Texas Rangers, Ranchers, and Realtors
James Hughes Callahan and the Day Family in the Guadalupe River Basin
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
640 Pages | 6 x 9 | 19 b&w illus., 16 maps, 27 tables
From his arrival as a sergeant with the Georgia Battalion, through the ill-fated 1855 expedition that bears his name, to his shooting death in a feud with a neighbor, Callahan was a soldier, a Texas Ranger, a rancher, and a land developer, at every turn making his mark on the evolving Guadalupe River Basin. Separately, Sarah’s family’s journey reflected the experience of many immigrants to Texas after its war of independence. Thomas O. McDonald traces the pair’s respective paths to their meeting, then follows as, together, they contend with conflict, troublesome social mores, the emergence of new industries, and the taming of the land, along the way helping to shape the Texas culture we know today.
With a sharp eye for character and detail, and with a wealth of material at his command, author Thomas O. McDonald tells a story as crackling with life as it is steeped in scholarly research. In these pages the lives of the Callahan and Day families become a canvas on which the history of Texas—from revolution, frontier defense, and Indian wars to Anglo settlement and emerging legal and social systems—dramatically, inexorably unfolds.
“Thomas O. McDonald’s history of James Hughes Callahan and the Day family is the quintessential story of the Anglo-Texas frontier with all the requisite elements – heroes of the Texas Revolution, Mexicans, Indians, rascals, Rangers, cattle ranchers, land speculators, and politicians. It reinforces the notion that the history of one person or one family is Texas history.”—Journal of Southern History
“This book will be a valuable addition to the libraries of Texas history enthusiasts, academic and non-academic alike. In addition to his reappraisal of the Callahan Expedition, McDonald analyzes the complex factors that influenced the decisions of people living on the antebellum Texas frontier. His discussion of Callahan’s tragic death and subsequent legal proceedings is an interesting window into the different perceptions held about the role of law enforcement by Anglo and German Texans. McDonald has made an important contribution to the historiography of frontier Texas.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly