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.