Ashbel Smith of Texas

Pioneer, Patriot, Statesman, 1805-1886

978-0-89096-974-8 Paperback
6 x 9. 280 pp. Illus.
Pub Date: 06/01/2000
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1982 Summerfield G. Roberts Award, presented by the Sons of the Republic of Texas1982 Kate Broocks Bates Award, presented by the Texas State Historical Association1982 Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Award, presented by the Texas State Historical Association
Though three times burned in effigy for his political activities, Ashbel Smith was an admired and influential leader in nineteenth-century Texas. A doctor educated at Yale and abroad, the "father of Texas medicine" championed higher standards of medical practice and helped found the state's medical society. He worked persistently to establish free public education in Texas and in his later years led the way in founding Prairie View State Normal School, the University of Texas (which he also served as regent), and the university's medical school at Galveston.

In the first full-length biography of this important Texas statesman, Elizabeth Silverthorne portrays not only a very human and exciting personality but also the world he lived in, as seen through his eyes, and the part he played in shaping that world. Using public records, Smith's own journals, memoranda, and personal papers and the writings of his prominent contemporaries, she presents the tale of a vital, complex life "so inextricably woven into the history of Texas . . . that whenever we examine any of the burning issues of the day–finance, politics, religion, transportation, immigration, agriculture, warfare, medicine, or education–we find Ashbel Smith there, analyzing, expounding, crusading, searching for the truth to open the way to a better life" for Texans.

Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University

Published by Texas A&M University Press