The Other Texas Frontier

The Other Texas Frontier


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“One is tempted to say that wherever there was a frontier in America there was a counterfrontier and that the main purpose of this counterfrontier was not only to help man grow or dig or catch or kill his livng but also to put this man in communication with the traditions of his kind and thereby secure to his descendants the benefits of the free mind.” —Harry Huntt Ransom

The reflections of Harry Huntt Ransom (1908–1976) in The Other Texas Frontier present an alternative to the stereotypical picture of the brash, blustery heroes of the Texas frontier. Here, in six highly readable essays, Ransom posits a thesis of the counterfrontier: a quiet settling of the land by thoughtful, undramatic citizens who, he says, were the other Texans—the Texans without guns. Three of the essays are profiles of gifted men from Texas’ nineteenth century: Ashbel Smith, physician, diplomat, and first president of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas; Sherman Goodwin, physician, horticulturalist, bibliophile (and Ransom’s own grandfather); and Swante Palm, Swedish immigrant, bibliographer, and generous patron of the University of Texas libraries.

Harry Huntt Ransom, one of Texas’ most accomplished men of letters and for forty-one years an integral part of the University of Texas System as professor, dean, president, and chancellor, leaves an extraordinary legacy to Texas for both his educational and literary service. Though educated out of state, he returned to his native Texas after completion of his PhD at Yale to teach, research, and write in the fields of copyright law, literary history, and bibliography. As founder of the Humanities Research Center, he was squarely in the tradition of the men he was writing about.

Compiled and edited after Ransom’s death by his wife, Hazel H. Ransom, the literary sketches of The Other Texas Frontier form a book that Ransom himself had outlined but had not completed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292771284
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 02/26/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 74
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Hazel H. Ransom (1920–1993) earned BA and MA degrees in English at The University of Texas at Austin and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to her marriage to Harry Huntt Ransom, she was instructor in English at the University.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Spirit of Texas
  • The Counterfrontier in Texas
  • The Roots of Early Texas Biography
  • Ashbel Smith, 1805–1886
  • Sherman Goodwin, 1814–1884
  • Swante Palm, 1815–1899

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