|Your Guide: Robin Cole Jett!
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 begins.
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 from Paris, TX 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 teach history at a junior
college and am also the author of three books, with one forthcoming. Please check out what
else I can offer to those who enjoy learning about the "old southwest."
Robin's Historical Philosophy
I LOVE history. Studying the past, dissecting motives and events, and interpreting and
questioning sources is one of my main passions in life. My research focus for my Master's
(and maybe my Doctorate!) is the American Southwest, specifically the impact of the Chisholm
Trail on the Plains Indians, and this website proves an ideal vehicle to share what I discover!
Who would like Red River Historian?
This website is geared towards those who want to travel through, and learn more about,
Southwestern history - what's there to see, to do, and to experience! Also, for anyone who has
ties to the region, this site offers helpful genealogical information. Schools also benefit from
learning about this fascinating area. Newcomers to the region who are curious about their
newfound homes will get lots of food for thought while perusing the Red River Historian.
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! With a fake backdrop of
New York City. That's how I roll.