Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ethel Harris and her Art Tiles

Ethel Wilson Harris was a Texas original. I remember her very well from my own childhood and adolescent years while I was growing up in San Antonio, where she was a civic force in her own right. When I knew of her while I was a high school boy in the 1960s, she was a woman then in her sixties and she had been a formidable personality in the Alamo City for almost four decades. When I participated as a teenager in work sessions for the Night in Old San Antonio to help make the thousands of cascarones sold by the Conservation Society at that event, there was Mrs. Harris seemingly in charge of all that she surveyed. Mrs. Harris also came to my high school to talk about Mexican American Arts and Crafts. When I visited the Mission San José with friends who lived nearby, she was there too, residing on the grounds in a house filled with the most colorful tile work imaginable. Artistic tiles such as those that decorated her kitchen were ubiquitous to me throughout San Antonio and served as decorative backdrops to my youth. These magnificant tiles and their distinctive motifs even decorated the gasoline station where my family traded on the way to my home. I took them for granted. I do recall that, as a young person, I vaguely knew somehow Mrs. Harris had something to do with making all these tiles. My incomplete youthful knowledge about those tiles, however, seemed at the time of little consequence to me so many years ago.

Photo by Light Cummins

Now I know better about Mrs. Harris and those tiles, thanks to a wonderful new book written by Susan Toomey Frost. This book, Colors in Clay: The San José Tile Workshops, was published this year by the Trinity University Press. What Frost doesn’t know about the San Antonio art tiles made by Mrs. Harris and her workshop probably is not worth knowing. This fine book is part biography of Mrs. Harris, part collector’s guide to the tiles, and part social commentary about San Antonio from the 1930s to the 1980s. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Texas arts and crafts, or in the larger history of art in this state. The book is also a gem because it has almost three hundred color pictures of these fantastic tiles.

Photo by Light Cummins

Ethel Wilson Harris, born in 1893 at Sabinal, Texas, grew up in San Antonio. Always interested in Mexican American artisanship, she opened in 1931 a pottery company called Mexican Arts and Crafts, Inc., employing local artisans and tile-makers to craft the colored tiles that are today so popularly identified with San Antonio. Over the years, she formed several other companies to produce these art tiles. In so doing, she singlehandedly created an artistic movement and examples of this tile artisanship can be found throughout the Alamo city and across the southwest. She gathered in her pottery a group of artisans that made these tiles true works of art. Although she was not an artist or craftsperson per se, Mrs. Harris supervised each step of the entire creative process that produced the handmade art tiles in her shop, from driving her station wagon out into the countryside on clay-gathering trips to mixing all of the pigments herself to insure the proper colors she desired. Mrs. Harris passed away in 1984.

The Witte Museum in San Antonio is hosting an exhibit on Ethel Harris’s tiles and Susan Toomey Frost’s book that will run until March 21, 2010. Click Here.

Susan Toomey Frost has a website that has more information about Mrs. Harris and the tiles. Click Here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In Holiday Praise of Book Editors

In the midst of the holiday season, many people’s thoughts turn to books since they are a traditional gift at this time of year. I wrote a book that was published this year, so my thoughts also turn to book editors. They are the unsung heroes of the publishing world. It is impossible to publish a book without them and most, if not all, authors remain indebted to their editor. That has absolutely been the case for me with Julie Schoelles, who was the editor of my book Emily Austin of Texas 1795-1851, which was published earlier this year as part of the Texas Biography Series by the TCU Press. Julie currycombed that book, giving it the closest reading that it will probably ever have. “Working through each section,” she later wrote of her activities with my manuscript, “I practiced mechanical editing (focusing on mechanics and consistency of style) and occasionally substantive editing (focusing on content organization).” She found things that I thought had been clearly written, but which with my re-reading needed clarification and recasting. She took her task very seriously. Julie later recalled her work on this book and noted that: “One of my favorite aspects of editing Emily Austin of Texas was the opportunity to establish a collaborative relationship with the author. We communicated on a daily basis about the manuscript’s progress as he answered queries and approved suggestions, and we worked towards mutually agreeable solutions in the event that my editing choices compromised his intended meaning.” Julie also worked closely with the book designer, organized the illustrations, and wrote the advertising copy for the book. It is a pleasure for me to note that this book would not have been possible without the dedication, hard work, and thoroughness of Julie Schoelles. I suspect that every author who has ever published a book could say the same thing about their editor. Julie has moved on from the TCU Press to a position at the Penn State University Press. Texas’s loss is Pennsylvania’s gain.

Visit Julie Schoelles website by clicking here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ranch Gathering: Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association

Nancy Hudgins, State Representative Larry Philips and me
I recently spoke to a Ranch Gathering sponsored by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Association, one of the oldest organizations in the state. This group was founded after the Civil War and has advanced the interests of the cattle industry ever since. The TSCRA provides insurance plans for members, maintains a force of special rangers to guard against rustling and other criminal activities, hosts workshops, and provides general support for the southwestern cattle industry. It also publishes the “Cattleman Magazine.” Each year the cattle raiser’s association organizes Ranch Gatherings at various locations at which members assemble, visit with each other, and trade impressions about their mutual interests. This year locations included the King Ranch, Duncan in Oklahoma, and a north Texas meeting hosted by the Hudgins family. The Hudgins Ranch is one of the oldest such operations in the area north of Dallas, going back well into the previous century.

Rancher Pete Hudgins, right, presents an award
Pete Hudgins served as host for the dinner. A group of fine cooks served a special beef dinner to over a hundred attendees the likes of which would be impossible to obtain in the finest steak houses of the nation. Eldon White, CEO of the TSCRA and a number of his staff attended. Mr. White gave an update on the association’s activities while Larry Gray, the chief special ranger and head of the association’s Law Enforcement and Theft Services Division, reported on recent developments in his office. Rancher Joe Parker, incoming president of the Association, also attended and brought greetings from the TSCRA board of directors.

State Representative Larry Phillips also spoke to the group, after which I served as the banquet speaker. I surveyed the cattle heritage of Texas, with special emphasis on the history of the industry in north Texas. It was interesting for me because, as I talked about many of the important figures in the development of this industry, I saw in the audience direct descendants of some historical personages I was discussing. One of the things that I did note was that ranching connections in Texas sometimes ran along lines of family lineage, and the composition of the audience drove home that point. I was gratified to learn that the ranching community in Texas has a deep and abiding interest in the history and heritage of Texas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TSHA Celebrates Important Anniversary and Launches the Texas Almanac

Last night the Texas State Historical Association celebrated the first anniversary of being headquartered on the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton by hosting a reception that included a book launch for the new 2010-11 Texas Almanac. This event drew an enthusiastic crowd of UNT administrators, faculty, and friends of the university in addition to TSHA board members, supporters, and others interested in furthering study of the state’s history. Guests included UNT Provost Wendy K. Wilkins and Texas State Representative Myra Crownover. Gayle W. Strange attended in her capacity as a TSHA board member and as a former member of the board of regents of the University of North Texas. Karla K. Morton, the 2010 Poet Laureate of Texas, was also in attendance. The staff of the Portals to Texas History project was also on hand.

Former TSHA President Fran Vick (above left) welcomed attendees during a short program for which she served as master of ceremonies. Provost Wendy K. Wilkins (above center) spoke on behalf of the University of North Texas, reaffirming the school’s strong and significant support for the TSHA as a member of its campus community. TSHA executive director Kent Calder (above right) responded, reviewing the accomplishments of the association since its move to Denton in the fall of 2008. These have included the completion of impressive new office space, the creation of a endowed chair in Texas history to be shared with the university’s history department, the publishing of the new edition of the almanac, the continuation of all the association's programs in education and outreach, successful maintaining of all TSHA academic programs, and setting the organization on a much stronger financial base. All in attendance agreed that the THSA looks forward to a bright and very promising future at the University of North Texas.

The reception concluded with book signing by the editors of the new edition of the Almanac. Editors Elizabeth Alvarez and Robert Plocheck (above) were on hand to greet the attendees and signed many copies of the new edition. Below, I pose as the current Texas State Historian for a picture with Karla K. Morton, the 2010 Poet Laureate of Texas.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Launch Slated: Jacqueline M. Moore's "Cow Boys and Cattle Men"

Austin College historian Jacqueline M. Moore has written a new book that will be celebrated with a launch gala to be held on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 4:30 pm in Room 201 of the Administration Building on the campus.This book talk and signing is being sponsored by the Johnson Center for Liberal Arts Learning and Scholarship at the college as part of its Tuesday Afternoon Series. Professor Moore will talk about her research, cover the main points of the book, and sign copies which will be available for purchase at the event. Entitled “Cow Boys and Cattle Men: Class and Masculinities on the Texas Frontier, 1865-1900,” her book has been published by the New York University Press in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwestern Studies at Southern Methodist University. Professor Moore recently spent a year at the Clements Center as a research fellow during which time she researched this volume. Her research involved extensive travel to archives and libraries across the southwest.

This volume has the potential to become one of the most important historical studies ever written on the Texas cowboy. As the NYU press announcement of this book notes: “Jacqueline M. Moore casts aside romantic and one-dimensional images of cowboys by analyzing the class, gender, and labor histories of ranching in Texas during the second half of the nineteenth century.”

Erwin Smith image courtesy Library of Congress

Jacqueline M Moore, right, examines how late nineteenth century concepts of masculinity were manifested in the lives of the men who worked as cowboys, most of whom were young in their late teen and twenties. She contrasts their lives with those of the cattlemen who employed the cowboys, examining the history they produced in terms of the interrelationship between myth and reality.This book is already garnering advance praise from scholars and historians. Walter Nugent of Notre Dame University, and a former President of the Western History Association, says: "Moore, a historian who knows her sources and how to squeeze them, lays clear the many shapes masculinity took among Gilded-Age Texas cattlemen and cowboys. Hers in an in-depth look at their mindsets and behaviours." This book answers the question: "How did cowboys change from manly doers to marginal juveniles, and finally, to the mythic idols of recent times."

Read more about the book at the New York University Press website. Click here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The New Edition of the Texas Almanac, 2010-2011

The new edition of the Texas Almanac 2010–2011 has now debuted and is available for purchase. It is currently on sale in stores throughout Texas and from booksellers across the nation. This edition constitutes a landmark in the venerable history of the Almanac because this is the first edition published by the Texas State Historical Association, which has taken over publication from the Dallas "Morning News," its previous publisher. The Almanac is published in a new, revised edition every two years. The Almanac can be ordered online directly from the historical association by clinking this link. Headquartered on the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton, the Texas State Historical Association is the oldest learned society in Texas. It publishes the “Southwestern Historical Quarterly,” sponsors an annual state history conference, and maintains a very active education program benefitting students throughout the state.

A&M Press Director Charles Backus (left) and TSHA Director Kent Calder (right)
Yesterday, the board of directors of the Texas State Historical Association marked this event by meeting with the staff of the Texas A&M University Press at its publishing offices in the John H. Lindsay Building on the College Station campus. The Texas A&M University Press Consortium will distribute the Almanac for the historical association.

Gayla Christiansen talks with TSHA Board
Members of the historical association board celebrated this event with the press staff at a special luncheon. Texas A&M Press director Charles Backus welcomed the TSHA board and outlined the role that his organization will have in advancing distribution of the new edition of the Texas Almanac. Gayla Christiansen, marketing manager, hosted a tour of the press headquarters.

This is the most comprehensive edition in the history of the Almanac, which began in 1857, making it one of the oldest continuous such publications in the nation. This new edition gives a full exposition of Texas history and government; sports and recreation; business; science and heath, and education, along with the status of culture, the arts and religion in the Lone Star state. As a publicity notice for the Almanac notes, “With 295 color maps and 342 color photographs from every corner of the Lone Star State, the reader can take a trip across Texas from the comfort of one's own home. For the traveler, the myriad maps show the way to towns of all sizes, as well as to landmarks, lakes, rivers, parks and back roads.”

"This edition of the Texas Almanac is the largest, most colorful Almanac we have published yet," said Editor Elizabeth Alvarez. "Plus, the comprehensive Table of Contents and Indexes make finding information so easy."

Order a copy here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Red River War Symposium, November 7, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum

Panelists, l. to r., Tiffany Osborn, Daniel Gelo, Light Cummins, Donald Frazier, J. Brett Cruse
The Red River War Symposium held on Saturday, November 7th, at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon proved to be a great success. Each of the panelists above also gave formal presentations on various historical and archeological aspects of the Red River War. Sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission with support from Humanities Texas, it drew an audience of several hundred attendees to hear presentations about the Red River War from a variety of perspectives. Guy C. Vanderpool, Director of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum (below left) and Terry Colley of the Texas Historical Commission, (below right) welcomed the audience and the participants to the symposium.
The Symposium began on Friday evening with a gallery talk on the concurrent exhibit at the museum entitled "A Running Fight: The Red River War in Art," which provides a full exposiiton of regional art dealing with the conflict. Assembled by museum curator Michael R. Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs. This impressive exhibit runs until next February. Donald S. Frazier provided an opening talk that greatly interested the audience with its wit and humor, while historical archeologist Tiffany Osborn gave an overview of recent Panhandle excavations that she superintended. I presented a paper dealing with the Red River War in regional and national histotrical perspective. Dean Daniel Gelo of UTSA prsesented a paper dealing with Comanche place names and heritage in Texas.

