26 Slices
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FORT MASON

B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor The University of Chicago Press ePub

Fort

Mason

Upon leaving Menard head east along Texas Highway 29 to Fort Mason, located on a hill south of Mason.

Mason grew up around the fort and became the county seat in 1861. Mason County was created on January 22, and organized on August 2, 1858. It is said that the first settlers who drifted into the region in 1846 were from John 0. Meusebach’s settlement in Fredericksburg. Because the settlers were beyond the protection of government troops, Meusebach negotiated a treaty with the Comanches to allow his settlers to live in peace. Unfortunately the peace did not last, and the settlers were soon demanding protection.

Fortunately, the United States Army was already developing a plan to establish a chain of forts to provide protection across the Texas frontier. During the 1850s, as settlers began to move into central Texas, an ever-increasing need arose for armed protection against Indian attacks in the region. To this end, the United States army established the forts at approximately fifty-mile intervals to provide a network of defense for the civilian communities. Fort Mason was one of the posts which provided this service.

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9. Tactics Is the Art of Taking

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

9

Tactics Is the Art of Taking

Chicago, 1964

Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago has pulled out all the stops to turn out a huge Democratic vote for Lyndon Johnson against Barry Goldwater in the November presidential election. He has lined up most of the city’s black organizations to cooperate in the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort. But only six weeks before the election, leaders of the black Woodlawn Organization regret acting so hastily—not because of anything Johnson or the national Democrats had done, but because their too-early presidential endorsement seems to endanger their own local political goals.

With the help of Saul Alinsky in 1960, The Woodlawn Organization (TWO) had been organized by a group of black residents and church leaders to keep the University of Chicago from expanding into their neighborhoods. After its successful effort against the university, the group decided to focus on other projects to upgrade their community, and TWO had become a force to be reckoned with in Chicago politics. This year, the city administration had committed to make certain capital improvements in TWO neighborhoods. But with the virtual lockup of the black vote for the Democrats, Mayor Daley and city officials were under very little pressure to deliver on their commitments to TWO—at least for now. What’s the hurry?

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7. The First Revolution Is Internal

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

7

The First Revolution Is Internal

Austin, 1986

I wait for Sister Christine Stephens in the coffee shop at the Ramada Inn, one block from the State Capitol building. She is about 20 minutes late for our appointment, and when she finally arrives, it is only to pause long enough to apologize for the delay of her airplane and to excuse herself for a few minutes more to make a telephone call. The call is to check with the lieutenant governor’s office about his itinerary for an upcoming tour of the colonias in the Rio Grande Valley. Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby Jr. wants officials from the state’s water agencies to see the neighborhoods where people live without adequate water and sewer systems, and Stephens is making arrangements for the trip. But at the last minute, Governor Mark White, who is facing a stiff challenge to his reelection bid, decides he wants to go along.1 And now, with the governor’s staff and press entourage, arrangements have to be made for 50 people. What started out as a simple visit by water officials has turned into a political circus, which Stephens must manage. As I watch the tall, no-nonsense, graying woman in a blue business suit, there is no doubt in my mind that she can handle it.

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FORT PHANTOM HILL

B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor The University of Chicago Press ePub

Fort

Phantom Hill

Continue along Highway 283 from Fort Griffin straight into Albany.

Albany became the county seat of Shackelford County in 1874, and soon overtook and passed Fort Griffin in population and business. Sallie Reynolds Matthews lived here, whose life story, along with that of the community, is related in a frontier classic, Interwoven. The title comes from the intermarriage of members of two outstanding families of the county, Matthews and Reynolds.

Albany’s awareness of its past is immediately noticeable in the historical preservation in the town. Also Albany produces the “Fort Griffin Fandangle” each year, an historical pageant put on by home talent. In the early 1930s, Robert Nail, a Princeton graduate in drama and a Phi Beta Kappa, began to apply his talent to the fascinating story of the Clear Fork country frontier. Through the years he made the production an event of renown. Since his death his associates have continued this fine production.

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15. We Are the Only Alternative

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

15

We Are the Only Alternative

San Antonio, 1986

“Most people have come into our communities to destroy them . . . the Klan . . . the dope dealers . . . the developers. . . . The people have looked to their ministers to defend and protect them.”1

The speaker is the Reverend Nehemiah Davis, the distinguished black pastor of the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Fort Worth. The setting is the modern new Catholic chancery of the archdiocese of San Antonio. The audience is a group of about 60 Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, and Texas community leaders from eight Texas Industrial Areas Foundation organizations who are meeting to get to know each other better and determine how they can exert statewide influence as a network. Some of them have driven 13 hours from El Paso to be at the meeting, and several of the El Paso representatives speak no English. So the low rumble of simultaneous translation from English to Spanish accompanies the dialogue, which is about power and how to solidify it locally and leverage it statewide.

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