5 Texas Classic Books & Stories to Read Online

Many of the classic books about Texas and the Southwest are largely inaccessible to all but a few collectors, or to hard-core historians willing to commit the time and expense to travel to a few major libraries. In an attempt to make these books available to a wider range of students and interested readers, we have undertaken the task of digitizing some of them. Many are over 100 years old, and contain a wealth of history and accounts written by the pioneers who experienced the early history first hand.

Titles that we have completed so far are listed by author in each of two categories: Non-fiction, and Novels and Short Stories. We plan to add more titles soon, as well as a category of on-line books for young readers.

We hope that you enjoy the online books.

J. Frank Dobie, Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest, Austin, 1952 expanded edition. Dobie’s selective bibliography of Southwestern literature. Presented in a very readable “Dobie” style. Selections are divided into over thirty categories, including a section of non-fiction and folklore.

Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days, Austin, 1900. Numerous tantalizing tales experienced by the author between 1827 when he entered Texas, and 1860 when he left for California. “Best of all books dealing with life in early Texas.” –J. Frank Dobie

J. Marvin Hunter (ed.), The Trail Drivers of Texas, 1925, Lamar & Barton, Agents. A collection of narrative sketches of early cowboys and their experiences in driving herds of cattle through the unfenced Texas prairies to northern markets.

Amelia E. Barr, Remember the Alamo, New York, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1888. A mixed Anglo-Mexican family in San Antonio overcomes cultural differences as tensions mount between revolutionary Texans and the Mexican government. Remarkably true to history.

O. Henry, “Last of the Troubadours,” Short story first published in the July, 1908 issue of Everybody’s Magazine. Tale of a strolling minstrel in turn-of-the-century South Texas. Divides the world into three types: Barons, Troubadours, and Workers. Hailed by J. Frank Dobie as “the best range story in American fiction.”

About Lyman

Lyman Hardeman has held a deep interest in Texas history. He spent his youth in College Station, Texas and received a degree in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M in 1966. In 1995, Lyman created Lone Star Junction, a popular Texas history website that later merged with TexasProud.com. Lyman is a life member of the Texas State Historical Association and the author of Texas A&M The First 25 Years.