Michael R. Grauer Giving Gallery Talk
Each of the sessions attracted large and interested audiences. In addition to the panelists noted above, Dewey Tsonetokoy, an authority on Kiowa society and culture also gave a talk at the sympoisum. Below left, Dewey Tsonetokoy talks while, below right, archeologist J. Brett Cruse gives a presentation on his book, the study which provided the major focus for the symposium.

Below is the cover of the book by J. Brett Cruse

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Red River War Symposium to be Held at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum

On this coming Saturday, November 7, a symposium dealing with the Red River War will take place at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas. The Red River War was an important military conflict that took place between units of the United States Army and various Native American tribes during 1874 in the Texas Panhandle. A series of battles defeated the Native American warriors, forcing the tribes into new lives on nearby federal reservations in present-day Oklahoma. This conflict marked the final chapter of organized Native American resistance on the southern plains.

For much of the time since then, the Red River War has never been accorded its full significance, either in the historical literature or in popular recognition, as a signal moment in frontier history, or in the centuries-long conflict between Native American peoples and the Anglo-American frontier. Recent decades, however, have witnessed the scholarly rediscovery of the Red River War as a defining time in the history of Texas and the western frontier of the United States. Since the 1970s, a number of scholarly studies have greatly accelerated interest in the history of the conflict.

Archeology conducted by the Texas Historical Commission in recent years has reanimated interest in the Red River Wars, including a battle site in Palo Duro Canyon, seen above. These T.H.C. archeological investigations, known as the Red River War Project, are under the supervision of J. Brett Cruse, a Panhandle native who has amassed a distinguished career as an historical archeologist on the staff of the T.H.C. To date, Cruse and his teams have excavated a number of battle sites and they will be continuing this project with future activities.The website "Texas Beyond History" has a detailed report and assessment of this project. Click here. Research and conclusions to date on this project have been published in a fine book written by J. Brett Cruse, “Battles of the Red River War: Archeological Perspectives on the Indian Campaign of 1874.” It is available from the Texas A&M University Press. Click here.

This upcoming symposium is sponsored by Texas Historical Commission, with support from Humanities Texas. The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum has also mounted a special art exhibition to mark this symposium. Entitled “A Running Fight: The Red River War in Art,” this exhibition includes works by Frederic Remington, Nick Eggenhofer, W. Herbert Dunton, and Edward Borein, as well as Texas artists such as H. D. Bugbee, Ben Carlton Mead, John Eliot Jenkins, and Olive Vandruff. It will run until February 14, 2010. The symposium is free and open to the public. It begins at 8:30 am with a special welcome by Panhandle Plains Museum director Cliff Vanderpool and officials of the Texas Historical Commission. Speakers on a variety of interdisciplinary subjects and topics related to the Red River War will include me, Donald Frazier of McMurry University; archeologists J. Brett Cruse and Tiffany Osburn of Texas Historical Commission; Daniel Gelo of the University of Texas-San Antonio; William Voelker of the Comanche Nation; and Dewey Tsonetokoy of the Kiowa Nation. (All images courtesy of Victoria Cummins.)
"The Red River War Symposium" starting at 8:30 am, November 7, 2009, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, 2503 4th Avenue, Canyon, Texas, 806-651-2250
For more information, visit the Texas Historical Commission website. Click here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Book Documents Austin College’s 160 Year History

A new pictorial history book written cooperatively by Austin College faculty members and students examines the rich 160 year history of the school. This book, Austin College, is the culmination of a collaborative learning project led by professor Light T. Cummins, with the assistance of college archivist Justin Banks.

This book marks the presidenital transition of Austin College from the leadership of Dr. Oscar C. Page to that of Dr. Marjorie Hass. It is scheduled to be released by the Arcadia Publishing Company on November 9. Advance copies will be available for purchase at the Austin College campus store beginning on Thursday, November 5 as part of the festivities marking the inauguration of Dr. Marjorie Hass as the fifteenth president of Austin College.

