The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942

FASHIONS OF THE REPUBLIC
MARY REID
"Buckskin is more romantic and entertaining in romances
and pictures than on one's own shanks," said Francis R. Lub-
bock, Comptroller of the Republic of Texas, after his first and
last experience in such an outfit in 1838.1 Young Lubbock, a
South Carolinian, had come to Texas a short time before from
New Orleans. He was a member of the Milam Guards and set
out from Houston with them on an Indian expedition in what
he thought was the correct thing for such an occasion, a buck-
skin suit.
But the rain descended, and the winds blew. He had brought
along no change of clothes, for he was inexperienced and ex-
pected to be gone only a few days. As it continued to rain and
he was afraid of pneumonia, he stood near the camp fire to
dry himself. His more experienced, fun-loving campanions kept
discreetly silent. When he was thoroughly warm and dry
imagine his consternation to discover that his buckskin breeches
had shrunk to above his knees, were stuck tighter than his skin
and had to be cut off of him. Out of necessity he contrived
some sort of covering for himself from his green felt saddle
blanket. Is it any wonder that on his return home several
weeks later with the Milam heroes his beautiful young wife,
a former New Orleans creole belle, did not recognize her
husband ?2
In collecting costumes for the historical exhibits of the Texas
Centennial Exposition the most difficult things to locate were
a buckskin suit and a homespun dress. Silks, satins, fine laces,
brocades and broadcloth were found with comparatively little
trouble. If the pioneer Texan wore buckskin, as writers and
arists so glibly had stated, I was about to decide that he
had worn it entirely out. At last I got on the trail of an excel-
lent example which had belonged to the Indian Scout, Robert
Hall. The outfit included trousers, coat, and vest all of fringed
and beaded buckskin. Once there had been a coonskin cap, but
'Francis R. Lubbock, Six Decades in Texas, 86.
2Francis R. Lubbock, op. cit., 86.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/. Accessed October 30, 2014.