Saturday, May 19, 2018

The State DRT Convention and More

On Friday evening, May 18, it was my privilege to present the banquet address for the 2018 annual meeting of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The three-day DRT Convention was held at the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria. A few years ago I delivered the keynote address when the statewide DRT Convention was held in Killeen, and during my tenure as Texas State Historian I have presented programs to numerous DRT chapters. So it was a special pleasure to participate in the 127th Annual Convention of the DRT.

Registration desk
Vendor table
The program chair for this 2018 Convention was a longtime friend and Panola College colleague, Liz Hedges. She asked me to provide a light-hearted program, and we decided on "Musical Traditions of Texas," which has been received through the years with laughter and interest by numerous audiences, especially those that are predominantly female. I arrived at mid-afternoon, and immediately encountered friends and acquaintances from other DRT meetings. More than 500 members were in attendance. There are 7,000 DRT members. Next year's meeting will be in Austin.
With Historian General Liz Hedges

With longtime Panola College colleague Carl Hedges
I was delighted to see Amber Friday Brown, whom I first met as a freshman student in a US History class at Panola. I quickly learned that Amber was an enthusiastic Civil War re-enactor, and when I had her bring her antebellum clothing to class, I also learned that she was a talented presenter. During her two years at Panola I helped arrange appearances for her with Sons of Confederate Veteran groups. She spent her summers working at a Civil War coastal fort in North Carolina. Amber earned bachelors and masters degrees in Arkansas, where she and her husband - also a re-enactor - live and work. A transplanted Texan, Amber enlisted the assistance of the Texas State Historian in establishing an Arkansas chapter of the DRT with other native Texan ladies. Amber also leads the United Daughters of the Confederacy organization in Arkansas. It was a great pleasure to visit and catch up with this good friend and accomplished historian.
With Amber Friday-Brown

View from the head table
Two days before driving to Dallas for the DRT Convention, I received from the University of North Texas Press the new cover for the reprint of my 2006 book, War in East Texas, Regulators vs. Moderators. This history of the murderous Regulator-Moderator War was the first title in the Bob and Doris Bowman East Texas History Series. The book proved quite popular - I signed 200 copies in two hours in Shelbyville, the village which was the center of conflict. But when the first hardcopy printing sold out, circumstances prevented a second edition. The book was co-sponsored by the Bowmans and the East Texas Historical Association. Sadly, both Bob and Doris passed away during recent years, but ETHA Executive Director Scott Sosebee has been instrumental in arranging a softcover reprint through the UNT Press.

The Director of UNT Press, Ron Chrisman, has focused on feud books and outlaw/lawman titles. Indeed, he published my book on The Johnson-Sims Feud of 1916-1918, the last old-fashioned blood feud in Texas. The Lone Star State was the site of more blood feuds than any other state or territory, and the first of these conflicts was the Regulator-Moderator War of the 1840s. Ron felt strongly that War in East Texas was a suitable entry for UNT Press, and his tireless efforts with the original publishers have placed the book back in print this summer for the first time in more than a decade. I am grateful to Ron and Scott, and I look forward to presenting programs again on the Regulator-Moderator War. 


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