LISTED IN THE TEXAS HUMANITIES COMMISSION SPEAKERS DIRECTORY
“At the School of the Victorian Lady at Fort Concho, Texas, Julia Robb was our keynote speaker. We wanted to know how she researches her historical fiction novels. Ms. Robb explained quite clearly and in an entertaining manner how she brings her characters and locations alive for her readers. We were quite impressed with the speech and would highly recommend Julia Robb to be a speaker at any gathering of people who have a passion for history represented with honestly and enthusiasm,” said Sharon Baird, February, 2016.
Speaking and Workshop topics include:
* The misunderstood Mr.Travis;
Texans know Travis as the hero of the Alamo, the commander who kept his troops together to fight the Mexican Army until the fortress was overrun on March 6, 1836.
But this lecture is about the falsehoods which have been told about Travis and the truth about this resolute man.
Historians have written Travis deserted his wife and children in Alabama and left the state owing money.
It’s also been said that Travis insisted on holding the Alamo against overwhelming odds when he was ordered to destroy the mission and retreat.
The couple divorced and Travis later brought his son to Texas to join him.
As for the debts, when Travis established a successful law practice in Texas, he paid the several hundred dollars he owed.
Further, Travis was an officer in the Texas Army and the provisional governor of Texas, Henry Smith, ordered him to hold the Alamo.
Travis did his best to obey orders and he died at his post.
* Sam Houston, His Life and Times, and His Fight to Prevent Texas Secession
Sam Houston was one of the greatest men, and biggest characters, to hit Texas in its long history and he almost single-handedly created the Lone Star State.
This lecture tells Sam’s story; beginning with his family in Tennessee, who he was desperate to escape, then his military and political career, including the time he was the most famous person in the United States.
In 1832, the U.S. House of Representatives charged Sam (an ex-congressman) with assaulting Ohio Congressman William Stanbery and tried him on the house floor.
Every newspaper in the country carried the story and the trial went on for weeks.
Not only did Sam lead Texas troops during the revolution against Mexico, he fought in the war of 1812 and was twice wounded.
Sam’s first marriage is still a mystery.
Soon after he married Eliza Allen in 1829, she left him. The couple never disclosed the reason.
After a few years living with the Cherokees, while recovering from the marriage disaster, Sam went to Texas.
Sam performed his finest deed for Texas when he was governor.
Texans began talking about secession in the 1850’s, but Sam opposed it. He spoke out against secession all over the state, attempting to convince Texans that joining the Confederacy was not in their best interests.
He failed. But he would not be silenced.
In 1861, when he refused to sign the Oath of Loyalty to the Confederacy (knowing that Texas legislators would run him out of office and appoint a new governor), he said, “I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath.”
*Colonel Ranald Mackenzie: The man who saved Texas from the Comanche Nation
By 1871, Texans were on the verge of losing half the state to the Comanche Nation.
The population in Wise County alone had dropped more than half, from 3,160 to 1,450.
And that’s because the Comanches stayed on the war trail.
In a two-month period, Comanches murdered 162 settlers and kidnapped 43.
This lecture is about U.S. Army General Ranald Mackenzie, who saved Texas for settlement, and how he did it.
Nobody predicted MacKenzie would be a brilliant and fearless soldier.
He was only 5’9, very thin, was shy and he had a slight speech impediment.
But MacKenzie began his military career by graduating first in his class at West Point, then fighting in the Civil War, where he was wounded four times and was promoted from Second Lieutenant to brigadier general (brevet).
After the war, the Army sent MacKenzie to Texas to command the Fourth Cavalry, where he harassed and defeated the Comanche in two major battles.
In October, 1871, MacKenzie surprised the Comanche in Blanco Canyon and whipped the famous Quanah Parker and his warriors.
In 1874, MacKenzie again surprised the Comanche and beat them in the Palo Duro Canyon.
That’s when the Comanche returned to the reservation at Fort Sill.
Between those battles, MacKenzie secretly crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico (with the approval of Army high command) and destroyed the Kickapoo, the scourge of South Texas.
Texas loved MacKenzie, and when he was transferred to the Northern Plains (where he beat the Cheyenne and pacified the Utes) Texans begged the U.S. Army to send him back.
MacKenzie was the best Indian fighter the Army ever had.
Julia Will Also Speak on Texas heroes like Bigfoot Wallace, Texas Rangers Ben McCulloch and Jack Hays, and Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.
OTHER SPEAKING TOPICS INCLUDE
* The Amazing Things You Can Find Out About History When You’re Researching a Novel;
And the Difference Between History and the Historical Novel.
She will also teach workshops for writers on:
How To Research An Historical Novel.
You can reach Julia on Facebook and at firstname.lastname@example.org