Frontier problems and movements in West Texas, 1846-1900




Holden, William Curry, 1896-

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The purpose of this work is to set forth some of the historic problems and movements of West Texas which took place between 1846 and 1900. Part I deals with frontier defense. It is broken into four chapters merely for convenience. The question is dealt with rather summarily. An effort is made to treat frontier defense as a whole, including the parts contributed by both the state and federal governments. Part II is composed of five social and economic problems or conditions, as the railroad movement, the development of agriculture, the mineral movement, drouths, and amusements. These chapters really constitute isolated descriptive studies bound together by a sort of geographic unity. It would be difficult to tie them together in any kind of organic order or sequence. They are usually for the most part a portrayal of conditions that are parallel and contemporary with each other; sometimes, the topics criss-cross each other; sometimes they influence each other, and at other times they are independent. For instance, the railroad movement and the mineral movement were going on at the same time. The drouth of 1886, curiously enough, intensified both movements; both reached their peak during 1886. The mineral movement had a considerable influence upon the railroad movement, but the railroad had but little influence upon the mineral movement. The people had their amusements before the drouth and before the coming of the railroads, but the drouth exerted a strong influence in modifying the amusements, and the railroads, by bringing in a large influx of immigration, helped to change completely the nature of the amusements.