Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 132
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
she actually died, on January 4, 1890, she left a library of at least 150 books, including works
by Joseph Addison, John Keats, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Milton, Plato, Edgar
Allan Poe, Alexander Pope, Walter Scott, Percy Shelly, William Shakespeare, and Noah
Webster. She also owned copies of Henderson Yoakum's and Homer Thrall's histories of
Texas, Edward Gibbon's history of Rome, lengthy biographies of George Washington and
Thomas Jefferson, plus Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man, and books on phrenology,
hydropathy, and the witches of Salem, Massachusetts.'
This is the first known attempt to catalog Darden's published writings. Some things
which are said to exist have not been found. Samuel Houston Dixon, in his article on Darden
for Poets and Poetry of Texas, states that "she has written a goodly number of noveletts
and a series of stories."2 No lengthy fiction written by Darden has been discovered. The
"series of stories" are likely to have been Romances of the Texas Revolution, which Dixon
singles out for praise. This series of love stories set against the events of the Texas Revolu-
tion apparently ran in Texas Prairie Flower and included at least four installments. Be-
cause many issues of Texas Prairie Flower seemingly have been lost, only two of the
stories have been found.3 Many issues of her most frequent publication outlet, her hometown
newspaper, the Colorado Citizen, are also missing, including notably, most of those from
the last year of her life. Some of her poems, most particularly those from between 1865 and
1874, were preserved, without proper citation, in a scrapbook of which the library obtained a
In addition to simply cataloging Darden's work, we have chosen to reprint much of
it. Our selections were meant to be representative; they were not necessarily selected for
any merit we believed they might have. Most of the material has not been printed in more
than a century, and is rightly obscure. Though contrary to our usual practice, at least in part
because several pieces were printed more than once, we have thought it proper to correct
some spelling and minor punctuation errors in the texts we herein present.
1 The biographical information on Darden comes from these sources: Colorado Citizen, April 24,
1858, June 2, 1881, July 7, 1881, January 12, 1882, November 9, 1882, December 7, 1882, January 4, 1883,
March 8, 1883; Weimar Mercury, January 11, 1890; Texas Monument, March 5, 1851, June 4, 1851, September
22, 1852; Paul Carl Boethel, Colonel Amasa Turner The Gentleman from Lavaca (Austin: Von Boeckmann-
Jones, 1963), pp. 5-6; Eighth Census of the United States (1860) Schedule 1, Colorado County, Texas; Hans
Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., The Laws of Texas 1822-1897 (Austin: The Gammel Book Company, 1898), vol.
9, p. 518; Texas Prairie Flower, vol. 2, no. 2, August 1883, p. 89; Colorado County Deed Records, Book U, p.
349, Book Z, p. 41; Colorado County Probate Records, Minute Book I, p. 446, File No. 1143: Fannie A. D.
Darden; Darden Family File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library; and from her own autobiographical
writings, cited herein. Flachmeier's biographical sketch appears in Evelyn M. Carrington, ed., Women in Early
Texas (Austin: Jenkins, 1975. Reprint. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1994), p. 62. See also The
New Handbook of Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996), vol. 2, p. 510.
2 Samuel Houston Dixon, ed., Poets and Poetry of Texas (Austin: Sam H. Dixon & Co., 1885), p. 48.
3. For more on Texas Prairie Flower, and the cther magazine by which Darden was briefly employed,
American Sketch Book, see Imogene Bentley Dickey, Early Literary Magazines of Texas (Austin: Steck-Vaughn,
1970), pp. 11-13, 15-16.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/4/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.