Jeffrey Kerr's debut work, AUSTIN, TEXAS-THEN AND NOW was a 2005 non-fiction finalist for the Writers' League of Texas Violet Crown Award. His second book, THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTIN, is a collection of true stories taking place in and around Austin during the thrilling days of the Republic of Texas. It was released by Waterloo Press October 2010. SEAT OF EMPIRE: THE EMBATTLED BIRTH OF AUSTIN, TEXAS is now available in book stores and on Amazon.
SEAT OF EMPIRE: THE EMBATTLED BIRTH OF AUSTIN, TEXAS
In his lively depiction of the founding of Austin as the capital of Texas, Jeffrey Kerr offers colorful accounts of the scenic setting, early settlers, and contentious times. Against the broader controversy of how to maintain and develop the Republic, he guides us through ongoing struggle waged between Mirabeau Lamar and Sam Houston, the first two presidents, over the desirability of a new frontier capital."
Alwyn Barr, author of Texans in Revolt: the Battle for San Antonio, 1835
Seat of Empire is the best relatively succinct account I know of the events, places, and people so central in the city's and state's history. General readers, state and local lawmakers, college students, and historians will find pleasure and profit in its pages. Kerr provides illuminating contexts for the passionately contested and inevitably politicized question of location and sketches adroitly the picturesque (and often picaresque) pistol-packing politicos caught up in the jousts.
Harold Hyman, William P. Hobby Professor of History Emeritus, Rice University
Interview with Jennifer Stayton of radio station KUT in Austin here.
Interview with David Martin Davies of Texas Public Radio here.
THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTIN
"This book tells us exactly where to feel the vibrations that link the present with the past. Kerr is an emerging, fascinating energy in the swelling lexicon of local lore. Ray Spivey’s illustrations compliment the book beautifully. This title belongs in every Austin home."
David Marion Wilkinson, author of Not Between Brothers and co-author of One Ranger
"The Republic of Austin is a fascinating page-turner that documents the rough-and-tumble early years of the Lone Star Nation. Like the stitching of a good saddle, Jeffrey Kerr weaves together stories that outline how a nation was born and how a small community grew into the Texas capital. Anyone wanting to comprehend the heritage of Texas needs to read this book."
Todd Staples, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
"Authentic nuggets of Austin history, told with authority and style by an author who knows how to hold his reader's interest."
John B. Boles, William P. Hobby Professor of History, Rice University
"For those of us who love Austin, Texas and its history, this collection of stories, written with the intent to bring history alive and to locate the sites where people made early Austin come into being, is a fine contribution to the understanding of our past."
Frank Cooksey, former Austin mayor
"The Republic of Austin vividly brings to life the early events that tested the young city's mettle and showed its knack for survival. Jeff Kerr's choice stories entertain and enlighten in equal measures."
Scott Zesch, author of The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier, winner of the TCU Texas Book Award
AUSTIN, TEXAS-THEN AND NOW
“When the City Council was asked to select items to be placed in a time capsule at the new City Hall, I could think of no greater gift to future generations than a copy of Austin, Texas: Then and Now."
Betty Dunkerley, former Austin city council member
"…this book will cost you that most precious commodity -- time. Once you start comparing old photos with scenes you recognize, it's hard to put down."
Mike Cox, Austin American-Statesman
". . . this volume beautifully reflect the diverse sites of this unique place."
Lloyd Doggett, United States Congress
"It is a remarkable look at a remarkable city."
Carol Keeton Strayhorn, former Austin mayor and Texas comptroller
"I love this book."
Will Wynn, former Austin mayor