Texas' Last Frontier
Fort Stockton and the Trans-Pecos, 1861-1895
Texas History - Western History
6 x 9, 480 pp.
Illus., Maps.
Pub Date: 06/01/2000
Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University
  paper
Price:        $34.95

978-1-58544-071-9

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Texas' Last Frontier

Fort Stockton and the Trans-Pecos, 1861-1895

By Clayton W. Williams

For almost three hundred miles, the Pecos River cuts across far West Texas. It is an arid land, a land that in the last century offered danger and hardship to those who crossed it and those who settled it. Yet they came—army posts like Fort Stockton to challenge the Apaches’ claim to the rugged land, settlers to supply the posts, cattlemen to eke out a living from the vast but sparse grazing ranges. They came and they stayed because the land held one overriding appeal: it was Texas’ last frontier.

The newcomers—cattlemen and sheepmen, individuals and corporations—included sturdy, law-abiding, industrious citizens, such as O.W. Williams, a renowned surveyor, jurist, and historian with a law degree from Harvard; Mexicans, both poor laborers and well-to-do entrepreneurs; kindly German merchants; fighting Irishmen; and fearless Anglo cowboys. There were also the gunslingers, including Sheriff A.J. Royal, who terrorized the citizenry, even after Texas Rangers had arrived, until he was mysteriously shot to death one afternoon, possibly by one of the town’s leading men.

The most detailed and thorough account available of the history of far West Texas, this tale is colored with human interest and drama. It will prove invaluable to scholars and richly rewarding to all those interested in the history of Texas and of the West.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Those interested in a regional history of the Trans-Pecos area of Texas will find Clayton W. Williams' scholarly and well-researched Texas' Last Frontier interesting to read." --CIVIL WAR HISTORY, Vol. 32, no. 3

"Williams's storytelling and Wallace's literary grace make this a book that . . . flows coherently through a mass of detail chronicling virtually all the recorded . . . events that occurred in the region between 1861 and 1895." --Journal of Southern History

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