From Maine to Galveston, Republic of Texas by James Valentino
This is a unique tale of struggle, triumph, life and death in an era that is now long in the distant past of 1850's Texas and Maine. It is not a book of fiction that depends on the imagination of a present author, but is the actual letters of a highly educated daughter, Lucy Parker Shaw, to her mother far removed.
Though it is augmented by notes that will aid the reader to understand the political, and social elements she mentions, and documents the important and not so famous people she meets, it is the letters themselves that carry you into her world. You will marvel at her curiosity, resilience, and strength in a land of danger, change, and constant challenges.
Looking Over the Gray-Green Bay by James Valentino
A collection of nine historical vignettes, musings, and personal accounts of one person's experience working on, and living close to Galveston Bay, one of the United States' greatest natural resource, though the book will appeal to anyone that loves the water and the extraordinary, and interesting people that are attracted to it. Click on the book cover to read one of its stories.
From the age of eight until fifty three James Valentino led a life primarily on Galveston Bay. Commercial fishing with his father began at an early age where sunsets, salty men, and shrimp consumed his summers. After two years of college he began his own career on the water as captain and later owner of two shrimp boats, most notably the twin screw steel hull, the Ruffian. In addition, he bought and sold oysters wholesale from docks on the bay. As markets collapsed in the early 2000's James returned to an old love, history.
He went back to college, and achieved his Master's Degree in American History in 2011. While engaged in teaching history in several community colleges his greatest passion is to to reach a wider audience by uniting his own experiences with scholarship. Valentino's first book, now out of print, told the story of a simple promontory on Galveston Bay.
In 2014 he self-published Looking Over the Gray-Green Bay, a book of personal stories and historical oddities of bay life. His latest effort is From Maine to Galveston, Republic of Texas: the Life and Letters of Lucy Parker Shaw. Early in 2024 he will publish an historical novel.
In The Press
"Imagine yourself setting sail on a tall ship destined for a new republic, leaving family, venturing to the unknown to begin life anew.That is what a young woman, Lucy Parker Shaw did...Through her letters, augmented by Valentino's additional clarifications and explanation, readers get a picture of life in the developing Galveston community as well as the republic."
Galveston Daily News