The Yellow Rose of Texas

Texas – red white and blue strong, patriotic to the core and proud.

The Yellow Rose of Texas – well I'd heard the song before, basically know the tune and had more than likely heard Pa's warbly whistling renditions of it as well.

Do you know the history of it though?

Where is all this leading to you might ask and indeed I though this would be a more straightforward reference to the spectacular B-Western outfit completed for Complicated Lady.

So I will give a quick insight into her outfit and then digress to the history lesson as such.

This one was to be a complete Texas themed outfit in red, white and blue to go with THE most gorgeous pair of boots.

I started it back in the US and the fabric that came was not to our liking, whilst the blue was a bit deeper than expected it actually will absolutely nail the colour in the boots but the red was giving me fits.

I'd ordered a true red and what came changed like a chameleon in many different light sources to the point that I had to disappoint and not have it finished for when she wanted to debut this beauty. It looked burgundy more than anything. Insert mild tantrums and tears from me here!!

So into the shipping container and wait on its impending arrival. In the meantime, I had managed to locally source the same sort of suiting fabric in the brightest red that made my heart jump for joy!!


I now couldn't wait for it and my machine to arrive so I could crack on with this project!

It turned out sensational! Finished with embroidered stars, Texas flag state, yellow rose and blue bonnet combination's, finished with white deer skin fringe and some serious bling! Happy days indeed!!


Now back to 'The Yellow Rose of Texas'. To start The Alamo – Medium tells me 'the term “yellow” was commonly used in the 1830's to refer to mulattos and “rose” was a popular euphemism for a description for a young woman' (mulatto meaning a person of mixed white and black ancestry) explains 'West's possible forced separation from her black lover and her placement in Santa Anna's camp. According to legend, inspired her lover to compose the song we know as “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Publicity surrounding the hotel in San Antonio that was named after Emily Morgan asserts that West was a spy for Texas'

The song is a traditional American folk song that originated in the 1850's. The earliest version found in Christy's Plantation Melodies No.2, a song book published under authority of Edwin Pearce Christy in Philadelphia 1853.

The song has since been reworked and recorded by many an artist including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson to name but a few. It was chosen as one of the top 100 great Western songs of all time.

Mitch Millers version in 1955 became a gold record achieving #2 position in the UK and #1 position in Australia.

During the American Civil War it became popular with Confederate soldiers in the defeated Texas Brigade of the Battle of Nashville. Texans remained ever gallant even in defeat.

Who was Emily West? Emily D. West (c. 1815-1891) also known as Emily Morgan, is a folk heroine whose legendary activities during the Texas Revolution have come to be identified with the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas”. West was a free woman of color, of mixed race, or a “high yellow”…….in 1836, with other residents, she was kidnapped by Mexican cavalry. Forced to travel with the forces of General Santa Anna as they prepared to face the army led by Sam Houston, she was in the Mexican camp on April 21 when Houston's men attacked. The Texans won the Battle of San Jacinto in 18 minutes.

According to legend, Santa Anna was caught unprepared as he was engaged in 'other activities' with West when Houston struck. This was reportedly recorded in a journal in 1842 when a gentleman was told the story by Sam Houston during a steamer trip.

In any case, historians question the reliability of such a story but as history often predicts (bit like Chinese whispers), stories get embellished, legends are made and so it becomes. Why shouldn't we think the defeat occurred by those means?

Emily West has been immortalised in history regardless and a hotel, The Emily Morgan Hotel, in downtown San Antonio, is named in honor of the Texas heroine.

Maybe this outfit should be called 'Emily'?

Kat xo


OK State Capitol and History Centre cont…

So it's been almost a week since we went to the State Capitol building and the History Centre and I haven't reported back on the History Centre!

Sooo…..after visiting the Tribal Flag Plaza we walked over to the History Centre to see what was within.

Outside both the Capitol and the History Centre are a series of flag poles, 14 in fact, with plaques that recognise each of the flags of Oklahoma before it became the flag it is today. The ones at the State Capitol weren't flying so we were happy to see them all flying when we got to the next stop.

