Texas County Histories

Flag of TexasEuropean powers ignored the area now known as Texas until accidentally settling there in 1685. Miscalculations by René Robert Cavelier de La Salle resulted in his establishing the colony of Fort Saint Louis at Matagorda Bay rather than along the Mississippi River. The colony lasted only four years before succumbing to harsh conditions and hostile natives.

When the United States purchased Louisiana from France in 1803, American authorities insisted that the agreement also included Texas. The boundary between New Spain and the United States was finally set at the Sabine River in 1819, at what is now the border between Texas and Louisiana. Eager for new land, many United States settlers refused to recognize the agreement. This disagreement led to many armed conflicts with Spanish powers in Mexico.

As early as 1837, the Republic made several attempts to negotiate annexation with the United States. Opposition within the republic from the nationalist faction, along with strong abolitionist opposition within the United States, slowed Texas’s admission into the Union. Texas was finally annexed when the expansionist James K. Polk won the election of 1844.

On December 29, 1845, Congress admitted Texas to the U.S. as a constituent state of the Union.

Texas in 1846

Texas in 1846

After Texas’s annexation, Mexico broke diplomatic relations with the United States. While the United States claimed that Texas’s border stretched to the Rio Grande, Mexico claimed it was the Nueces River. While the former Republic of Texas could not enforce its border claims, the United States had the military strength and the political will to do so.

President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor south to the Rio Grande on January 13, 1846. A few months later Mexican troops routed an American cavalry patrol in the disputed area in the Thornton Affair starting the Mexican-American War. The first battles of the war were fought in Texas: the Siege of Fort Texas, Battle of Palo Alto and Battle of Resaca de la Palma. After these decisive victories, the United States invaded Mexican territory ending the fighting in Texas.

After a series of United States victories, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the two-year war. In return, for US$18,250,000, Mexico gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, ceded the Mexican Cession in 1848, most of which today is called the American Southwest, and Texas’s borders were established at the Rio Grande.

The Compromise of 1850 set Texas’s boundaries at their present form. Texas ceded its claims to land which later became half of present day New Mexico, a third of Colorado, and small portions of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to the federal government, in return for the assumption of $10 million of the old republic’s debt.

