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The Texas State Historical Association is the originator and chief sponsor of the New Handbook of Texas. We have, however, enjoyed substantial support from individuals and institutions all along the way. When former director L. Tuffly Ellis began the project, he envisioned a network of cosponsors through which the intellectual and financial resources of academic institutions around the state could be brought to bear on the task at hand. Twenty-eight colleges, universities, research centers, and historical associations agreed to participate in the project as cosponsors; they are mentioned individually on the cosponsors' page elsewhere in the front matter of this volume. These institutions have assisted with revision of the Handbook by contributing financial support, assigning staff members to work on the project, facilitating access to scholarly collections, and providing office space and logistical support.

The University of Texas at Austin led the way in this effort through its support of the Center for Studies in Texas History, a component of the College of Liberal Arts. Deans Robert T. King, Standish Meacham, and, now, Sheldon Ekland-Olson have provided continued encouragement and, through the Center, paid the salaries of two senior editors, as well as providing office space and assisting with logistical support. Nowhere has the collaborative nature of this relationship been more clearly demonstrated than through the assistance provided by the state's leading Texas history collection, the Center for American History at UT Austin. Director Don E. Carleton and Associate Director Katherine J. Adams recognized the tremendous importance of the center's collections for research on the New Handbook and committed the CAH to supporting that work. Handbook staff were treated as members of the CAH staff and given unparalleled access to research materials. We want to mention particularly the assistance of Trudy B. Croes, Ralph L. Elder, William H. Richter, and Stefanie A. Wittenbach in using the CAH collections, John R. Wheat for assistance with materials on music history, Stephen C. Stappenbeck for information on the newspaper collections, and John H. Slate and Donna J. Coates for assistance in locating illustrations. Librarians and staff members at most of UT Austin's other libraries assisted at one time or another. Particularly helpful was the access provided by Stephen W. Littrell and the staff of the Map Room of the Perry-Castañeda Library. Thousands of USGS topographical maps loaned to our research staff were invaluable in preparing community and geographical feature articles.

The accuracy and completeness of articles relating to North and Northeast Texas stem in large part from support provided by the University of North Texas. For many years Randolph B. Campbell supervised first one and then two research assistants annually, graduate students in the UNT history department, who researched, wrote, and checked thousands of articles. Articles related to the High Plains and the Panhandle owe a similar debt to Texas Tech University and to senior editor Lawrence L. Graves, who supervised as many as three research assistants annually. For several years Texas A&M University funded the salaries of two research assistants who researched and wrote articles related to Central Texas under the supervision of faculty members Robert A. Calvert and Larry D. Hill. Professor emeritus J. Milton Nance also served as a senior editor during early years of the project. For ten years the history department at Southwest Texas State University funded the salaries of SWTSU graduate students who worked as research assistants in the TSHA offices. The Foundation for Women's Resources and Texas Woman's University helped fund for several years a research assistant working specifically in women's history, and the Texas Catholic Conference underwrote a similar effort on Catholic history.

Libraries and research centers around the state provided additional institutional support. The Texas State Library and Archives gave frequent advice to our research staff on archival holdings. The Texas Historical Commission staff were helpful in many ways; special thanks need to be extended to Cynthia Beeman and other staff members associated with the Historical Marker program, who made their extensive files available to our research staff and welcomed our frequent visits and questions over the years. The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, in Liberty, provided substantial assistance with the preparation of articles related to the Atascosito region of Southeast Texas and for several years provided office space and access to materials for a Handbook staff member working in the region.

The making of the New Handbook of Texas depended upon a multitude of informed decisions about topics and authors. We have relied heavily on the advice of advisory editors in making these evaluations. Our board of advisory editors is composed of a wide range of individuals who possess substantial expertise on one or more aspects of Texas history. Collectively, the advisory editors worked with the editorial staff to define the scope of subject areas covered in the New Handbook and determine the most important topics; to identify and help recruit the most appropriate authors; to review, evaluate, and sometimes edit the submitted entries; and, in many cases, to research and write on topics in their area of expertise. Advisory editors served without remuneration from the TSHA. As a group, they contributed thousands of hours to the project.

A complete list of advisory editors appears in the following pages. Although limits on space prohibit mentioning the important contributions of each individual, several merit comment for extraordinary participation. Randolph B. Campbell, of the University of North Texas, provided sage advice from the beginning of the project, rendered scholarly judgments on an enormous range of questions, guided research assistants and students through massive lists of writing assignments, and, not least, read and critiqued all of the 254 county entries. Arnoldo De León of Angelo State University developed the list of topics pertaining to Tejanos and Mexican Americans in Texas. Through patient and persistent efforts over the life of the project he solicited scores of articles from leading scholars in the area, reviewed the resulting articles, and wrote many himself. Chester R. Burns of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston coordinated a collaborative effort among health science centers to document the medical history of Texas. Over the course of more than ten years, he built a systematic list of topics chronicling the people, institutions, events, and trends of medical practice throughout Texas history. In the process, he and the other authors have brought attention to a major aspect of Texas history and produced a significant new body of literature. An area of Texas history more frequently chronicled--the Spanish Colonial period--benefited tremendously from the untiring efforts of two advisory editors, Robert S. Weddle and Donald E. Chipman. Each read hundreds of new manuscripts and entries from the first Handbook, painstakingly ensuring that they reflected the best current knowledge about this vital era.

