Texas Roots
Agriculture and Rural Life before the Civil War
Agricultural History - Texas History
6 x 9, 264 pp.
27 line drawings., 5 maps.
Pub Date: 03/24/2005
Texas A&M University Agriculture Series
  cloth
Price:        $40.00 s

978-1-58544-418-2
  paper
Price:        $19.95

978-1-58544-429-8

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Texas Roots

Agriculture and Rural Life before the Civil War

By C. Allan Jones

In today’s Texas, with its growing urban populations and big-city lifestyles, it is worth remembering that in 1850 only 10 percent of Texans lived in towns with as many as 100 people. The rest—of many ethnic and racial groups—lived off the land, which was blessedly suited to a profitable variety of crops and livestock and also provided an abundance of wildlife free for the taking.

In Texas Roots, C. Allan Jones reminds us that the economic wealth of modern Texas arose from its agricultural heritage, a rich mixture of practices and traditions including:

· Caddo hunting, gathering, gardening, and farming

· Irrigated agriculture at Spanish missions

· Hispanic ranching

· Slave-based plantations

· Small-scale farmers and ranchers

Through time, people adapted the agricultural technologies, laws, and customs of New Spain, Mexico, Europe, and the South to their own practical, institutional, and legal needs. The result was a particularly Texan system that would serve as the foundation for the state’s economic strength after the Civil War.

Texas Roots shines a bright light on our relationship and connection with the land, bringing alive an aspect of the Texas history that contributed immeasurably to the state’s identity and prosperity.

C. Allan Jones, director of the Texas Water Resources Institute, has long been interested in the history of agriculture of Texas.

What Readers Are Saying:

“...a well-researched, crisply written and nicely illustrated account of how the land shaped the lives of those who scratched out a living in frontier Texas.” --Region (The Eagle)

“C. Allan Jones has provided scholars with a useful reference tool concerning rural life in antebellum Texas. . . .Texas Roots is a reliable reference tool for libraries, a solid addition to reading seminars in Texas or environmental history, and a nice addition to personal libraries.” --East Texas Historical Journal

“It is a detailed, thorough, and crammed with information on farming and stock raising…It is also an attractive-looking book, carefully designed with appropriate and helpful illustrations—most of them pen-and-ink-type sketches.” --Western Historical Quarterly

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