|Hello to all who visit, browse, learn, and love history! This site is devoted
to discoveries of the history of the "Old Southwest" - where the South
meets the West: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The Red River Historian is a labor of love - a love of history, geography, and
especially, a love of the "old Southwest." To introduce you to the wonders of
this corner of the world, I (Robin Cole Jett) would like to help you learn and
appreciate the whole story, and that is the mission of this website.
Why the Red River?
The Red River is the geographical boundary between Texas and Oklahoma and a physical as
well as a cultural link to the Mississippi River. The towns, landscapes, and people that
surround the river from beginning to end help to create a "snapshot" of disparate yet
interrelated regional and national histories.
The states that claim the river have a very interesting historical relationship to one another.
Before the Civil War, the Red River served as a kind of beacon of freedom for slaves who
managed to run away from the plantations to seek refuge in Union-controlled Indian Territory
(this was a false beacon, however, as many runaway slaves were caught and sold in Indian
Territory under the Fugitive Slave Acts). Southeastern Native Americans found new homes
along its watersheds. Anglo American settlers took advantage of the fertile opportunities in
the uncontrolled lands around the river. And the last vestiges of the South - the plantations,
cotton fields, and the antebellum way of life - could be found along the river before the Wild
West claimed a completely different lifestyle. The Red River is truly where the American West
What's up with the Southwest?
The term "southwest" is hard to define geographically - some camps believe the Southwest
is New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. Though I agree that the term "southwest," as it means
today, extends to those states as well, I am mostly interested in the original southwest (in
relation to the 13 states). The old southwest includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and
Louisiana = where the South met the West.
Who's Robin Cole Jett?
Glad you asked! I'm a born and bred Texan who has made my home in Lewisville. I'm a
trained historian, with a Master of Education from the University of North Texas and a Master
of Arts in history from Texas Woman's University. I work at museums, teach history at a
junior college and am also the author of five books, with another one forthcoming. Please
check out what else I can offer (including tours & presentations & museum consulting!) to
those who enjoy learning about the "Old Southwest."
Let's Go Exploring!
|Old Carpenter Bluff's bridge over the
Red River, Oklahoma side
|Capps Corner, somewhere in Cooke
or Montague County.
|That's me! In Calvin, Ok.
|Your Guide: Robin Cole Jett
|Questions or comments? E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Downtown Boyce, Louisiana.