Primary credit for the content of the New Handbook goes, of course, to the more than 3,000 authors and readers who researched, wrote, and critiqued the entries. Walter Webb, in describing his vision for the original Handbook, called it the "product of the collective literary genius of the people of Texas." We have remained true to that vision and reached beyond it. Handbook authors, who hail from all walks of life, reside not only throughout the state of Texas but also in every other state of the United States and in several other countries. We acknowledge them individually in bylines. Here again, however, the outstanding contributions of a few compel special mention. George C. Werner devoted a great deal of time to the 320 railroad articles; he wrote many of them and read and evaluated the others. Howard N. Martin drew on his vast knowledge of the Alabama-Coushatta Indians in advising us and wrote forty articles related to them. Natalie Ornish enriched our coverage of Jewish history in Texas through her suggestions and by writing more than fifty articles. Bill Groneman contributed articles on 186 of the Alamo defenders as well as an article on the noncombatants. W. H. Timmons provided us with invaluable assistance on topics related to the El Paso area, as did Dick D. Heller, Jr., for Starr County. Frank Wagner contributed numerous articles on the Corpus Christi area. Throughout the project we benefited from the participation of members of county historical commissions who reviewed potential topic lists, critiqued submitted manuscripts, and wrote entries. Several commissions were particularly helpful. Merle R. Hudgins reviewed and wrote many entries about Wharton County, as did Norman W. Black for Gregg County. Jane G. McMeans of Fort Bend County and Audrey D. Kariel of Harrison County were most helpful in coordinating article reviews by members of their county historical commissions. Ann Washington coordinated the efforts of a local group, the Rio Grande Valley Handbook of Texas Volunteers, in writing and reading entries related to that region. Charles D. Spurlin and the Victoria County Historical Commission, Patricia B. Hensley and the Trinity County Historical Commission, and John R. Ross and the Cherokee County Historical Commission also assisted in the coverage of their counties.

Professors at several Texas colleges and universities organized classes and seminars to contribute to the New Handbook. For several years Randolph B. Campbell had students in his undergraduate Texas history classes at the University of North Texas write Handbook articles, as did Paul D. Lack and Jodella Kite Dyreson at McMurry University, Archie P. McDonald at Stephen F. Austin State University, and Martha M. Allen at Southwestern University. The New Handbook also benefits from articles written by students of Floyd S. Brandt and Patrick L. Brockett at the UT Austin College of Business Administration and by students of Glen McClish in the communications department at Southwestern University. Under the direction of Jerry Thompson, students at Texas A&M International University prepared a number of entries on Webb County. In addition, Martha M. Allen and Jan C. Dawson at Southwestern University have referred Southwestern history students to us for internships.

The charitable foundations and people of Texas have been exceptionally generous in providing financial resources to sustain the Handbook revision, especially the six foundations that collectively contributed $1,250,000 toward the project: The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Cullen Foundation, The Fondren Foundation, Houston Endowment Inc., The Summerfield G. Roberts Foundation, and The Summerlee Foundation. Major financial support also came from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Texas Committee for the Humanities, a state program of the NEH. The major financial contributors are recognized individually in the following pages. We want to thank everyone who contributed to the fund-raising efforts in any way, for each contribution, regardless of size, was helpful; the New Handbook could not have been done without them. Four members of our development committee warrant special mention for their vision, guidance, and enthusiasm: Edward A. Clark, J. Conrad Dunagan, Fred H. Moore, and A. Frank Smith, Jr.

David Timmons, whose graphic design skills will be familiar to many readers of TSHA publications, designed the New Handbook. G and S Typesetters of Austin converted the data files into electronic pages, and Digital Press and Imaging of San Antonio prepared the color separations. Edwards Brothers of Ann Arbor, Michigan, printed and bound the volumes. Special thanks go to Brian Slavin for his advice and support on a challenging printing job.

We conclude with a short note about our staff. In the end, it is they who have lived with this project day in and day out for the past fourteen years. Due to its size the New Handbook was managed as a separate project with its own staff for core functions such as research and writing, editing, and data entry. The entire TSHA staff, however, provided logistical and administrative support as well as moral encouragement throughout the project. At times, it must surely have seemed as though the Handbook had become the tail that wags the dog. Colleen T. Kain, the association's executive assistant throughout the project, patiently counseled, advised, and assisted the Handbook staff in coping with myriad administrative matters. She also contributed her outstanding skills as a meeting coordinator to the several Handbook conferences. George B. Ward, assistant director and coordinator of TSHA's publication program, provided cheerful and friendly advice on editorial and production matters. David C. De Boe, director of educational programs for TSHA, advised the editorial staff on educators' needs and graciously served as liaison between the Handbook project and Texas teachers. Evelyn G. Stehling responded to countless requests for administrative assistance with good cheer and consistently superior work. Ann Russell, the association's bookkeeper for most of the project, worked gamely through the avalanche of financial paperwork generated by the project. To them, and all the other TSHA staff members from 1982 through 1996, we extend our sincere appreciation for not only putting up with it all but for helping immeasurably.

More than 100 people served in one capacity or another on the Handbook staff between 1982 and 1996. They have been a magnificent and dedicated group of individuals and a joy to work with. It is by now a truism to say that people do not work in the field of academic scholarship and publishing solely for the monetary reward. The work itself, and its value to society, provided much of our motivation. Time and time again, Handbook staff members held to that mission and completed their objectives, regardless of the difficulty. We note especially the contributions of the late Arthur K. Leatherwood, a volunteer who worked on the New Handbook almost every Monday for fourteen years and who continued to volunteer his time after publication. We extend to all staff our appreciation for a job well done.