The Robertsons, the Sutherlands, and the Making of Texas

The Robertsons, the Sutherlands, and the Making of Texas

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All Texans, or their ancestors, started as something else. The families that came here molded the state and were molded by it. Anne H. Sutherland explores just how the experiences of two of the early Anglo land-grant families - the Robertsons and the Sutherlands - shaped Texas events and how the families handed down those experiences from one generation to another, transforming two Scots-Irish families into what in hindsight we have branded Anglo-Texans. The story of these two pioneering families, told through their letters, poems, diaries, and oral histories, embodies western expansion and political upheaval. Settling in central and southeast Texas, these families struggled to build a new Texas and make a life for their children. The Texas Revolution and the Civil War acted as catalysts for the emergence of their Texan identity. A unique blend of family and Texas history, Sutherland's book positions personal stories as windows of insight into Texan identity. She peels back the layers of family tradition and textbook history to show how her forebears experienced the transforming events of the settlement of Texas and its war for independence. As new generations emerged, each contributed its own anecdotes and historical context from the time period. By placing the families within Texas history, Sutherland effectively and innovatively traces identity from the early nineteenth century to today. As settlers in the western wilderness, the Robertsons, the Sutherlands, and others like them actively shaped Texas, even as they were changed themselves.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 238.8 x 25.4mm | 544.32g
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 11 cartoons, 1 b&w photo, 2 maps, chart, table, bibliography, index
  • 1585445207
  • 9781585445202

Review quote

"For many people, Texas has always been more a state of mind than a geographic place, and finally a scholar, who really knows how to write, tells us how this idea of Texas was invented and continues to change through the constant retelling of the stories of Texas history. Anne Sutherland is an anthropologist who has written an ethnography of Texas history by weaving together the "great events" with the everyday lives of the people who made that history. From stories as important as the Alamo to those as local and colorful as "the Wild Woman of Navidad," she illustrates the process by which people make their own history, which sometimes coincides with and sometimes contracts the history of Texas as told in scholarly works, Hollywood films, or literary fiction. Made in Texas offer a wonderful collection of stories about real people and ideas about a real place. It changes the way that we see history and helps us to see our own families and ourselves in the constantly changing images of the past."--Jack Weatherford, DeWitt Wallace Professor of Anthropology, Macalester College
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About Anne H. Sutherland

ANNE H. SUTHERLAND has conducted extensive research on Roma Gypsies, ethnic groups in Belize, and identity and culture in Texas. She acted as writer and director for the BBC film series adaptation of her book Face Values: Some Anthropological Themes. She earned her Ph.D. in social anthropology from Oxford University and is currently a professor at the University of California - Riverside.
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