New book release – Staggering: Life and Death on the Texas Frontier at Staggers Point

Dear Trailhead readers,

I’m happy to announce the release of my latest book, Staggering: Life and Death on the Texas Frontier at Staggers Point

247 pages


Here is the back cover blurb:

“In 1829, recent arrivals from Ireland began moving to a patch of wilderness near the Brazos River in Mexican Texas. They came seeking freedom and fortune. What they found was malaria, war, the constant threat of gruesome Indian massacres, wolves, panthers — and an abiding happiness that has kept many descendants there to this day. At Staggers Point, near modern-day Bryan, Texas, they collided and coexisted with four other cultures: Americans, American Indians, Mexicans, and enslaved African Americans. These families bore witness to the greatest political upheavals of nineteenth century America, and their lives spanned the full range of human experience — from scratching out a living on a primitive frontier; to fleeing and fighting bands of Comanches and other American Indians, the Mexican army, and common criminals; to the joys and sorrows of raising children beyond the reach of civilization. Though they were common pioneers, to us their experiences, their feats, and their very survival are staggering.

“Driven by a desire to understand his heritage, essayist Avrel Seale has unearthed nuggets of little-known history from diverse sources and blended them with social commentary to produce a revealing and fast-paced history of nineteenth century Texas.”

This has been a fantastic journey of discovery about what life was like for those living here in Texas in the not-so-distant past. I hope that readers of this book will learn something and enjoy the ride. The book is available in print for $14 at:

and the Kindle eBook is available for $4 at:


The Aldridge Sawmill

The mill moved in, the town went up
In five and nineteen hundred
They cut down every tree for miles
Lumbermen were then all smiles
As ever in they plundered.

East Texas was a frontier then
And Aldridge on the map
They cut them down and sawed them up
Cashed their checks and only stopped
To clean their saws of sap.

Their party lasted nineteen years.
By nineteen twenty-four
Aldridge was a shadeless plain
No trees, no profit left to gain
They all left, seeking more.

The sawmill now stands there alone
The town completely gone.
Four concrete buildings standing there
Grafitti marred, they’re unaware
The decades have rolled on.

The forest got its just revenge
Its trees now grow inside
That mill, up through its ceiling
And raccoons live there without feeling
Of regret, perhaps with pride.

Nature fixed things in a blinking.
I wonder what Aldridge was thinking.