“This volume tells the story of Austin College in photographs,” Cummins said. It uses pictures to document the history of Austin College from the era of the daguerreotype to that of the digital image.

Eight students in a history class taught by Light Cummins during the spring of this year wrote the text for the new book. Four archival students under the direction of archivist Justin Banks selected the pictures used in the volume.

The student authors are: Elizabeth A. Elliott of Arlington, Texas; David C. Loftice of Van Alstyne; Trang Ngo of Amarillo; Joshua Pollock of San Antonio; Paige Rutherford of Amarillo; Victoria Sheppard of El Dorado, Arkansas; William Weeks of Euless; and Jacqueline M. Welsh of Greeley, Colorado.

The student archival assistants who selected the images contained in the book are: Gunjan Chitnis of Irving; Susan Le of Garland; Rebeka Medellin of San Antonio; and Ayesha Shafi of Mansfield, Texas.

The archival students chose the 200 images in the book from thousands contained in the college’s extensive collections. College archivist Banks prepared the images for publication. The student authors then wrote the narrative, linking it to the photographs. The text explains what appears in the pictures while it also provides a full chronological history of the college. Light Cummins edited the volume and provided continuity for the narrative.

“Most college history books are written by historians,” Cummins said. “This is one of the few that has been written by students, and, as such, it offers a student perspective about the history of the college.”

The book highlights the history of student life, the academic program, athletic activities, and the growth of the campus. It also examines how the college has responded to changes in American life from before the Civil War to the present day.

"Austin College has a unique history,” Cummins noted in that regard. “One of the school's greatest historical qualities is that it can adapt positively as it changes with the times.”

Click Here for More Information

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Father of Texas Banquet at the Brazoria County Historical Museum

Me with Descendants of Emily Austin Bryan Perry
Last night in Angleton, Texas, the Brazoria County Historical Museum hosted its fourteenth annual Father of Texas Awards banquet. This museum is one of the most active and professionally managed county historical museums in the state. In addition to its exhibits, it operates a series of public programs, guest speakers series, and other activities designed to advance historical awareness. The museum’s Lois Brock Adriance Library and Archives has a rich collection of materials dealing with the history of the lower Brazos River valley and the Gulf Coast.

The museum, under the leadership of its director Jackie Haynes, annually presents three awards at this annual banquet. The Father of Texas Award honors an individual who has demonstrated in modern times the leadership qualities that were embodied in the life of Stephen F. Austin, who not only founded Anglo American Texas, but who was also a resident of what is now Brazoria County. This year’s Father of Texas Award was bestowed on J. P. Bryan of Houston, who has been a long-time supporter of historical causes in Texas. He is a native of Brazoria County. Mr. Bryan is also a member of the Austin/Bryan/Perry family that descends from Moses Austin. He is a champion of all things historical in Texas.

The Catherine Munson Foster Award for Literature memorializes the memory of a Brazoria County native who had an outstanding career as a folklorists and author. I was given this award at the banquet for my book “Emily Austin of Texas, 1895-1851.” This book examines the life of this important Texas woman and also provides a history of her Brazoria County home, Peach Point Plantation. It was a special honor for me to have this award presented by Marie Beth Jones, a high respected journalist and authority on the early history of Texas and the lower Brazos River.
Me and director Jackie Haynes
The museum awarded its Jane Long Pioneer Spirit Award to the Brazosport Archeological Society. Its president, Johnney Pollan, accepted the award for the society. Mr. Pollan is an active avocational archeologist and is also an archeological steward. The society has conducted a number of archeological investigations throughout Texas. At present, many of its members are involved in the investigations currently taking place at the Bernardo Plantation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Texas Regional Art Symposium, Heard-Craig Center for the Arts

Anne Royer, Victoria Cummins, Lonn Tayler, and me at the Symposium

The Heard-Craig Center for the Arts in McKinney, Texas hosted a one day Texas Regional Art Symposium on October 10, 2009. Several hundred people attended in addition to almost a dozen paper presenters and panelists. It brought together historians, curators, collectors, and local artists at the Heard-Craig Hall to discuss new research on early Texas art. It also sought to foster new Texas art of a regional nature. Artist and art historian Anne Royer coordinated the event and served as master of ceremonies, along with the active participation of Barbara Johnson, director of the Heard-Craig. The Art Club of McKinney Art also helped organize and staff the conference. The Frank Reaugh Art Club and the Frank Klepper Art Club sent representatives to attend this conference.

