Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Texas Through Their Eyes


Today I’d like to share some quotes from Texas frontier women. These ladies told it like they saw it – and lived it.
 
“The Texas frontier dared its women to adhere to society’s rules and then threw in their way every conceivable obstacle: Indians, heat, blue northers, bugs, wind, isolation, and violence.” ~ Sherrie S. McLeroy
 
Lonely:She used to tell how when they finally came to the homestead and the wagon stopped, she felt so lonely. There was emptiness as far as the eye could see. How could a human endure?” ~ Odessa Wilmon, West Texas pioneer
Molly Goodnight
 
Desolate: “No one can ever know how much pleasure and company they [three gift chickens] were to me. They were someone I could talk to. They would run to me when I called them and follow me everywhere I went.” ~ Molly Goodnight, living with her husband on an isolated ranch in the Texas Panhandle
 
Friends: “We learned almost all that we ever did know about practical living from our friends on the prairies of Texas.” ~ Seigniora Russell Laune
 
Beautiful:There was sufficient water here for a city of one quarter league, and the scenery along the San Antonio River is very  beautiful, for there are pecan trees, grape vines, willows, elms and other timbers. . . . Fish were caught in abundance for everybody.” ~ Captain Domingo Ramón, exploratory expedition into Texas, 1716 (Okay, he’s a guy, err, was a guy, but I simply couldn’t leave this one out.)
San Antonio River; photo by Billy Hathom; Creative Commons Attribution Share alike 3.0

Austin Women: “Taking all things together, the life lived by the women of Austin at that date [1856] was a joyous, genial existence . . . Their chief employment appeared to be an endless tucking of fine muslin and inserting lace in same . . . Some of the women chewed snuff without cessation and such women neither ‘tucked’ nor ‘inserted.’” ~ Amelia Barr, British novelist & early Austinite
Amelia Barr, ca. 1915
 
Texas Women: “The Texas woman was, when I knew her, more than a half a century ago, brave and resourceful, especially when her environment was anxious and dangerous. They were then nearly without exception fine riders and crack shots, and quite able, when the men of the household were away, to manage their ranches or plantations, and keep such faithful guard over the families and household, that I never once in ten years, heard of any Indian, or other tragedy occurring.” ~ Amelia Barr
 
A Woman with Attitude: “Foolish modesty lags behind while brazen impudence goes forth and eats the pudding.” ~ Eleannor Brackenridge, early Texas suffragist
 
And from a modern Texas woman I greatly admired.
Barbara Jordan; public domain photo
 
Mighty:I get from the soil and spirit of Texas the feeling that I, as an individual, can accomplish whatever I want to, and that there are no limits, that you can just keep going, just keep soaring.” ~ Barbara Jordan, U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, U.S. Congresswoman


I gathered these gems from:

Quotable Texas Women by Susie Kelly Flatau & Lou Halsell Rodenberger

13 comments:

  1. What a treat--I do love quotes of all kinds, and yes, some of these were familiar. Molly Goodnight--I think I know just about everything concerning her, and I knew right away the word "chicken" meant something Molly said.
    All of these are so good--some nostalgic and a bit sad, but some uplifting, such as that about the San Antonio River, and the one by the venerable Barbara Jordan. She was a woman I liked more in her later years. She didn't soften her tone, no siree, but she softened her stance and became more tolerant and wiser, too.
    I love your banner and your photo. Well done. And yes, always..."better late than never."

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    1. Thank you, Celia. I loved Moly's comment about her chickens. Animals can be great friends. Also loved Amelia Barr's description of the Austin women, especially those who chewed snuff. LOL

      I heard Barbara Jordan give her speech before the Democratic National Convention -- can't tell you the year -- and was enthralled. She became one of my personal heroes that night.

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  2. I knew about Molly Goodnight and Barbara Jordan, but not the others. How lonely those on ranches must have been.

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    1. Caroline, between you and me, I would not have made a good pioneer. The loneliness and hardships those women faced must have been overwhelming at times. Those who stuck it out were real life heroines!

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  3. Inspiring post. What great women America has produced. When I lived alone in the middle of 73 acres, I had a wee taste of isolation, and hardship during blizzards or drought. But I could drive to the city if need be. I often wondered how those men and women survived.

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    1. I've wondered the same about them, Gini. They must have had backbones of steel. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. It's amazing how these women could handle all of this poverty and loneliness. I admire them a lot. Thanks for posting these.

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    1. Hi Paisley. I admire them too, and I like their open frankness about the places and people.

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  5. Great quotes! Those Texas women were strong and brave. I can't imagine how they got all their chores done in the hot summertime. They had grit.

    I enjoyed your post.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. Having lived through Texas summers with air conditioning, I've often wondered the same. Those gals had great endurance.

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  6. This was such a great blog, Lyn. I like that it including the diverse thoughts of women over the state of Texas. I like that the women of the west had less social restrictions than in the east. Texas women were certainly tough, talented, and courageous.
    All the best to you, Lyn.

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  7. Thank you, Sarah. I loved sharing a few of these great quote. Glad you enjoyed them!

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  8. Enjoyed your post, Lyn. Can't imagine tucking and inserting lace, but guess that was the lifestyle back then. I love reading about the Goodnights. They lived such and interesting, though hard, life. Sometimes I think...I could handle that isolation with no problem. But, the longest I've gone without someone to talk to was a weekend.

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