Women in Texas History

Front Cover
Texas A&M University Press, Oct 15, 2018 - History - 366 pages
Winner, 2019 Liz Carpenter Award, sponsored by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

In recent decades, a small but growing number of historians have dedicated their tireless attention to analyzing the role of women in Texas history. Each contribution—and there have been many—represents a brick in the wall of new Texas history. From early Native societies to astronauts, Women in Texas History assembles those bricks into a carefully crafted structure as the first book to cover the full scope of Texas women’s history.

By emphasizing the differences between race and ethnicity, Angela Boswell uses three broad themes to tie together the narrative of women in Texas history. First, the physical and geographic challenges of Texas as a place significantly affected women’s lives, from the struggles of isolated frontier farming to the opportunities and problems of increased urbanization. Second, the changing landscape of legal and political power continued to shape women’s lives and opportunities, from the ballot box to the courthouse and beyond. Finally, Boswell demonstrates the powerful influence of social and cultural forces on the identity, agency, and everyday life of women in Texas. In challenging male-dominated legal and political systems, Texan women shaped (and were shaped by) class, religion, community organizations, literary and artistic endeavors, and more.

Women in Texas History is the first book to narrate the entire span of Texas women’s history and marks a major achievement in telling the full story of the Lone Star State. Historians and general readers alike will find this book an informative and enjoyable read for anyone interested in the history of Texas or the history of women.


Chapter 1 Native American Spanish and Mexican Women in Native American Texas
Chapter 2 The Frontier South in the Early Nineteenth Century
Chapter 3 Creating an Antebellum Society in Texas
Chapter 4 Civil War and Reconstruction
Chapter 5 Making West Texas
Chapter 6 Womens Activism 1870s1920s
Chapter 7 Womens Work 1890s1920s
Chapter 8 Depression and War
Chapter 9 Accepting and Rejecting Conformity in the Postwar Decades
Women to the End of the Twentieth Century

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About the author (2018)

ANGELA BOSWELL is the dean of arts and sciences and professor of history at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where she also resides. She is the author of Her Act and Deed: Women’s Public Lives in a Rural Southern County, 1837–1873, winner of the Liz Carpenter Award for Best Book on the History of Women.