Texas by James A. Michener

  Texas is a work of historical fiction. Apart from the well-known actual people, events, and locales that figure in the narrative, all names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to current events or locales, or to living persons, is entirely coincidental.

  2014 Random House eBook Edition

  Copyright © 1985 by James A. Michener

  Cartography copyright © 1985 by Jean Paul Tremblay

  All rights reserved.

  Published in the United States by Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

  RANDOM HOUSE and the HOUSE colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.

  Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Random House, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, in 1985.

  eBook ISBN 978-0-8041-5141-2




  Arrangements for my thirty-month research work in Texas were made by then-Governor William Clements, who fulfilled every promise he made and to whom I am grateful. My neighbor Margaret Wilson and my landlord Jack Taylor were helpful in arranging several of the meetings listed. I wish to thank the following for enlightening me on many facets of Texas life and history:

  Land: Virginia Madison, Hallie Stillwell and Professor Barton Warnock of Sul Ross University on the Alpine area. Horace Goar on the land formations of East Texas. Clayton Williams on West Texas.

  Water: Water, hot oil, is the lifeblood of Texas, and the Ogallala Aquifer controls the availability of water for West Texas. During many local inspections of aquifer-fed land, the following were helpful: Dr. Idris Traylor of Texas Tech, on the basics; David Underwood of Lubbock and Joe Unfred, on utilization; Derrel Oliver of Muleshoe, on deep wells. Data on rainfall and climatology in general were checked against Texas Weather, a new book on the subject by George W. Bomar. Mr. Bomar, of the Texas Department of Water Resources, Weather and Climate Section, personally provided data for the rainfall map. David Murrah, Texas Tech, helped with books.

  Animals: R. P. Marshall of the King Ranch spent two fine days with me lecturing on the habits of quail, and V. W. Lehman allowed me to read the manuscript of his masterful research study; it is now a beautifully illustrated book and the authoritative work on quail. Sam Lewis of San Angelo, fastest tongue in the West, introduced me to the armadillo, and Don English, present owner of the historic Appelt Armadillo Farm, allowed me to work with their lively stock. Professor Robin Doughty verified recent scientific data on these controversial little animals. Horace Goar taught me about wild turkeys and took me on a hunt. Bob Ramsey of Hunt showed me how to rattle up a buck and also how to make flint arrowheads in caveman style.

  Cotton: Because the cultivation, ginning and utilization of this important fiber would form a leitmotif of the novel, I needed to do intensive work in three different parts of the state. Professors Ray Frisbie and Joe Knox Walker of Texas A&M, on controlling the boll weevil. The Harris Underwood family of Lubbock, on dryland cultivation. Mike McDonald, on preparing cotton for industrial use. Robert Hale of Littlefield, on milling denim.

  Ranching: Ranch life is still a salient feature of Texas, and I was privileged to visit some of the best known or most typical. Mary Lewis Kleburg and Tom Kleburg of the vast King Ranch were repeatedly hospitable. B. K. Johnson of La Pryor was instructive; I attended two of his cattle sales. Bill Blakemore showed me his large spread near Alpine; in the same vicinity D. J. Sibley and his wife, Jane, shared their fairy-tale castle atop a mountain, with the six battlement towers, one for each of the Texas flags. The Presnall Cages of Falfurrias not only let me inspect their ranch but also showed me my first mesquite flooring. At Dripping Springs, the H. C. Carters offered friendship and expertise, and the Hardy Bowmans allowed me to participate in a birthday party at their ranch. Nancy Negley of San Antonio and the Palomas Ranch arranged a quail-and-turkey hunt for my instruction, and the Elizio Garcias of Encino showed me one of the oldest ranches in Texas. In Old Mexico, Charlie and Sabela Sellers of Sabinas entertained delightfully. Bill Moody and Violet Jarrett of Del Rio graciously explained their ranches, as did Mac and Eleanor McCollum of Houston. At his ranch near Brownwood, Thomas Cutbirth gave me a fine introduction to old-style barbecuing.

  Exotic-game Ranching: I developed a special interest in how Texas ranchers endeavor to preserve certain forms of wildlife that may be disappearing in other parts of the world. The famous YO Ranch of Kerrville allowed me to prowl its pastures. Veterinarian Dr. Stephen Seager of A&M invited me to watch his researches in the field. Thomas Mantzell of Fort Worth had more sable antelope on his ranch than I ever saw in Africa. Lou and Wanda Waters of Utopia had a splendid ranch, and John Mecum, Jr., of Houston invited me to watch the dispersal of his huge exotic-game ranch along the Rio Grande. Dale Priour of Ingram provided technical data.

