photo Gallery
General Store
Stephen F. Austin Bio

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bexar Archives Going Electric

News from UT's CAH:

"Briscoe Center Awarded TexTreasures Grant for Bexar Archives

February 25, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas – The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a TexTreasures grant to support online access to the Bexar Archives. The $19,930 grant was awarded by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission who administers the grant program with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant will fund a one-year project to create the Bexar Archives Online, a web-based, searchable research tool featuring digital images of the original Spanish-language documents along with the corresponding English-language translations.

Rebolledo's comments on Gálvez instructions to Domingo Terán, with suggestions for the founding of settlements at Béxar, La Bahía, and among the Asinais and Cadodaches, circa 1717. Bexar Archives, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; di_05751.
Rebolledo's comments on Gálvez instructions to Domingo Terán, with suggestions for the founding of settlements at Béxar, La Bahía, and among the Asinais and Cadodaches, circa 1717. Bexar Archives, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; di_05751.

"As the Bexar Archives are one of our most historically significant collections, I'm thrilled that this grant will improve access to this invaluable resource," said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. "This new initiative will create a powerful online presence for the Bexar Archives that will benefit researchers worldwide. It's a fitting continuation of the tremendous care and resources that the University has provided the Bexar Archives for more than 100 years."

Called "one of the greatest historical treasures of the American continent" by the late historian Lester Gladstone Bugbee, the Bexar Archives constitute the principal resource for the Spanish and Mexican history of Texas from 1717 to 1836. The TexTreasures project will digitize over 8,000 pages of original documents (via microfilm) and 125 volumes of corresponding translations, and will result in a web-based interface called Bexar Archives Online."

Parlor:  Remember the project is planned to take about a year.  But get ready.

Read more at:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Will's Texana Youtube Channel

After listening to the above video, click on the below link to go to the full site.

Upon arrival at Will's Texana Channel: Use the PLAYLIST button (then grid).

This Will's Texana Youtube Channel is created as a collector's channel, i.e., to collect videos from other folks' channels about Texas history, literature, nature, and other civilized contributions to modern Texas life. At present there are over 1,000 videos in the PLAYLISTS option, grouped in over 100 topical PLAYLISTS.
The playlists and the selected videos are woefully inadequate for the broadest coverage, even if selective. But it does link you to interesting videos (often downloadable for separate use).
Some are academic, others popular, some arcane. I've been selective Will's Texana Channel is created to provide some use and to demonstrate the utility of the video medium as a useful and growing means of exploring our community bibliography.
In the "SUBSCRIPTIONS" box on my site, you'll find over 70 that I recommend your consideration for subscription. Some are infrequent, other frequent in adding postings.
You also can subscribe to a channel if you have already established a Youtube channel for yourself. It's easy and free. You don't even have to post a video yourself, but it does enable you to subscribe and you'll receive occasional email notices from Youtube about new postings to the channels that you select. Click the RSS button to subscribe.
(See the next posting in the Texas Parlor for a sample of notices I've received recently.
If you wish to start a channel but are hesitant, contact me at willstexana {at} yahoo dot com
Good luck ! Will's Texana Channel

New Texana Videos on Youtube

New Videos from tamucarchives


New Videos from 1940AirTerminal


New Videos from NTxHistoryCenter


New Videos from PPHMConnectionCast


New Videos from texasfarmbureau


New Videos from HeirloomProject

New Videos from: "history texas"

The History of The Prairie

Texas Longhorn Football History


Texas Handbook and Communities

Handbook of Texas OnlineTSHA's Handbook of Texas Online staff has been collecting articles by selected categories now for some time for your convenient research and browsing.  One category is the "Communites Section" where maybe thousands of counties, cities, towns, and smaller communities have been handily collected alphabetically.  For example,
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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Texas Plantation Life

The Heritage Society in Houston passes along this infomation. 


March 18, 2010
Hill/Finger Lecture 
The Uncompromising Diary of Sallie McNeill
by Ginny Raska and Mary Lynne Hill
The Heritage Society Tea Room  12-1 p.m., $5 admission for non-members
Ginny McNeill Raska and Mary Lynne Hill will present the March 18 lecture in honor of National Women's Month. Ms. Raska and Ms. Hill have recently released their book, The Uncompromising Diary of Sallie McNeill, 1858-1867. This diary provides a glimpse of everyday life on an antebellum plantation in Texas and reveals the thoughts and observations of an educated young woman of the planter class. Ms. Raska, who transcribed the original diary, is a descendent of Sallie McNeill. Ms. Hill participated in the archeological field school at the Levi Jordan plantation in Brazoria County and utilized the diary as the basis of her Master's thesis.

If you would like to reserve a box lunch for this lecture, please contact Elizaabeth Martin by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2010.