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In 1816, Mordecai Lewis, a veteran of Andrew Jackson's Indian campaigns and battles against the British, moves his family into the western Tennessee canebrakes. But Mordecai, a born wanderer, is not satisfied with farming, and with his sons Michael and Andrew and some other backwoodsmen, he leads a foray into Spanish-held Texas to hunt wild horses and return the mustang herd to sell in Tennessee.
Crossing the Sabine River, Mordecai's party encounters a Spanish patrol determined to repel all American invaders. After a bloody skirmish leaves their father dead, Michael and Andrew find their way back to their Tennessee farm.
Five years later, after the Spanish government in Mexico City has agreed to permit 300 American families to settle in Texas, the Lewis brothers have their opportunity to re-enter Texas. They ride to the frontier town of Natchitoches, Louisiana, where Michael falls in love with Marie Villaret, daughter of a wealthy French landowner, then cross the Sabine to find Stephen F. Austin, a Missouri entrepreneur in charge of the new American colony.
But the Lewises are considered interlopers and horse thieves and are dogged by a patrol led by the same ruthless Spanish offer who killed their father five years before
Sons of Texas is the first volume in a trilogy that follows the lives and adventures of the Lewis family through the era of the Alamo and Texas Independence under Sam Houston.
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Praise for author Elmer Kelton:
"Elmer Kelton is to Texas what Mark Twain was to the Mississippi River."―Jory Sherman, author of The Barons of Texas
"As always, Mr. Kelton's history is accurate and his characters clearly drawn and believable." –The Dallas Morning News on Jericho's Road
"Once again, Kelton offers and exciting tale in which the bad guys are really bad and some of the good guys are, too. His characters are sharly defined, the historical background is vivid and the gunplay can't be beat." –Publishers Weekly on Jericho's Road
"Multiple Spur Award-winner Kelton knows how to tell a wallopin' good story without beating the reader over the head with it. His affection for his characters and his gentle sense of humor win the reader over bit by bit, until we find ourselves genuinely caring how the story comes out . ―Abilene Reporter-News
"Elmer Kelton writes of early Texas with unerring authority. His knowledge of the state's history is complete, too―drawn from the lives of real people. . . . The fate of Texas is at hand, and Kelton will have readers eager to find out what happens."―Fort Worth Star-Telegram on The Buckskin Line
"You can never go wrong if you want to read a good story with realistic characters and you pick up a title by Elmer Kelton. In the case of his newest book, The Smiling Country, the guarantee is as good as gold. . . . Kelton's characters jump off the page, they are so real. This is another fine title from the man named the greatest western writer of all time in a 1995 survey by the Western Writers of America." ―American CowboyAbout the Author:
Elmer Kelton is a native Texan, author of forty novels. He has earned countless honors including a record seven Spur Awards from Western Writers of America, Inc., an organization that has voted Kelton the greatest Western Writer of all time. He lives in San Angelo, Texas.
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