  Longhorns: Charlene and Red McCombs of Johnson City invited me to their ranch for various events and also shared several hours with me on the revival of this historic breed. Jack Montgomery of Yuma, Colorado, read my segments on the Longhorn. Joan and H. C. Carter of Dripping Springs were always helpful, as was Walter Schreiner of the YO Ranch. Don and Linda Wiley of Austin took me to a chain of Longhorn ranches.

  Spanish Backgrounds: So much for the land; now for the historical subject matter. On the Spanish heritage, San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros was most helpful. Victor Neimeyer of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas arranged for valuable contacts in Mexico, where Dr. Israel Cavazos of Monterrey, and Jesus Alfonso Arreola and Javier Guerra Escandón of Saltillo offered perceptive comments. Countless consultants in both Mexico and Texas offered help of basic understandings, and the fact that I had previously written an entire book on Spanish culture speeded the discussions.

  Spanish Mission Life: Dr. Felix D. Almaráz, Jr., of San Antonio showed me in detail the great missions of that city. Ben Pingenot of Eagle Pass shared his unrivaled knowledge of San Juan Bautista, the mission which was so important to early settlement in Texas. Charles Long, the lively curator of the Alamo, was repeatedly helpful in sharing with me his knowledge of that historic mission, and Gilbert R. Cruz, National Parks historian, provided additional highlights. Constant visits to the other monuments of San Antonio were necessary, the restored Governor’s Palace being especially instructive.

  Early American Settlement: Drew McCoy of Brazoria showed me around that crucial area. Officials of the Star of the Republic Museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos were helpful, as were custodians of other valuable collections, especially Dorman Winfrey of the Texas State Library. For a basic understanding of how the early settlers reacted to the land they were occupying, I am indebted to D. W. Meinig’s excellent geographical study Imperial Texas. Clifton Caldwell generously presented research material.

  The Trace: John S. Mohlenrich of the National Park Service was instructive regarding the history of this important road, which I traveled twice. Ranger-actors who portrayed historical characters at stops en route were much appreciated. Rita Stephens of Natchez told me much about the old days on the Mississippi.

  Scottish and Scots-Irish Backgrounds: Myra and Gordon Porter of Carnoustie, Scotland, who own much of the land described in Glen Lyon shepherded me around most of northern Scotland. Ailsa and Alfred Fyffe of Cupar, classmates of mine at St. Andrews in 1932, helped and edited the Scottish material.

  Three Battles: Anyone writing about the Alamo finds the ground well prepared by two fine books, which do not necessarily coincide in their interpretations: Thirteen Days to Glory by Lon Tinkle, and A Time to Stand by Walter Lord. I checked with each but obviousl
y did not follow either entirely. I spent many hours inside the Alamo, talking with all the local experts. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library staff proved most helpful. For my study of the tragedy at Goliad, I am indebted to Charles Faupel and Mary Jane Plumb, who live in the small town of that name. For basic data of the Battle of San Jacinto, a critical moment in Texas history, I am indebted to Dr. Thomas H. Kreneck, in whose care I toured the site, and to J. P. Bryan of Houston. For Sam Houston’s conduct prior to the battle, I followed a recent publication of Dr. Archie P. McDonald, Stephen F. Austin State University.

  Germans: Irma Goeth Guenther, granddaughter of a wonderful diarist who came to Texas from Germany in 1845, was a delightful correspondent. Clifford and Sarah Harle of Fredericksburg went far beyond the demands of hospitality to help, and Ella Gold’s memories were sharp and lively. Matthew Gouger of Kerrville showed me significant sites; August Faltin of Comfort was repeatedly helpful, and the writings of Glen E. Lich of Schreiner College were most useful.

  Texas Rangers: Gaines de Graffenreid, guiding genius of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame at Waco was constantly helpful, as was his associate Alva Stem. Former Rangers Alfred Alee and Walter Russel were especially informative, the latter giving me a stout walking stick he had used in his ranging days. H. Joaquin Jackson of Uvalde was informative, and some of my best days in Texas were spent with Clayton McKinney of Alpine. For a review of Texas Ranger activities during the Mexican War, I am indebted to Dr. Thomas H. Kreneck, who allowed me to read his manuscript on the subject.

