The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987 Page: 36
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Texas women's history has likewise come under closer examination by
historians of women and of more traditional topics. In common with
women's history in the larger context, Texas women's history has moved
from the historiographical stage of "oh look! oh look!" which cata-
logued women and affirmed their presence," to works of synthesis and
interpretation, which are attempting to describe the larger issues in
women's history, to be inclusive of all women in Texas, and to explore
the experiences of women as groups in addition to individual women.4
A comprehensive study of women of the 182o-1845 period should
include Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo women of all ages, in all classes, in
rural areas and towns, who were single, married, or widowed, who
worked at home or away from home. Such a study would need to en-
compass material on immigration, homebuilding, family life, commu-
nity life and leadership, church roles, education, health and medical
practices, legal status, homemaking tasks, work other than homemak-
ing, and so forth. This article will attempt to treat but a few of these
topics: immigration and homebuilding, education, religion, and the
Women moved to Texas with their families, with larger groups, and
alone. Their reactions to immigration ranged from eager expectation
at beginning anew, through sober resignation at the necessity of accom-
panying husbands, to abject grief at leaving friends and families. Many
Frontier (New York, 1981); Julie Roy Jeffrey, Frontier Women: The Trans-Misszssippi West, 1840-
i88o (New York, 1979); John Mack Faragher, Women and Men on the Overland Trail (New Haven,
1979); Jerena East Giffin, "'Add a Pinch and a Lump': Missouri Women in the 1820's," Missouri
Historical Review, LXV (July, 1971), 478-504; T. A. Larson, "Women's Role in the American
West," Montana: The Magazine of Western History, XXIV (Summer, 1974), 3-10o.
3Early works describing notable Texas women include Mrs. M. [Adele B.] Looscan, "The
Women of Pioneer Days in Texas-Domestic and Social Life in the Period of the Colonies, the
Revolution, and the Republic," Dudley G. Wooten (ed.), A Comprehensive History of Texas,
1685-1897 (2 vols.; Dallas, 1898), I, pt. 1, pp. 649-668; Aurelia Hadley Mohl, "Women of the
Texas Republic and Revolution," typescript, Aurelia Hadley Mohl Papers (Eugene C. Barker
Texas History Center, University of Texas, Austin; hereafter cited as BTHC); Evelyn Carring-
ton (ed.), Women of Early Texas (Austin, 1975); Annie Doom Pickerell, Pioneer Women in Texas
(Austin, 1970). Recent collections of short biographies have appeared, which are more useful
than the earlier ones because of their more rigorous scholarship and restraint. These include
Ann Fears Crawford and Crystal Sasse Ragsdale, Women in Texas: Thezr Lives, Their Experiences,
Their Accomplishments (Burnet, Tex., 1982); James M. Day et al., Women of Texas (Waco, Tex.,
1972); Mary Beth Rogers, Sherry A. Smith, and Janelle D. Scott, We Can Fly: Stories of Katherine
Stinson and Other Gutsy Texas Women (Austin, 1983). A useful collection that includes women of
folklore as well as history is Francis Edward Abernethy, Legendary Ladies oJ Texas, Publications of
the Texas Folklore Society XLIII (Dallas, 1981). There are, of course, a number of biographies
and published writings of individuals: for example, Rebecca Smith Lee, Mary Austin Holley: A
Biography (Austin, 1962), and C. A. Clausen (ed.), The Lady with the Pen: Elise Waerenslqold in
Texas (Northfield, Minn., 1961).
4A watershed in Texas women's studies was "Texas Women: A Celebration of History," an
exhibit created by the Texas Women's History Project and now permanently housed at Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987, periodical, 1986/1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/m1/62/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.