Journey Through Texas Or a Saddle-Trip on the Southwestern Frontier

ISBN-10: 0803286201
ISBN-13: 9780803286207
Edition: 2004
List price: $26.95 Buy it from $22.92
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Description: Before he became America's foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) was by turns a surveyor, merchant seaman, farmer, magazine publisher, and traveling newspaper correspondent. In 1856–57 he took a saddle trip through Texas to  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication date: 12/1/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 539
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Before he became America's foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) was by turns a surveyor, merchant seaman, farmer, magazine publisher, and traveling newspaper correspondent. In 1856–57 he took a saddle trip through Texas to see the country and report on its lands and peoples. His description of the Lone Star State on the eve of the Civil War remains one of the best accounts of the American West ever published. Unvarnished by sentiment or myth making, based on firsthand observations, and backed with statistical research, Olmsted's narrative captures the manners, foods, entertainments, and conversations of the Texans, as well as their housing, agriculture, business, exotic animals, changeable weather, and the pervasive influence of slavery. Back and forth from the Sabine to the Rio Grande, through San Augustine, Nacogdoches, San Marcos, San Antonio, Neu-Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Lavaca, Indianola, Goliad, Castroville, La Grange, Houston, Harrisburg, and Beaumont, Olmsted rode and questioned and listened and reported. Texas was then already a multiethnic and multiracial state, where Americans, Germans, Mexicans, Africans, and Indians of numerous tribes mixed uneasily. Olmsted interviewed planters, scouts, innkeepers, bartenders, housewives, drovers, loafers, Indian chiefs, priests, runaway slaves, and emigrants and refugees from every part of the known world—most of whom had "gone to Texas" looking for a fresh start. He also observed the breathtaking arrival of spring on the prairie and the starry nights that seemed to prove the truth of the German saying “The sky seems nearer in Texas.”

Witold Rybczynskihas written about architecture forThe New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, andSlate, and is the author of the critically acclaimed bookHomeand the award-winningA Clearing in the Distance. He is the recipient of the National Building Museum's 2007 Vincent Scully Prize. He lives with his wife in Philadelphia, where he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.

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