Wise About Texas

Wise About Texas

The Texas History Podcast

Episodes

May 10, 2022 19 min

What is it about Texas mothers? They are tough, smart, and resourceful. Nothing phases a Texas mom, they can do it all! That was certainly true of Mary Christian Burleson. Mary was a mom to 7 and stepmom to 12. She was a pioneer, a farmer and a stock raiser. She faced hostile Indians and the tragedy of widowhood. She lost a child but raised, educated and inspired even more. She was a businesswoman and education advocate. In short, ...

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Every Easter Eve, the hill country around Fredericksburg comes alive with huge bonfires. Some say this tradition came from Germany, some say the Indians started it, and some say the Easter Bunny is doing some cooking. Hear about the Fredericksburg Easter fires in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.

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April 5, 2022 21 min

March 27, 1836 was Palm Sunday, a holy day. But the Mexican dictator Santa Anna didn’t care, he was out for blood. He ordered hundreds of Texian prisoners executed in cold blood at the Presidio La Bahia at Goliad. The prisoners were split into groups and marched away from the fort. The soldiers proceeded to kill all the prisoners…or did they. Hear a harrowing tale of survival and freedom in the latest episode of Wise About Tex...

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Dr. Amos Pollard was a Massachusetts yankee seeking a new start and prosperity in Texas. He dared the Mexican army to “come and take it,” and served as an army doctor during the siege of Bexar. He would die defending the Alamo. Dr. Pollard wanted freedom for Texas and a chance to make an impact for the good of the country. Learn about this Alamo hero in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.

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February 27, 2022 16 min

The Alamo defenders were heroes, but not everyone gets top billing. Hear the stories of some of the defenders that you may not think of when you remember the Alamo. This episode is about Alamo hero Toribio Losoya.

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She arrived from Germany with very little, not even speaking English. She braved indian attacks, frontier outlaws and a civil war to become a cattle queen and a bank president. Learn about a great Texas entrepreneur in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.

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January 16, 2022 21 min

The Lea family were patriots.  Father Albert Lea was born in Tennessee and served in the Army after graduating West Point.  He went on to serve in various capacities by appointment of several different presidents.  His son attended the Naval academy and shot through the ranks as a Naval Officer.  But as the civil war approached, patriotism stood to pit father against son as each had to choose which country to fight for.  They would...

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The trial of the century would be held in the old sandstone courthouse in Jacksboro. Finally, justice would be served…or would it? Fiery arguments, quick verdicts, legal wrangling, and back room negotiations would end the raiding, or so some thought. Ultimately, justice would be a moving target in this first-of-its kind case. Find out what happened in this final episode of the Indian Trial series.

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November 1, 2021 46 min

The Texas Historical Commission is creating the opportunity to step back in time and visit the capital of Austin’s colony, San Felipe de Austin. Reproductions of some of the town buildings will now sit mere yards from their original locations. Find out about this exciting new project from the project historian Michael Rugeley Moore in this bonus episode of Wise About Texas.

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General Sherman toured northern Texas to see just how bad the Indian raiding was. He had his doubts. What he didn’t know was just how close he came to a first-hand encounter! The party crossing the Salt Creek Prairie right after Sherman wouldn’t be so lucky. As the Kiowa swept down toward Henry Warren’s wagon train, the teamsters tried to circle the wagons. They didn’t make it. The Indians were proud of their accomplishment bu...

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The western frontier of Texas moved backwards during the Civil War. Indian raids pushed the settlers toward safer ground. After the war, the raiding had become so bad that something had to be done. The federal government thought leading with diplomacy would solve the problem but the Texans wanted military action. An 1871 attack on a wagon train and the subsequent efforts to impose the rule of law on the frontier proved a turnin...
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September 9, 2021 13 min
Freshwater pearls have always been valuable finds, but one man found one in 1909 that was said to be worth a ton of money! All of a sudden, East Texas experienced a pearl boom. One person reported watching a thousand people combing lake bottoms hoping to strike it rich. Hear about the East Texas pearl frenzy in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
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August 3, 2021 21 min
In the early 1920's, the City of Houston was building what would come to be known as Hermann Park. Its centerpiece was to be a statue of Sam Houston. Enrico Cerracchio won the contract and his creation was lauded nationwide. But one person really didn't like it...Sam Houston's son. He hated it so much, a Judge had to get involved. Hear about the story of Sam's statue in this episode of Wise About Texas.
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Galveston native Sam Collins III had a vision to bring Texas history and the Juneteenth story to its home in a grand way. Enlisting the help of a team of artists, technology experts, and the Galveston community, the Juneteenth Legacy Project came to life at the very site where General Granger issued General Order No. 3. Learn about Galveston's newest civic asset and the need for more Texas history, not less, from Sam Collins ...
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On June 19, 1865, union general Gordon Granger landed in Galveston and issued some general orders. His General Order No. 3 informed the people of Texas that all the slaves in Texas were now free. Since then, "Juneteenth" has been celebrated in Texas as the anniversary of emancipation. Juneteenth became an official Texas state holiday in 1980. In 2021, the U.S. followed Texas' lead and now a fateful day in Texas hist...
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The victorious Texians only carried one flag into the Battle of San Jacinto. It was a gift from the citizens of Newport, Kentucky to Sidney Sherman. After the revolution, the flag was sent back to Kentucky. But after several decades, the flag found its permanent home. Learn the fate of the San Jacinto battle flag in this episode of Wise About Texas.
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April 21, 2021 23 min
The San Jacinto monument stands 567 feet over a battleground upon which a ragtag army changed the trajectory of world history. A few hundred Texians surprised the President of Mexico and his army in an afternoon attack on April 21, 1836. Eighteen minutes later, the Texians had won their revolution against the tyrannical Santa Anna, who had run away in fear. The San Jacinto monument, begun in 1936 and completed in 1939, stands as...
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March 28, 2021 10 min
On March 27, 1836, several hundred Texian soldiers were brutally murdered on the orders of Santa Anna. One of them, John C. Logan, left us two letters. The first was written at a time of optimism and victory. The second reflected the hard conditions suffered by many in the Texian army. These two letters provide a quick glimpse into the experiences of the brave men who fought for Texas freedom. Hear the reflections of Texian so...
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James L. Haley is one of Texas' finest writers. He has written a preeminent biography of Sam Houston, an award winning narrative history of Texas called Passionate Nation as well as several works of fiction, also very highly regarded. But we Texans take our history very seriously, so writing historical fiction about Texas can be a risky endeavor. James Haley delivers. His latest work is a naval adventure series featuring Americ...
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From February 23, 1836 through its fall on March 6, the Mexican army lay siege to the Alamo. William Barrret Travis wrote several letters during the siege but one stands above all others.  On February 24, 1836, Travis dispatched a letter "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World."  This letter would become one of the most famous, inspirational, and heroically tragic missives in history.  Remember the Alamo in t...
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