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


Convention Close Out

A little delayed in getting this out but we will do it anyway.

So Wednesday (7th Jan) as we saw, started with breakfast at Schilo's and then a bit of a walk along part of the Riverwalk. Bit of goofing off at a Mexican Restaurant with a photo opportunity. Hmm might make a good prop for Wild Bunch?!


We made a visit to the Alamo epitaph, the souvenir shop and garden and after a couple few drinks catching up with Cowboys and Cowgirls, returned later to view the exhibition in the shrine – Firearms of the Texas Frontier.


Interesting fact: there are several State and International flags in the Alamo with tags and a number on them. So enquiring minds set to find out from one of the curators or volunteers what they meant. The numbers represent how many 'Texians' originated from that particular area. For example England 11, Tennessee 16, and many others from Pennsylvania, Ireland, Spain to name but a few.

Then onto the long barracks to view the video and artefacts including William B Travis ring that he hung around infant, Angelina Dickinson's neck, prior to the battle. Susanna Dickinson's and her daughter Angelina were one of the few women and children who survived the massacre at The Alamo.


Thursday 8th called for dress up, Convention Opening breakfast and Awards preceded with the colour guard. Many seminars were to be attended within The Menger and of course visits down the road to the convention centre for vendors, book signings and stage shows.


The Marriachi band provided some entertainment in the mean time.


Got plenty of walking in between and photo opportunities for the public as we paraded the streets in our Victorian and cowboy clothing.

Here we are with Lily Marie in the Menger foyer. Gorgeous paintings and antique furniture just right for our gowns.


Thursday evening was cocktail hour with the acknowledgement of the 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees. Congratulations to Chuckaroo, Half-a-Hand Henri, Two Sons, Cowboys and Indian Store – Jim Bowie and Palewolf Brunelle (who was unable to attend) for all your efforts in the world of cowboy action shooting.


Friday 9th and time for more dress up, seminars, vendors, sitting in the bar and of course the Victorian Tea (I was lucky to gain a ticket for this and would never miss it at another Convention!).


Petit Foires, finger sandwiches and a selection of teas were the perfect afternoon setting for elegantly dressed women AND a few gentlemen to enjoy conversation and literature readings by Green Eyed Gypsy. Her excerpts from Texas Dames were very interesting to listen to and now I have to find and purchase the book!


Upon entry to the tea, we were given a blue and yellow ribbon to be worn. Stamped TEA into the velvet ribbon and a Texas star stud at the bottom, mine appeared to be upside down! Certainly made for easier reading in any case! Lol! There was to be a surprise associated with this 'purpose fault'. I won an 1880s garment drafting machine!!! Excited much, as I admired Velvet Glove's in Hot Springs, AR late last year and now I have one of my very own! Thanks also must go to Calico and Garnet Rose for donating this special prize.

There were other lucky seat and door prizes for others. Such a fun afternoon with thanks to Justice Lily Kate, Shotglass, Green Eyed Gypsy, Squawty Bawdy, and Aspen Filly – hopefully I haven't forgotten anyone.

Caught up with Flat Top Okie, Missouri Mae, Roy's Creek Dan and Highland Scottie for dinner that evening and a visit for the gents to partake in a cigar in the humidor at the Menger. A photo op with local constabulary! Too funny and I had to email it to him also.


The Pyjama Party and Pool Party were moved into the ballroom due to quite a cool and misty night. There certainly were some characters there and I heard it continued with Frederick Jackson Turner playing his guitar and entertaining the stayers in the foyer after they all left the Ballroom.

Saturday 10th and the blue gown. Pictures with Jackaroo and Wild Horse John before sitting to read for a while, which must have looked quite amusing to some.

So here I was sitting elegantly on the edge of the sofa, as one does when unable to manoeuvre petticoats and skirts much (I can be very ladylike when I need to be – who'd have thought! Lol!), reading the SASS Chronicle BUT it was on my iPad and I know there was a guy wandering through the hotel who I saw out of the corner of my eye take a photo. Too funny. Got the Chronicle read though.


On to Miss Tabitha's Victorian Undergarment show, her Flirtatious show yesterday regarding fan, parasol and handkerchief etiquette in the 1800's was very interesting and entertaining so this show was sure to be just as entertaining.

