Taming Texas: How Law and Order Came to the Lone Star State

by James L. Haley and Marilyn P. Duncan

This new book, published through the Society’s Taming Texas Judicial Civics and Court History Project, shows how the state’s court system fits into the larger picture of Texas history: its roots, heroes, growing pains, and milestones, from the days of early Spanish colonization to the present.

Written specifically for seventh-grade Texas history classes, the book’s opening stories help students place themselves in an early Texas in which there was no law or order, and challenge them to think about how a society begins to organize itself. Subsequent stories show how laws were made and tested in the courts over the next 150 years, with an emphasis on the aspects of the Texas experience that are uniquely our own.

Taming Texas is beautifully illustrated with historical maps, photos, and drawings that bring its stories to life. It offers readers of all ages a new and intriguing perspective on Texas history.

Hardback copies of the book are available for $20 plus $5 to cover postage, handling, and sales tax. Electronic copies are available free on the Taming Texas website (

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