  South Carolina: Mary Frampton of Edisto Island was so generous in sharing with me her recollection of Edisto life that she merits special thanks. To Alan Powell of the Charleston Historical Society, I am indebted for an idea which proved most helpful in structuring the novel.

  Jefferson: I spent many happy hours in this gracious old town. Mrs. Lucille Bullard was my frequent hostess, and I spent a rewarding day with Wyatt Moore of Karnack, the leading authority of the days when Jefferson was in effect a seaport. Numerous Jeffersonians were helpful, especially Mrs. Lucille Terry. Professor Fred Tarpley of East Texas State University allowed me to read the manuscript of his book Jefferson: Riverport of the Southwest, the best book on this area, and arranged several valuable local contacts.

  Slavery: I did much work on this painful subject. Randolph B. Campbell of North Texas State University allowed me to read his remarkable manuscript on how slavery operated in the Marshall/Jefferson area. It is now a fine book, A Southern Community in Crisis. Doris Pemberton of Houston talked to me at different times. Various librarians drew my attention to important studies. Dr. James Byrd, Commerce, and Traylor Russell, Mt. Pleasant, also offered their insight.

  Vicksburg: This great battlefield obviously haunted me. I spent three research trips there, following the experiences of the 2nd Texas Infantry. Katherine C. Garvin provided tour help during one of the trips, and the park staff answered many of my detailed queries.

  Frontier Forts: I visited in depth some dozen of these variously preserved sites. At Fort Belknap, Barbara Ledbetter, an enthusiastic local historian, helped. Throughout, Robert Wooster, working toward his Ph.D. in Western military history, provided sensitive guidance. He is writing his own book on the subject. I also had the honor of being thrown out of Fort Davis, a U. S. National Park and perhaps the best restored of the Texas forts. Alas, I never saw it.

  Fort Garner-Larkin: To construct this imaginary fort and town, I worked with sites and scholars throughout the entire area. I visited especially all the extant courthouses of that architectural genius James Riely Gordon. At Waxahachie, I met with M. E. Singleton, a man younger than I, whose grandfather, improbable as it seems, fought at San Jacinto.

  Oil: Martin Allday of Midland arranged three extensive seminars on Western oilfields, most of which I visited in detail. The following are some of the many who gave generously of their time and knowledge: J. H. Fullinwider, B. J. Pevehouse, Tom Sealy, J. C. Williamson, Ford Chapman, Patsy Yeager, Tom Fowler and Joe Hirman Moore. Don Evans took me on a field trip. John Cox was especially helpful on oil-field financing. Bill Benson of Cheyenne, Wyoming, first put me in touch with the Graham area, about which I would write, and Joe Benson and Ken Andrews explained in detail how oil-field royalties were distributed. In Livingston, Ben Ogletree arranged a unique experience. At three o’clock one morning I stood with him at a drilling site when a well came in. In appreciation of the good luck which he thought I had brought him, he named this substantial field after me.

  Religion: I held many separate discussions about the role of religion in Texas, but the most informative was a three-day seminar with the scholars at Abilene Christian University: Professors Ian Fair, Richard Hughes, Bill Humble and R. L. Roberts. Gary McCaleb, public affairs officer at the university, was especially helpful. At a small rural church in McMahan, I heard the unique Sacred Harp Shaped-Note singing. William N. Stokes, Jr., allowed me to see his rousing account of how his father was ‘churched’ for allowing members of his Sunday School class in Vernon to dance.

  Football: In Abilene, I also conducted a seminar on the second Texas religion, high school football: Wally Bullington, A. E. Wells, W. L. Lawson, David Bourland and particularly Beverly Ball, who told fascinating stories about the role of girl students and women teachers. George Brazeale, high school expert for the Austin American-Statesman, was helpful, but my special debt is to Dave Campbell of Waco, publisher of a spectacularly successful magazine about Texas football. On the university level, Coach Darrell Royal, formerly of the University of Texas, was exemplary in his sharing of knowledge of ideas.

  Border Problems: On three occasions I worked with the Border Patrol along the Rio Grande. Officers James J. Fulgham, Dennis L. Cogburn, Clifford Green and William Selzer allowed me to accompany them on patrols in the Laredo district. In El Paso, I worked with Alan E. Eliason, William G. Harrington, Dale Cozart and Raymond Reaves.

