'The Scots, Irish, English, and Welsh in the Making of Texas'
Fri, September 2, 2011 • 2:45 AM • Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206
Marian Barber (UT Austin)
Conventional wisdom holds that it was newcomers from other parts of America who shaped Texas history. But immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales have played an equally important role, from Hugo Oconor, who represented the Spanish crown in the eighteenth century, to Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, to the defenders of the Alamo. They also fostered key elements of the economy, including ranching, railroads, and oil, though the relationship was not always a happy one. In fact, it was English investors who were the objects of the state's late nineteenth-century Alien Land Law, aimed at keeping Texas out of Britain's informal empire.
Marian J. Barber is the Associate Director of the National History Center, an initiative of the American Historical Association. A Junior Fellow of British Studies, she received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. She is currently revising for publication her dissertation, 'How the Irish, Germans, and Czechs Became Anglo: Race and Identity in the Texas-Mexico Borderlands.'