Miss Tabitha didn't disappoint, showing the different types of undergarments worn for the perfect silhouette from 1830's through 1890's. Her lovely assitants – Cat Ballou, Velvet Glove, Peaches O'Day, Bloomin' Yankee and Princess Rita (?) with a special appearance by Tex in his union suit.

Beautifully made gowns with some from disassembled antique gowns reusing embellishments and lace from the actual gowns to hand dyed fabrics, feathers and lace to match. Just stunning!


Then it was time for the Alamo Ball! With many in attendance the costume contest started early and then it was cocktails, dinner, announcement of costume winners and Victorian dancing! Thanks to Cowtown Scout and Jackaroo as my dancing chaperones for the evening. Was good fun and don't think we managed to dance on anyone's toes!

Ladies Best Dressed winners were, in 1st Place – Green Eyed Gypsy, 2nd Place – Kathouse Kelli and 3rd Place – Bloomin' Yankee. I thought at best I would place 3rd with these two exceptional dressmakers, with many more years of experience in 'period correctness' than I have, so I was absolutely stoked to place 2nd!!


Phew! And that folks is the wrap up for SASS Convention!

We headed home on the Sunday making a brief stop in Denton to meet with Lil McGill and hand over the Annie Oakley outfit and pick up gear from Boomstick Jay.

What a weekend, made some more friendships with Cowboys and cowgirls from different parts of the world.

Here's a shout out to Misty Moonshine, Slipnoose, Amber Oakley, Roxy West and all the other cowboys and cowgirls that make these big events work for all the enjoyment of the rest of us.



Kat xo


P.S. Alamo is Spanish for cottonwood. 🙂

Oh and you can't take photos inside the Alamo so can't show you the firearms displays, the flags, the frescos on the stonewalls etc.




We Made It!

A couple of hours and the odd snooze later we hit the state line and entered into Texas at Gainsville, front porch of Texas, says their branding.

Quick stop for coffe at Macca's and we are back on the road with Tracey Byrd entertaining us.

I wish I had been able to get a picture! A truck just drove past with Woody hanging on for his dear life on the aerial. Love it, love Toy Story and remembered Woody and Buzz hanging off the back of the removalists truck. Sorry, slight side track there.

It's been almost 3 years since being in Fort Worth, hmm should have looked up where the fabric outlets were again. Maybe I can con Jack into it for on the way back.

'…thats somebody's dream, somebody's hope, somebody's world gone up in smoke…..' Haa haa haa that was appropriate timing for that song as I thought about the fabric stores and my chances. We'll see!

Just passed the Texas Motor Speedway, they've even held the Red Bull Air Races here.


Stopped in at Haslet, just outside of Fort Worth to visit and get Jacks shotgun repaired. Had lunch at the Catfish Grill with 'Goatneck Clem' and 'Capt. Sam Evans'. It's amazing what you can learn in one lunch. Like how their aliases came to be due to family ties within Texas, the Alamo, Fort Worth and Spanish exploration on the river near their ranch. Fascinating and amazing!

But now it's back in the car and heading for San Antonio (pronounced San Antone by some) Had a bit of a hold up round Austin in late afternoon traffic but got through.

We are staying at The Menger Hotel and arrived here at 6pm. It's been drinks, catch ups with other Cowboys and dinners with semi-unknown Cowboys and Cowgirls before returning to the room for the night.


See you tomorrow with a bit more of a history tour!

Kat xo

(I thought I posted this last night but appears not!?)




Road Trip!

Yes it's been a while, but in the morning we head on down to San Antonio, Texas for the SASS Convention.

It will be our first one! Normally held in Las Vegas, it is this close to us we won't be missing at least one convention experience. There will be vendors, Victorian Teas, old story tellers of the Wild West, seminars on costuming or sipping whiskey, pool parties and pyjama parties, visits down the riverwalk, the Alamo and of course the Grand Ball on Saturday evening.

So the dummy has been dethroned and is back in her corner.


The car is packed, with gowns and some B-Western bling to be delivered!

Pictures will come over the next few days so stay tuned! Looking forward to catching up with lots of friends and making some new ones.

Yee haa! The start of another year of fun and adventure.


Kat xo