WHAT LIES BENEATH,
TEXAS PIONEER CEMETERIES & GRAVEYARDS
Wealth of Texas History – My Book Review
“All my heart is buried with you/All my thoughts go onward with you/Come not back again to labor/come not back again to suffer/soon your footsteps I shall follow/to the land of the hereafter!”
What Lies Beneath is a wealth of Texas historical stories about long passed souls who found their way to Texas. Those souls are what helped make Texas what it is today. Learning this history was refreshing and completely new.
Author Cynthia Leal Massey took me on a Texas-wide historical journey into the major geographical regions that make up this state. While each region is idiosyncratic the people who settled in those regions were equally distinctive.
Just like learning from any history book, What Lies Beneath, expanded my knowledge base tremendously of the people who helped create our great state. Massey’s book makes learning about history more enjoyable than a straight history text.
I will share that long ago one of my parental grandmother’s had her baby daughter reinterred in another cemetery on a journey of about 100 miles. That was just weird to me as a young girl. Because there was no casket anymore, only the bones and strands of the blue dress she’d been buried in. Then after reading What Lies Beneath I found out it was quite the common thing to do back in the 1800s and early 1900s – digging up people and reinterring them in another location. That is just extraordinary to me.
Zinc monuments are something else Massey introduced me to in this book. Plus, it was quite common amongst the early Texas settlers to remarry, often more than once, twice, or three times. I learned about the Center Point Cemetery and its ties to the Texas Rangers.
Many murders occurred in Texas while this state was gaining a foothold. There were a lot of strong women back then that endured a lot to call Texas home. I will definitely be checking out one of the books Massey mentions in her book, Lady with the Pen: Elise Waerenskjold in Texas. I also learned about the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and its secret, as well as Assault the thoroughbred.
I agree with Massey that cemeteries are important to our collective histories and humanities. While I acknowledge the controversy surrounding the history of our Confederate past – it is our past and one we should never forget. In all truthfulness, our country would be quite different without that Confederate legacy.
If you are a lover of Texas history then this book should become part of your library. If you are a taphophile then you will definitely love this book.
What Lies Beneath, Texas Pioneer Cemeteries and Graveyards.
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 10/15/21)
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