The Texas Art Collectors Organization also participated in this event. Speakers included me, Lonn Taylor, who is a retired curator of the Smithsonian Institution, Victoria Cummins, and Sam Ratcliff of the Jerry Bywaters Collection. Dr. Francine Carraro, director of the Grace Museum in Abilene also spoke, along with Carol Roark of the Dallas Public Library. Bob Reitz, an expert on Frank Reaugh, participated as well. A panel of art collectors also talked about their experiences in collecting Texas regional art. This panel included Mark Kever, Morris Matson, Marc Bateman, Bruce Covey, and George Palmer. A reception held at Laura Moore Fine Art Studios at 207 S. Tennessee followed the symposium. The Patricia B. Avery Art Show ran concurrently with the symposium, bringing together the work of current artists.

Click here to learn more about the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts

Click here to learn more about the Art Club of McKinney

Monday, October 5, 2009

Robert S. Weddle Receives the H. G. Dulaney Award

Robert S. Weddle
Robert S. Weddle, esteemed author and revered Texas historian, received the H. G. Dulaney Award in Bonham at a gala banquet held on October 1, 2009. This award honors H. G. Dulaney, a Bonham native who was closely associated with Congressman Sam Rayburn. Mr. Dulaney began his career with Mr. Sam by becoming a member of Congressman Rayburn’s staff over sixty years ago. In 1956, Mr. Dulaney became the founding director of the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum in Bonham, Texas. He held this position until his retirement, continuing his work on behalf of the library until his passing last summer.
Carol Stanton and Patrick Cox
The Dulaney Award is presented by the Friends of Sam Rayburn to someone who have advanced the ideal, goals, and vision embraced in the lives of both H. G. Dulaney and Congressman Rayburn. It also recognizes someone who has advanced Bonham.

Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd

Robert S. Weddle is a native of Bonham who attended Texas Tech University in the 1940s. He thereafter became a professional journalist and Texas newspaper editor. It was while he was the editor of the Menard, Texas paper that Weddle became interested in the Spanish colonial history of Texas. The ruins of the San Saba presidio and the site of the Mission San Saba were near Menard. He began researching these places and wrote a book that has become a classic of Texas historical writing, Mission San Saba: Spanish Pivot in Texas. Over the decades since, he has written over a dozen additional books, mostly on the history of Texas during the Spanish colonial period. It is not an understatement to note that he is currently the “Dean of Spanish Colonial Historians” writing about Texas.

Anthony Champagne and me

Mayor Roy Floyd of Bonham hosted the awards dinner. I spoke on the theme of Bob Weddle’s public service, while Anthony Champagne talked about H. G. Dulaney. Barbara Gore of the Friends of the Sam Rayburn Library presented the award. Patrick Cox of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, along with Carol Stanton, Director of the Sam Rayburn House, also spoke at the dinner.

Bob Weddle with his son and daughter

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sam Rayburn Symposium

Anthony Champagne, Nancy Beck Young, Jackie Moore,
and Fred Buettler on their panel

The Austin College Center for Southwestern and Mexican Studies hosted a symposium on the history of Texas political leadership, highlighting the work of Congressman Sam Rayburn, on October 1 in Hoxie Thompson Auditorium of Sherman Hall. The conference was co-sponsored by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History of the University of Texas at Austin, which maintains the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum in Bonham, Texas. The keynote speaker was Dr. Fred W. Beuttler, deputy historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to the Washington position, he spent seven years as the associate university historian at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He directed the university’s oral history project and researched the history of the university. Earlier, he was an assistant professor at Trinity Christian College near Chicago, where he taught American history and government. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree from Trinity International University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. An afternoon panel conducted by Dr. Jackie Moore featured Dr. Beutter, Nancy Beck Young, and Anthony Champagne discussion the nature of congressional leadership in the era of Sam Rayburn. I led a panel discussion regarding important Texas congressional leaders. Patrick Cox, Kenneth Hendrickson, and Michael Collins participated in this panel.

Patrick Cox, Light Cummins, Kenneth Hendrickson,
and Michael Collins on their panel