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  1. A BRIEF HISTORY OF TEXAS FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO WHICH IS APPENDED THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE FOR SCHOOLS, LEWIS PUB. CO, , 1907
  2. ED. F. BATES SECRETARY OLD SETTLERS AND VETERANS ASSOCIATION OF DENTON COUNTY, A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY. , MCNITZKY PRINTING COMPANY, 1918
  3. HOMER S. THRALL, A COMPLETE HISTORY OF TEXAS FOR SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, AND GENERAL USE, UNIV. PUB. CO., 1876
  4. SAMUEL O. YOUNG, A HISTORY OF GREATER DALLAS AND VICINITY, VOL. 2, 1913
  5. SAMUEL O. YOUNG, A HISTORY OF HOOD COUNTY, TEXAS, FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT, TOGETHER WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY LEADING MEN AND WOMEN AMONG THE EARLY SETTLERS, AS WELL AS MANY INCIDENTS IN THE ADJOINING TERRITORY; ALSO A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF SOMERVILLE COUNTY, REIN AND SONS CO., 1912
  6. A HISTORY OF TEXAS AND TEXANS
  7. DERMOTT H. HARDY, A HISTORY OF TEXAS AND TEXANS . . . TO WHICH ARE ADDED HISTORICAL, STATISTICAL, AND DESCRIPTIVE MATTER PERTAINING TO THE IMPORTANT LOCAL DIVISIONS OF THE STATE, AND BIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNTS OF THE LEADERS AND REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF THE STATE (2 VOLS.) (VOL 1), LEWIS PUB. CO., 1910
  8. A HISTORY OF TEXAS AND TEXANS . . . TO WHICH ARE ADDED HISTORICAL, STATISTICAL, AND DESCRIPTIVE MATTER PERTAINING TO THE IMPORTANT LOCAL DIVISIONS OF THE STATE, AND BIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNTS OF THE LEADERS AND REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF THE STATE (2 VOLS.) (VOL 2), LEWIS PUB. CO, , 1907
  9. PERCY PENNYBACKER, A HISTORY OF TEXAS FROM THE EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE YEAR 1885 : WITH AN APPENDIX CONTAINING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, ADOPTED NOVEMBER, 1875, AND THE AMENDMENTS OF 1883 : FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND FOR GENERAL READERS, 1900
  10. HOMER S. THRALL, A HISTORY OF TEXAS, FROM THE EARLIEST SETTLEMENTS TO THE YEAR 1876, UNIV. PUB. CO., 1895
  11. A MEMORIAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY JOHNSON AND HILL COUNTIES, TEXAS, LEWIS PUBLISHING COUNTY, 1895
  12. DUDLEY G. WOOTEN, A MEMORIAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF MCLENNAN, FALLS, BELL, AND CORYELL COUNTIES, TEXAS; CONTAINING A HISTORY OF THIS IMPORTANT SECTION OF THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS, FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD OF ITS OCCUPANCY TO THE PRESENT TIME, TOGETHER WITH GLIMPSES OF ITS FUTURE PROSPECTS; ALSO BIOGRAPHICAL MENTION OF MANY OF THE PIONEERS AND PROMINENT CITIZENS OF THE PRESENT TIME, AND FULL-PAGE PORTRAITS OF SOME OF THE MOST EMINENT MEN OF THIS SECTION (VOL. 2), 1898
  13. B.B. PADDOCK, A NEW HISTORY OF TEXAS FOR SCHOOLS ALSO FOR GENERAL READING AND FOR TEACHERS PREPARING THEMSELVES FOR EXAMINATION, LEWIS PUBLISHING CO., , 1906
  14. PHILIP LINDSLEY, A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF TEXAS, FROM THE EARLIEST VISITS OF EUROPEAN ADVENTURERS, TO A.D. 1879. EMBRACING THE PERIODS OF MISSIONS, COLONIZATION, THE REVOLUTION THE REPUBLIC, AND THE STATE; ALSO, A TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY … TOGETHER WITH ITS INDIAN TRIBES AND THEIR WARS, AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF HUNDREDS OF ITS LEADING HISTORICAL CHARACTERS. ALSO, A LIST OF THE COUNTRIES, WITH HISTORICAL AND TOPICAL NOTES, AND DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF THE STATE., 1909
  15. D.W.C. BAKER, A SCHOOL HISTORY OF TEXAS, A.S. BARNES & CO., 1875
  16. A SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY OF SOUTHERN TRAVIS COUNTY
  17. A STUDY OF RURAL SCHOOLS IN KARNES COUNTY, TEXAS – LMTECH HAS NOT RECEIVED IT YET TO SCAN
  18. CLIFF D. CATES, A STUDY OF RURAL SCHOOLS IN TRAVIS COUNTY, TEXAS, 1907
  19. A STUDY OF RURAL SCHOOLS IN WICHITA COUNTY, TEXAS
  20. A STUDY OF RURAL SCHOOLS IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS
  21. D.W.C. BAKER, A TEXAS SCRAP-BOOK MADE UP OF THE HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND MISCELLANY OF TEXAS AND ITS PEOPLE, A.S. BARNES & CO., 1873
  22. ETHEL Z. RATHER, A THUMB-NAIL HISTORY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS FROM ITS FOUNDING IN 1836 TO THE YEAR 1912, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS , 1905
  23. J. MORPHIS, A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF NORTH AND WEST TEXAS (2 VOLS.) (VOL 1), U.S. PUB. CO., 1875
  24. A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF NORTH AND WEST TEXAS (2 VOLS.) (VOL 2), AMERICAN HIST. SOCIETY, 1914
  25. JOHN R. SWANTON, A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY OF SOUTHWEST TEXAS (2 VOLS.) (VOL 1), 1911
  26. THEODORE A. BABB, A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY OF SOUTHWEST TEXAS (2 VOLS.) (VOL 1), PRESS OF HARGREAVES PRINTING CO., 1923
  27. B.B. PADDOCK, A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY OF SOUTHWEST TEXAS (2 VOLS.) (VOL 2), LEWIS PUBLISHING CO., , 1906
  28. E.E. DAVIS, ALLEGED ELECTION OUTRAGES IN TEXAS, UNIV. OF TEXAS, 1922, 1922
  29. AUSTIN YESTERDAY AND TODAY : A GLANCE AT HER HISTORY, A WORD ABOUT HER ENTERPRISES, A DESCRIPTION OF HER BIG BANKING ESTABLISHMENT
  30. D.J. PRICE, BIBLIOGRAPHY OF STATE PARTICIPATION IN THE CIVIL WAR, 1896
  31. HERBERT E. BOLTON, BRAMAN’S INFORMATION ABOUT TEXAS, GAMMEL-STATESMAN PUB. CO, 1904
  32. DUDLEY G. WOOTEN, COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF TEXAS, 1685 TO 1897, TEXAS HIST. CO., 1899
  33. A.J. SOWELL, DEWITT’S COLONY, 1904
  34. DIFFICULTIES OF A MEXICAN REVENUE OFFICER
  35. EARLY DAYS IN LLANO
  36. HENRY SMYTHE, EARLY DAYS IN TEXAS AND RAINS COUNTY, L. C. LAVAT, 1877
  37. EARLY DAYS IN TEXAS: A TRIP TO HELL AND HEAVEN, D. & J. SADLIER & CO., 1883
  38. EARLY HISTORY OF TEXAS. EARLY HISTORY OF WILLIAMSON COUNTY. THE WEBSTER MASSACRE. WILLIAMSON COUNTY COURT HOUSE SKETCHES. SKETCHES OF EARLY DAYS IN TAYLOR
  39. FAYETTE COUNTY, HER HISTORY AND HER PEOPLE
  40. M.E. DAVIS, FOOTPRINTS OF TEXAS HISTORY, M. GINN & CO., 1897
  41. FROM THE PLAINS TO THE PULPIT
  42. MINNIE G. DILL, HISTORICAL REVIEW OF SOUTH-EAST TEXAS AND THE FOUNDERS, LEADERS AND REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF ITS COMMERCE, INDUSTRY AND CIVIC AFFAIRS, B.C. JONES & CO., , 1902
  43. MARY S. HELM, HISTORICAL SKETCH OF PARKER COUNTY AND WEATHERFORD, TEXAS, 1884
  44. J. MARVIN HUNTER AUTHOR THE TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS, HISTORY AND REMINISCENCES OF DENTON COUNTY. , HUNTERS PRINTING HOUSE, 1922
  45. HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS, FROM 1837 TO 1887, LEWIS PUB. CO., 1892
  46. HISTORY OF EASTLAND COUNTY TEXAS
  47. HISTORY OF ELLIS COUNTY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION
  48. HISTORY OF FORT BEND COUNTY CONTAINING BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY NOTED CHARACTERS, TIMES PUB. CO., 1886
  49. HISTORY OF MONTAGUE COUNTY, LEWIS PUBLISHING COUNTY, 1892
  50. JAMES MCINTIRE, HISTORY OF TEXAS FROM ITS DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT, WITH A DESCRIPTION OF ITS PRINCIPAL CITIES AND COUNTIES, AND THE AGRICULTURAL, MINERAL, AND MATERIAL RESOURCES OF THE STATE, MCINTIRE PUB CO , 1902
  51. HISTORY OF TEXAS TOGETHER WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF MILAM, WILLIAMSON, BASTROP, TRAVIS, LEE, BURLESON COUNTIES. PART I & II
  52. WEB, HISTORY OF TEXAS TOGETHER WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF THE CITIES OF HOUSTON AND GALVESTON, LEWIS PUBLISHING COUNTY, 1892
  53. FANNIE POTTER, HISTORY OF TEXAS, FORT WORTH AND THE TEXAS NORTHWEST EDITION VOL 1, ISHA BOOKS, 1913
  54. HISTORY OF TEXAS, FORT WORTH AND THE TEXAS NORTHWEST EDITION VOL 2, LEWIS PUBLISHING COUNTY, 1922
  55. HISTORY OF TEXAS, FORT WORTH AND THE TEXAS NORTHWEST EDITION VOL 3, LEWIS PUBLISHING COUNTY, 1922
  56. HISTORY OF TEXAS, FORT WORTH AND THE TEXAS NORTHWEST EDITION VOL 4, LEWIS PUBLISHING COUNTY, 1922
  57. MAMIE YEARY, HISTORY OF TEXAS, FROM 1685 TO 1892. VOLUME 1, 1912
  58. S.B. BARRON, HISTORY OF THE REGULATORS AND MODERATORS AND THE SHELBY COUNTY WAR IN 1841 AND 1842, IN THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS: WITH FACTS AND INCIDENTS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC AND STATE, FROM 1837 TO THE ANNEXATION, TOGETHER WITH INCIDENTS OF FRONTIER LIFE, 1908
  59. MAY A. PENNINGTON, IN THE BOSOM OF THE COMANCHES: A THRILLING TALE OF SAVAGE INDIAN LIFE, MASSACRE AND CAPTIVITY TRUTHFULLY TOLD BY A SURVIVING CAPTIVE: TEXAS BORDERLAND PERILS AND SCENES DEPICTED: THE CLOSING DAYS OF THE TRYING INDIAN STRUGGLES UPON THE FRONTIERS OF TEXAS, STANDARD PRINTING AND LITHOGRAPHING CO., 1915
  60. JOHN HENRY BROWN, INDIAN TRIBES OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND ADJACENT COAST OF THE GULF OF MEXICO, 1892
  61. JOHN H. BROWN, MEMORIAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS: CONTAINING A HISTORY OF THIS IMPORTANT SECTION OF THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS, FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD OF ITS OCCUPANCY TO THE PRESENT TIME, TOGETHER WITH GLIMPSES OF ITS FUTURE PROSPECTS; WITH FULL-PAGE PORTRAITS OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALSO FULL-PAGE PORTRAITS OF SOME OF THE MOST EMINENT MEN OF THE COUNTY, AND BIOGRAPHICAL MENTION OF MANY OF ITS PIONEERS, AND ALSO OF PROMINENT CITIZENS OF TO-DAY, MILLIGAN, CORNETT, & FARNHAM, 1887
  62. MEMORIAL AND GENEALOGICAL RECORD OF SOUTHWEST TEXAS: CONTAINING BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORIES AND GENEALOGICAL RECORDS OF MANY LEADING MEN AND PROMINENT FAMILIES, SOUTHERN HISTORICAL PRESS, 1894
  63. AUGUST SANTLEBEN, PIONEER HISTORY OF BANDERA COUNTY. , THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1910
  64. NOAH SMITHWICK (NONAGENARIAN), PIONEER HISTORY OF WISE COUNTY. , GAMMEL BOOK COMPANY, 1900
  65. FRANK C. PIERCE, PIONEERS OF THE PRAIRIE. , THE COLLEGIATE PRESS GEORGE BANTA PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1917
  66. PROCEEDINGS OF THE SIXTH ANNUAL REUNION OF THE OLD SETTLER’S ASSOCIATION OF BELL COUNTY HELD AT BELTON, TEXAS, NOVEMBER 5, 1904 AND PAPERS READ AT THE REUNION, LEWIS PUBLISHING COUNTY, 1922
  67. PUBLICATIONS OF THE TEXAS FOLK-LORE SOCIETY, NUMBER II
  68. REMINISCENCES OF C. C. COX II
  69. REMINISCENCES OF FIFTY YEARS IN TEXAS, AMERICAN HIST. SOCIETY, 1914
  70. HOMER S. THRALL, REMINISCENCES OF THE BOYS IN GRAY, 1861-1865, 1879
  71. ROSS’ TEXAS BRIGADE : BEING A NARRATIVE OF EVENTS CONNECTED WITH ITS SERVICE IN THE LATE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, 1904
  72. THOMAS T. EWELL, SCRAPS OF EARLY TEXAS HISTORY, THE GRANBURY NEWS, 1895
  73. SIXTY YEARS IN TEXAS
  74. SOME BIOGRAPHIES OF OLD SETTLERS : HISTORICAL, PERSONAL AND REMINISCENT. V. 1
  75. SOME HISTORY OF VAN ZANDT COUNTY, VOLUME I
  76. THE CITY AND COUNTY OF EL PASO, TEXAS CONTAINING USEFUL AND RELIABLE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE FUTURE GREAT METROPOLIS OF THE SOUTHWEST : ITS RESOURCES AND ADVANTAGES FOR THE AGRICULTURIST, ARTISAN AND CAPITALIST, LEWIS PUB. CO., 1892
  77. THE COMPLETE STORY OF THE GALVESTON HORROR.
  78. JOHN W. MIDDLETON, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TEXAS, VOL. 1 & 2., 1883
  79. JOHN COULTER, FORMERLY OF THE N. Y. HERALD, THE EVOLUTION OF A STATE OR RECOLLECTIONS OF OLD TEXAS DAYS. , UNITED PUBLISHERS OF AMERICA, 1900
  80. THE HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY OF TEXAS, AS TOLD IN COUNTY NAMES
  81. WILLIAM O. HEBISON, THE HISTORY OF BRENHAM AND WASHINGTON COUNTY, LEADER PRINT, 1917
  82. U.S. WAR DEPT. LIBRARY, THE LONE STAR DEFENDERS; A CHRONICLE OF THE THIRD TEXAS CAVALRY, 1913
  83. THE ROMANCE OF DAVIS MOUNTAINS AND BIG BEND COUNTRY
  84. VICTOR M. ROSE, THE STORY OF CORPUS CHRISTI, 1881
  85. MARY A. SUTHERLAND, THE TEXARKANA GATEWAY TO TEXAS AND THE SOUTHWEST, 1916
  86. THE TEXAS SPIRIT OF ’17 ELLIS COUNTY, TEXAS
  87. ELLIS A. DAVIS, TRUE STORIES OF OLD HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS: HISTORICAL AND PERSONAL SKETCHES, 1922
  88. D.E.E. BRAMAN, UNDER SIX FLAGS THE STORY OF TEXAS, J.B. LIPPINCOTT & CO, 1858
  89. EUGENE C. BARKER, WITH THE MAKERS OF TEXAS: A SOURCE READER IN TEXAS HISTORY, ROW, PETERSON & CO., 1912

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