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Deadline: Midnight on August 31

Texas history

is your legacy

The year is 1836. William B. Travis just assumed full command of the Bexar garrison. As commander, Travis wrote his letter addressed to the “people of Texas & all Americans in the world,” in which he recounted that the garrison had “sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours.” He pledged that he would “never surrender or retreat” and swore “Victory or Death.” On March 1, thirty-two troops attached to Lt. George C. Kimbell’s Gonzales post1 ranging company made their way through the enemy cordon and into the Alamo. Travis was grateful for any reinforcements, but knew he needed more. On March 3 he reported to the convention at Washington-on-the- Brazos that he had lost faith in Colonel Fannin. “I look to the colonies alone for aid; unless it arrives soon, I shall have to fight the enemy on his own terms.” He grew increasingly bitter that his fellow Texans seemed deaf to his appeals. In a letter to a friend, Travis revealed his frustration: “If my countrymen do not rally to my relief, I am determined to perish in the defense of this place, and my bones shall reproach my country for her neglect.”

Now, imagine a world where future generations do not learn about the courageous freedom fighters of the Alamo like William Travis, James Bowie, Juan Seguin or David Crockett? How tragic it would be for our children to grow up and never know that Sam Houston was the first regularly elected president of the Republic of Texas, or that Stephen F. Austin spent most of his life working to ensure the prosperity and welfare of Texas and considered it “the idol of his existence?” Or what if no one knew about the spirit of Texian settlers who challenged the Mexican Army to “Come and Take It” in their dispute over the cannon at Gonzales?

In 1897, a group of Texas enthusiasts came together to ensure that these important lessons from the past and many others would be gathered and preserved, so that they could be shared with the rest of the world. This group is known as the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA).

Motivated by the idea that without an understanding of our history, every generation must start over, the proud members of the Texas State Historical Association are bound by one common objective: to celebrate and pass on the unique and proud heritage of Texas.

Since its founding over a century ago, the Texas State Historical Association has become recognized as the most trusted organization for researching, documenting, and preserving the values and spirit that are uniquely Texas.

TSHA works to ensure that our children—and our children’s children—understand and appreciate the remarkable heritage of Texas. Through a vast array of educational resources, TSHA reaches more than 1,028,000 students each year.

But the demand for our resources is growing rapidly. This year, more than 5 million children will attend Texas public schools, making the need for reliable and in-depth educational resources greater than ever.

In an effort to meet this growing demand, we have been making significant investments to digitize our works so that they can be accessed by more and more scholars, enthusiasts, and students both young and old.

And the good news is . . . it’s working!

  • The Handbook of Texas Online, the nation’s preeminent state history encyclopedia with more than 27,000 authoritative entries on Texas subjects, attracts 5,252,390 visitors from all 50 states and more than 234 countries.
  • This year, leading up to the popular Texas Quiz Show contest in public schools, we created the first-ever Are You Smarter Than a Texas Seventh Grader? online quiz game. In four short months, more than 205,733 people have participated.
  • And plans are now under way to improve online access—free to the world—to all 115 years of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. This scholarly journal, which is used by thousands of researchers each year, has been a major source for many of the textbook accounts of Texas and Southwest history.

post2 post3 post4 That’s why now, more than ever, we are counting on you to get involved so that this growing demand can be met.

By becoming a member of Texas State Historical Association, you can help TSHA end our fiscal year strong. As a member, you are investing in future generations as you help TSHA to remain the authoritative resource for all things Texas, including all of our educational and advocacy programs, historical reference guides, and online resources. And when you join TSHA at the $50 level, we will send you a FREE copy of the Texas Almanac. Packed with articles as well as hundreds of images, maps, and data, the 2014–2015 Texas Almanac is heralded as the premier reference guide for everything Texas. And it can be yours FREE with a gift of just $50.

Your membership in the Texas State Historical Association sets you apart as someone who cares passionately about the great state of Texas and wants to keep its rich history alive.

Your membership also allows TSHA to meet the growing demands of the digital age by helping to digitize educational resources like the interactive Texas Quiz Show and the popular Texas Day by Day daily email digest.

We are counting on you to get involved by joining us as a full member of TSHA today.

As William Travis so eloquently put in his letter from the Alamo, “I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch.”

Today, 178 years later, we echo the words of Travis and call on you the people of Texas and all Americans in the world to help us continue to preserve, protect, and make accessible to the world the important lessons from Texas history. Our fiscal year ends August 31 at midnight, so please join TSHA today.