TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the James Evetts Haley Oral History, 1982
James Evetts Haley was born in Belton, Texas, on July 5, 1901. He completed a degree at West Texas Normal College at Canyon in 1925, and as a student of Eugene Barker, received a master’s degree in history from the University of Texas. With the publication of The XIT Ranch of Texas and the Early Days of the Llano Estacado in 1929, Haley established himself as a serious writer on the history of the Texas range. The book was a critical success, but it led to a libel lawsuit that was eventually settled. This was followed in 1936 with his book Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman whith further established Haley as a leading historian of Texas history. Haley published articles in journals such as Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Southwest Review, Ranch Romances, Nature, Cattleman, and others. He also played an active role in the creation of the Barker Texas History Center, which was established at the University of Texas in 1950. The center was named for Eugene Baker, Haley's former professor and distinguished professor of history at the university.
In addition to his historical pursuits, Haley worked as a rancher and was involved in Texas politics. In the 1930s he became a vocal opponent of President Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and was elected chairman of the Jeffersonian Democrats of Texas. Haley ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1956 on a platform of segregation, states rights, and anti-unionism. In 1964 Haley published a controversial but best-selling book on Lyndon Johnson entitled A Texan Looks at Lyndon. He remained deeply involved in conservative political causes for the rest of his life, and his library and papers became the foundation for Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library in Midland, Texas. Haley died in Midland in 1995.
Handbook of Texas Online, B. Byron Price, "Haley, James Evetts, Sr.," accessed June 09, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhahj.
The James Evetts Haley Oral History consists of two cassette tapes and a typed transcript. The interview concerns his early career and his role in the creation of the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center. The oral history was conducted by Dr. Don Carleton and Kate Adams for an article on the Barker Center's history that appeared in Southwestern Historical Quarterly ("A Work Peculiarly our own: Origins of the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, 1883-1950," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, October 1982. https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/).
This collection is open for research use.
James Evetts Haley Oral History, 1982, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
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