|My Name is
Thomas Y. Crowell Publisher, New York, 1954
this long-out-of-print book, the author (1877 – 1963) recounts his
career as a politician as well as his formative years. We never got
as far as the politics, but his early years in Austin
are an amusing look at life as it was in Texas from the 1890s through
the 1910s. Connally later represented Texas in both the U.S. House
of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Although the book was written
“as told to Alfred Steinberg”, Mr. Steinberg did the senator’s story
justice and the book reads as easy as an overheard conversation. A
few copies appear from time to time on Amazon.com.
following excerpt is from Chapter One: My Parents
“….in fact, he was soon able to amass enough cash to buy a farm of
160 acres in McLennan
County near the town of Waco.
Here he moved his family in the early 1870s. In later years, my father
grew less bitter about the War Between the States. He did not keep
any souvenir reminders of the fighting around the house. But I don’t
believe Abraham Lincoln ever became one of his favorite presidents.
Pa was outspoken in his anger at the presence of Yankee soldiers in
Texas during Reconstruction. In 1874, he joined other Texans in throwing
out of office an arrogant Republican governor and the rest of the
home-grown carpetbag bunch. In their stead, he helped elect a Democratic
state government with Richard Coke as governor.
Library of Congress/ Wikimedia
Governor of Texas.
Matthew Brady, Photographer
|Yet in time he
softened. Perhaps it was age. Perhaps it was experience. But anyway,
as he grew older, the War Between the States lost its deep emotional
grip on him.
During the 1880s, an old fellow named Leavitt took over a farm adjoining
ours. He had been a Union soldier and one of the causes, supposedly,
of Pa’s sad early years. Yet, after eyeing Old Man Leavitt suspiciously,
my father suddenly took up with him and they became great friends.
When Pa retired in 1890, he and Old Man Leavitt went to the village
of Eddy every day together. And they were gone for hours, walking
arm in arm to pick up the mail at Conoway’s post office station and
confectionary store in Eddy and talking over politics with politically
minded citizens along the unpaved streets. To me, their friendship
signified the end of the national rancor over the late war.”
Town" by Emil Bisttram
PO Mural in Ranger, Texas