Nesbitt Memorial Library

Barry A. Crouch, Eminent Texas Historian, Dies

March 13, 2002

Barry A. Crouch, eminent Texas historian, professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, D. C., and good friend and benefactor of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, died in his Washington-area home, March 13, 2002. In addition to his more substantial work, Dr. Crouch wrote three long articles for the Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, donated the Colorado County material he had collected from the records of the Freedmen's Bureau to the library, and appeared at the library as a speaker. He was the author of many books and articles, notably The Freedmen's Bureau and Black Texans (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992), and, with co-author Donaly E. Brice, Cullen Montgomery Baker: Reconstruction Desperado (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997). He had nearly completed three other books, all of which likely will be published soon. At least one of the three, "The Governor's Hounds": The Texas State Police, a new book on the Reconstruction-era State Police Force co-authored with Brice, promises to be a landmark work. He was one of a handful of  historians who revolutionized the way Texas Reconstruction history is approached, pointing out the laudable goals of both the Freedmen's Bureau and the state police and the struggles they had to endure in attempting to achieve them, and stripping away the romanticism from often-celebrated killers like Baker. His death at the early age of 61 is a great loss to Texas.