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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997

Book Reviews


women during the early to mid nineteenth century, as textile mills supplied an
ever growing percentage of the population's needs. Until the late nineteenth
century, however, the story was largely a different one for those living in the
South and West.
The next three chapters focus on home textile production in Texas during
three periods: early settlement, 1822--1836; the Republic and early statehood,
1836-1860; and the Civil War and West Texas frontier, 1860-1880. Marks has
given a handy chronology of the subject, all within the context of Texas history.
But what stays with this reader beyond the sound organization of the book, is a
kaleidoscope of images: women standing "'at the loom or the spinning-wheel"'
with rifles at hand (p. 71); two Blanco County farmers waiting out the Civil War
in a local cave, spending time spinning by the light of tallow candles, and thus
enabling one of their relatives to confound neighbors at her prodigious cloth
production (pp. 88-89); the plantation mistress who received the credit for
slave women's textile work (pp. 68--69); and a Fredericksburg boy wearing
trousers and vests of buckskin which, after getting wet and then hot from the
sun, became most uncomfortable (p. 75). The author even makes readers feel
the ill-lit and cramped spaces in which the women and their families worked
(pp. 42-44).
The book skillfully blends issues of textile production, women's history, com-
merce, and domesticity with life in early Texas. The footnotes are informative,
the narrative readable, and the book's contribution significant.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department CYNTHIA A. BRANDIMARTE
A Texas Pioneer Teacher: Mrs. R. K. Red. By Lel Purcell Hawkins. (Quanah, Nortex
Press, 1996. Pp. ix+79. Foreword, acknowledgments, list of honors, refer-
ences, illustrations. $15.oo, cloth.)
A biography, a history, and a defense of family image, this volume may be mis-
named. As the story of Mrs. R. K. Red's life, this work narrates the significant
events in the development of a remarkable early day Texas educator. As history,
almost half of this succinct account documents the events leading to the estab-
lishment of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. As a defense, Lel Pur-
cell Hawkins, a great-grandaughter of Mrs. Red, sets the record straight on how
the Theological Seminary acquired its first property through the generosity of
Mrs. Red's children.
Rebecca Jane Kilgore Stuart was already a vital faculty member of the Live Oak
Female Seminary near Brenham, Texas, in 1854 when she married Dr. George
Clark Red, who served as physician and teacher at the girls' boarding school
near Brenham for twenty years. With their four children, the couple moved to
Austin in 1874 and established the Stuart Female Seminary on East Ninth Street.
Offering a four-year program leading to a B.A. degree, the boarding school op-
erated at full capacity for twenty years, closing finally in 1899.
When the four Red children proposed to deed the property to the Presbyter-
ian Synod of Texas for establishment of a Presbyterian seminary, their request


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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