There is also an area recognising the Oil Pioneers as well but we didn't really explore this part as it was a warm day and wanted to get inside in the air con!

At the entrance to the History Centre is a magnificent bronze statue of 2 indian warriors and I must confess I did not get the details of this statue.

We walked in passing the Museum Store and Governor Mary Fallin, first female governor and the 27th governor of the state of Oklahoma. Here was a politician experience like I've not often seen or heard of in Australia. The kids visiting the museum ran up to her straight away and politely asked questions and if they could have their photo taken with her. She listened to each one and then asked her secretary or PA guy to take a photo as well. She had been there for a fairly large function, there was no masses of press hanging around and bumping the kids out of the way and he took photos on his camera, the kids cameras, iPhones etc and the. She talked more with them and their carers before leaving. I was a little amazed to say the least.

Moving into the main foyer is the 'Winnie Mae' hanging up in all her glory. A Locheed Vega single wing aircraft of Wiley Post, achieving his first win in the National Air Race Derby from Los Angeles to Chicago in 1930.

Moving into the museum there is so much to see!! We aren't even finished it yet!

There is 'Oklahoma at the Movies', 'Steamboat Heroine 1838', 'African Americans', 'Military', 'Civil War', 'Oil and Gas', 'Land Run' (and lots more over time), 'Century Chest', 'We Are Who We Are American Indians in Oklahoma', 'Oklahomans and Space' and there is also an outdoor 'Red River Journey'.

In short this museum honours the many people from film and music industry, space, adventure, and native Americans in short, that came from Oklahoma.

So I'm not going to show you some pics as I've got new ideas for costume from a couple of the exhibits for both Jack and I. Sorry folks!

BUT some of the notable characters from Oklahoma? Tom Mix, James Garner, Vera Miles, Joan Crawford, Will Rogers, Alan Ladd, Tony Randall, Chuck Norris, Gary Busey, Brad Pitt, Ed Harris and of course Gene Autry to name but a few (and they are only the ones that I know about prior to visiting, there are so many more great people!!)

I have to feature this bit just for the shirt alone! The Miller Bros, 101 Ranch a large cattle ranch back before statehood in Indian Territory of Oklahoma near modern day Ponca City in 1893. It was the birthplace of the 101 Ranch Wild West Show not only featuring the Miller Bros but others like Lillian Smith, Tom Mix, an elderly Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill.

This stage coach was used as part of the Wild West Shows.

Here is the shirt in question, I feel I will be making a replica at some stage!! it's embroidered, it's fringed and blinged up!

I think my new word is 'dandified' a word or term used by Gene Autry to describe his clothing.

And of course where would we be without Rodgers and Hammerstein's, Oklahoma! Made in 1955.

Now quickly touching on the Steamboat Heroine – a steamboat, 136 feet long, paddled its way up the Red River laden with supplies for US Army stationed at Ft Towson in the Choctaw nation. It hit a submerged log and sank just before reaching its destination in 1838.

It is one of the oldest steamboats to be found, a single piston dual paddlewheel boat, the wreckage was uncovered in a 1999 flood and took around 5 years to recover and restore some of it and collect many personal artefacts from the wreck.

I checked out Kevin Durants size 17 basketball shoes and jersey – Go Thunder! Yes I am following the OK team. Why not?!

There is so so much to be seen in this Museum, I will add more pics on Facebook.

There is lots about Land Run which I love to read about, the Civil War which Jack loves too, way too much to be going on about here but it was another fantastic experience. There is much about outlaws and famous outlaw couples, prohibition as well.

The Century Chest was quite unique and interesting to see. It was a large copper chest that was placed in the floor of the First Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City on April 22, 1913. It was dug up and opened April 22, 2013.

Here is the chest.

The skyline 1913 and 2013. The earlier picture found in the Century chest along with letters, items, shoes, etc

Anyway, as I sit in my recliner writing and pouring through the some 418 photos taken this day, I really must get back to the sewing machine.

We will be returning to the History Centre on Wednesday to finish two other sections so I will cover the Native American area in that one.

Stay tuned!

Kat xo