Jane's father died when she was not yet one, and she lost her mother as a young girl. Orphaned, she went to live with her older sister in Natchez, where she met her husband, physician James Long. Jane followed James to Bolivar Point, a peninsula opposite of Galveston Island. On an excursion to Mexico City, James was captured and killed, leaving a pregnant Jane in Bolivar. Unaware of her husband's death, Jane stubbornly waited for him in Bolivar, surviving on meager and rapidly dwindling supplies. It eventually became clear to Jane that she was alone in an uncivilized territory. Rather than returning to Natchez, Jane opened up a hotel in Brazoria in 1832. Jane's hotel in this primary port became a central hub of activity for all of Texas. She entertained all the significant players in the Texas Revolution, including William Barret Travis and Sam Houston. Jane had many admirers and received numerous proposals, but she rejected her suitors in favor of her independent lifestyle. The strength that she developed on her journey from orphan to "Mother of Texas" is an inspirational story of determination.
Mary Dodson Wade, a former educator and librarian, is the author of more than fifty books for children, including Christopher Columbus, Cinco de Mayo, I Am Houston, I'm Going to Texas/Yo Voy a Tejas, President's Day, C.S. Lewis: The Chronicler of Narnia and Joan Lowery Nixon: Masterful Mystery Writer. She and her husband live in Houston, Texas, and enjoy traveling. Mary has been selected to present her work at the Texas Librarians Association meeting.