Dr James E Crisp

Emeritus Professor

Picture of Dr James E Crisp




2004                       Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett=s Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press). [History Book Club featured selection; Winner of the T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award for 2005 from the Texas Historical Commission].


2009                       Confrontando El Alamo: La Ultima Lucha de Davy Crockett y Otros Mitos de la Revolución de Texas, trans. Miguel Angel González Quiroga (Monterrey, México: Fondo Editoral de Nuevo León).


2010                       How Did Davy Die? And Why Do We Care So Much? [co-authored with the late Dan Kilgore] (College Station: Texas A&M University Press).


Chapters in Books:                         


1995                        "Race, Revolution, and the Texas Republic:  Toward a Reinterpre­tation," in The Texas Military Experience, ed. Joseph G. Dawson III (College Station: Texas A&M University Press).


1997                        "Introduction" and "La Semana Perdida," in Carmen Perry (ed. & trans.), With Santa Anna in Texas: A Personal Narrative of the Revolution (Expand­ed edition; College Station: Texas A&M Univer­sity Press).


2002                       “Why ‘How He Died’ Became ‘Who We Are’: The Texan Identity and the Contested Iconography of Davy Crockett=s Death at the Alamo.@ in Lucia Carle and Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux (eds.), Situazioni D’Assedio/Cities Under Siege/Etats de Siège(Firenze [Italy]: Pagnini e Martinelli), 385-397, 489-492.       [Co-Winner: Premio Migliore Comunicazione]


2007                       “Memory, Truth, and Pain:  Myth and Censorship in the Celebration of Texas History,” in Lone Star Pasts:  Memory and History in Texas, Gregg Cantrell and Elizabeth Hayes Turner, eds. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press).


2009                       “José Antonio Navarro: The Problem of Tejano Powerlessness,” in Tejano Leadership in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas, Jesús F. de la Teja, ed.  (College Station: Texas A&M University Press), 146-168.


2010                       “’Mucho Cuidado!’’: Silencing, Selectivity, and Sensibility in the Utilization of Tejano Voices by Texas Historians,” in Recovering the Hispanic History of Texas, Raúl Ramos and Monica Perales, eds. [for the Hispanic Heritage of Texas Project of the Hispanic Heritage Recovery Project]  (Houston: Arte Público Press), 146-168.


2016                        "Who Were the Texians?: The Creation of a Texas Identity in the Era of the Republic," in Single Star of the West: The Republic of Texas, 1836-1845 (University of North Texas Press), 81-109





1993                        "Sam Houston's Speechwriters:  The Grad Student, the Teenager, the Editors, and the Historians," Southwest­ern Historical Quarterly 97, no. 2 (October 1993): 202-237.  [Winner of the H. Bailey Carroll Award, 1994]



1994                        "The Little Book That Wasn't There: The Myth and Mys­tery of the de la Peña Diary," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 98, no. 2 (October 1994): 261-296.


1995                        "When Revision Becomes Obsession:  Bill Groneman and the de la Peña Diary," Military History of the West 25, no. 2 (Fall 1995), 143-154.


1995                        "Davy in Freeze-Frame:  Methodology or Madness?," The Alamo Journal 98 (October).


1995                        "Trashing Dolson:  The Perils of Tendentious Interpre­tation," The Alamo Journal 99 (December).


1996                        "Back to Basics:  Conspiracies, Common Sense, and Occam's Razor," The Alamo Journal 100 (March).


1999                        “In Pursuit of Herman Ehrenberg: A Research Adventure,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 102, no. 4 (April 1999): 422-439.


2000                       “A Fresh Look at the Texas Revolution,” Journal of South Texas 13, no. 1 (Spring 2000), 52-77.


2001                       “An Incident in San Antonio: The Contested Iconology of Davy Crockett’s Death at the Alamo,” Journal of the West 40, no. 2 (Spring 2001), 67-77. [Best Article Award]    


2007                       “Beyond the Battlefield: The Contending Legacies of San Jacinto,” Houston History(Spring, 2007), 12-19.


2007                       “Documenting Davy’s Death: The Problematic ‘Dolson Letter’ from Texas, 1836,” Journal of the West 46, no. 2 (Spring, 2007), 22-28.


2007                       “The Alamo,” in the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (Macmillan Reference USA).


2007                       “Calculated Victory: Sam Houston’s Campaign to Rescue the Texas Revolution,” in The Proceedings of the Annual Meeting at Denton, December 3-5, 2004, Vol. 68 (Austin: The Philosophical Society of Texas), 29-37.


2013                       “The Romance of Absolute Truth: Henry McArdle, James DeShields, and the Meaning of Texas History,” Houston History 10, no. 2 (March 2013), 30-35, 44-45.


2016                       "Texas Republic," in the Dictionary of American History, Supplement: America and the World, 1776 to the Present, Edward J. Blum, ed. (Charles Scribner's Sons, Macmillan Reference USA).


Forthcoming publications:

2019                      "Delineating Davy, Defining Ourselves: The Alamo in 1960 and in 2004," in Writing History with Lightning: Representations of Nineteenth-Century America on Film, John Inscoe and Matthew Hulbert, eds. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press). 




  • BA in History from Rice University, 1968
  • M. Phil. in History from Yale University, 1971
  • Ph. D. in History from Yale University, 1976