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View Life in Texas During Civil War Through Northerner’s Eyes at Coffee Talks Program

Author Vicki Tongate is the presenter for the Coffee Talks series program Feb. 8 at the Herman Brown Free Library in Burnet. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. with refreshments followed by her talk at 2 p.m. Call the library at (512) 715-5228 or visit Courtesy photos

BURNET — Get a unique perspective on life in Texas during the Civil War at the next Coffee Talks author series program at the Herman Brown Free Library.

Author and former Southern Methodist University professor Vicki Tongate will talk about the diary of Lucy Pier Stevens, a Northern woman who was visiting family in Texas when the war broke out, leaving her stranded in the state.

The free program is 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at the library, 100 E. Washington St. Refreshments will be served at 1:30 p.m., and questions will follow the presentation.

Along with Stevens’s diary, Tongate also will share from the diaries of the woman’s Southern aunt and cousin, presenting the story of a family bound by ties that survived a time of division and conflict.

Tongate came into contact with the Stevens diary and began to analyze it when she attended SMU as a student. She went on to serve as a full-time lecturer at the Dallas university, where she taught for 16 years until her retirement last summer. Her book on the diary, “Another Year Finds Me in Texas,” was awarded a citation as one of the 10 best books on Texas history in 2017 by the San Antonio Historical Conservation Society.

Tongate and her husband, Gary, live in Colleyville near Fort Worth.

The Coffee Talks speaker on March 8 is Karen Casey Fitzjerrell, who will talk about her book “Forgiving Effie Beck,” which is set in Central Texas during the Great Depression.

For more information on Coffee Talks or other upcoming programs, call the library at (512) 715-5228 or visit

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