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

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: