Texas Roots: Agriculture and Rural Life before the Civil War by C. Allan Jones

By C. Allan Jones

In today’s Texas, with its becoming city populations and big-city existence, it really is worthy remembering that during 1850 basically 10 percentage of Texans lived in cities with as many as a hundred humans. The rest—of many ethnic and racial groups—lived off the land, which was once blessedly suited for a ecocnomic number of vegetation and farm animals and likewise supplied an abundance of flora and fauna loose for the taking.

In Texas Roots, C. Allan Jones reminds us that the commercial wealth of contemporary Texas arose from its agricultural history, a wealthy mix of practices and traditions including:

· Caddo searching, accumulating, gardening, and farming

· Irrigated agriculture at Spanish missions

· Hispanic ranching

· Slave-based plantations

· Small-scale farmers and ranchers

via time, humans tailored the rural applied sciences, legislation, and customs of recent Spain, Mexico, Europe, and the South to their very own useful, institutional, and criminal wishes. the end result used to be a very Texan procedure that might function the root for the state’s monetary energy after the Civil War.

Texas Roots shines a vibrant gentle on our dating and reference to the land, bringing alive a side of the Texas heritage that contributed immeasurably to the state’s identification and prosperity.

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In a pitched battle 2 Spaniards were killed, and 13 were badly wounded. In December 1732, a force of 157 Spaniards and 60 mission Indians set off with 140 pack animals and 900 horses and mules. On the Río San Saba they surprised four Apache villages, or rancherias, consisting of about 400 tents and 700 warriors. Attacking at dawn, the Spanish guns killed an estimated 200 Indians in a five-hour battle. 8 Troubles continued, and by the late 1730s, the vecinos and soldiers were forced to bring their horses into the city every night to protect them from the Apaches.

Some two miles to the northeast, the headspring of the Río San Antonio provided even more water than San Pedro Springs. ” After flowing southward for about five miles, past Mission Valero and the presidio, San Pedro Creek and the Río San Antonio came together. ” 2 The 1718 expedition to resupply the east Texas missions included seventy-two persons, 548 horses, six droves of mules, and other livestock. Despite these efforts, conditions deteriorated in 1718–19, and the missions were again abandoned.

With peace, it became easier for soldiers and vecinos to hunt mesteño cattle for their own consumption. But the major livestock owners had always been the missions, and the padres objected. 25 During the 1750s and 1760s the mission herds of cattle and horses remained relatively stable. In 1762 the five San Antonio missions claimed almost 5,500 cattle, 560 saddle horses, 15,200 sheep and goats, and about 1,200 brood mares. A few years later, in 1768, livestock at the missions totaled 5,487 cattle, over 600 saddle horses, almost 1,000 mares, more than 1,000 donkeys and almost as many mules, and 17,000 sheep and goats.

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