The Museum and Battleground are closed today due to power loss and need for storm cleanup.  

Lecture: Gender and the Runaway Scrape

History Under The Star

Linda English smiles at the camera.

Before it became the Republic of Texas in 1836, the state of Coahuila y Tejas underwent a bloody revolution that commenced in the fall of 1835 with canon fire at Gonzales, Texas, and ended with a decisive victory for Texas's forces at the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836. The "Runaway Scrape," as it was called, denotes a particularly dire period for the Texas revolutionaries and their families. During this turbulent episode, General Santa Anna's forces were on the march, General Sam Houston and the Texas army fell back towards Louisiana and the United States to avoid the assault, and much of Texas thought the cause was lost. Elderly men, women, children, and enslaved persons left behind on plantations and small farms responded to this crisis by joining the retreat, essentially "running" for their lives.

Drawing from her upcoming book, Running for Your Lives! Gender and the Runaway Scrape, Dr. English's lecture details the period known as the Runaway Scrape through the lens of gender. In March and April of 1836, when the situation seemed most perilous, anxieties among Texians reached a fever pitch, and heated rhetoric proliferated. In the waning moments of the rebellion, fear of defeat prompted larger questions of what it meant to be a man and woman in a period of war and retreat. This is not a history of men’s experiences during the 1836 military campaign, or women’s tribulations during the flight to Louisiana, but both. The speaker's research explores dominant perceptions of nineteenth-century gender norms and expectations that pervaded historical accounts of this turbulent period.

Linda English will present her talk at the History Under the Star lecture series on Saturday, June 15, 2024.  The talk will run from 5:00 to 6:00 and will be followed by a time for questions and answers, and a reception.

Cost: $5 per person/$3 for Museum members; students are free.  Purchase your ticket today.

The History Under the Stars lecture series is made possible by a generous grant from the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation. Videography and Video Production made possible by Humanities Texas.

Linda English received her Ph.D. in American History from the University of Oklahoma in May 2005. She taught as a lecturer at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Northern Colorado before taking her current position as Associate Professor of History at University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley. Her research and publications focus primarily on race, class, and gender during the late nineteenth century, specifically in Texas and Indian Territory. Her articles include “Revealing Accounts: Women’s Lives and General Stores” (The Historian 2002), “Inside the General Store, Inside the Past: A Cultural Analysis of McAlester’s General Store” (The Chronicles of Oklahoma 2003), and “Recording Race: General Stores and Race in the Late Nineteenth‐ Century Southwest” (Southwestern Historical Quarterly 2006). She also contributed a biographical chapter on Oscar James Dunn in Before Obama: A Reappraisal of Black Reconstruction Era Politicians, titled “ 'That is All We Ask for—An Equal Chance:' Oscar James Dunn, Louisiana’s First Black Lieutenant Governor,” (Praeger 2012). Her most recent article is “Southern Reflections: Evolving Attitudes on Race and Region in Indian Territory” (Great Plains Quarterly 2014). In 2013, the University of Oklahoma Press published her book, By All Accounts: General Stores and Community Life in Texas and Indian Territory. Her current research examines the “Runaway Scrape” and other aspects of the Texas Revolution through the lens of gender. Her new book, Run for Your Life! Gender and the Runaway Scrape, is scheduled for publication in May 2024.


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