  Mexican Problems: I was meeting with Isidra Vizcaya Canales, a factory manager in Monterrey, when the peso was devalued. I was serving in Mexico City as an official of the United States Government when relations between the two countries deteriorated. I conducted seminars in various parts of Texas to obtain a wide scatter of opinions. Nowhere did I find unanimity as to what might happen by the year 2010. In Corpus Christi, Dr. Hector P. Garcia was most helpful, and in the same city, Tony Bonilla, president of the famous LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), was instructive. Yolanda and Mario Ysaguirre of Brownsville were especially gracious and arranged a field trip to Bagdad, and I profited from discussions with Paredes Manzano and Robert Vezzetti of that city.

  Texas Business: In the latter chapters of this novel, writing about business and wealth became inescapable. I had the privilege of talking, sometimes at extended length, with the following experts: Trammell Crow, Vester Hughes, John Bucik and Bunker Hunt of Dallas; Gerald Hines, Walter Mischer, Sr., and George Mitchell of Houston; Clayton Williams, Bill Blakemore and John Cox of Midland. David Adickes, an artist friend from the old days in Japan, allowed me to inspect the record of his real estate dabblings, and many others in many locations talked with me about money problems, including John M. Stemmons, Louis Sklar and Larry Budner.

  Honky-tonks: I enjoyed extended interviews with the owners of the two premier honky-tonks in Texas, Sherman Cryer of Gilley’s in Pasadena, Texas, and Billy Bob Barnett of Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. Each owner was a novel in himself, each of the dance halls was overwhelming.

  Rio Grande Valley: I wanted to represent adequately and honestly the unique Mexican-American world of the Valley and its citrus industry: Professor Julian Sauls of the USDA Citrus Laboratory, Les Whitlock of the Citrus Committee, Professor Dick Hoag of the Texas A&I Citrus Center and Clyde White, president of the Texas Cooperative Exchange. Former Governor Allan Shivers and his wife were especially helpful in inviting me to visit their Sharyland home near Mission, where their manager, Blaine H. Holcomb, gave valuable instruction on the citrus ind

  Miscellaneous Interviews: Robert Nesbitt, Galveston; Hayden and Annie Blake, Corpus Christi; Nelson Franklin and Dean Cobb, Austin; Ed and Susan Auler, Tow; Tom Moore, Lajitas. Cactus Pryor and John Henry Faulk, Austin, provided caustic comment.

  Airplane Flights: It is obvious from the above listing that I had to visit all of Texas, not only the easy parts, and in doing so, I was dependent upon generous neighbors who allowed me to use their planes: Trammel Crow and John Blanton of Dallas; Mary Lewis Kleberg of the King Ranch; Walter Mischer, Sr., of Houston, H. C. Carter, Joe Hiram Moore and Howell Finch of Austin, the last-named flying me at very low levels over most of the western oil fields; Bill Blakemore and Robert Holt of Midland; Charles C. Butt of Corpus Christi and Presnall Cage of Falfurrias, who flew me over the sandbanks of Padre Island. I also flew with Clayton Williams on several occasions. He lent me his helicopter for two days of wild exploration in far West Texas, and Bob Macy flew me over the cotton farms of Levelland. When I told Clifford Green of Laredo that I wanted to see the Rio Grande close up from the air, he took me on an extended flight in a one-engine plane along the river at an altitude so low that I had to look almost straight up to see the top of the banks above me.

  University of Texas: I enjoyed constant cooperation and scholarly assistance from many faculty members of the university. President Peter Flawn was both understanding and helpful; Dean of Graduate Studies William Livingston swiftly resolved any quandaries; Director Don Carleton of the Barker Texas History Center provided both an office and his constant support; his excellent staff found all the books I needed. Dr. Lewis L. Gould, chairman of the History Department, was at all times cooperative, as was Dr. L. Tuffly Ellis, director of the Texas State Historical Association, who put me in touch with many valuable contacts throughout the state. Jack McGuire of the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio offered ethnic research material, and Dorman Winfrey, director of the Texas State Library, was continually helpful. John Wheat, an expert in Spanish Studies, gave valuable help when requested. Since the university has eighteen major libraries, with a total of more than five million volumes, it is a great place to work.

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