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Speakers

Dr. Frank de la Teja - San Antonio's Spanish-Colonial Military Heritage
Dr. Frank de la TejaSan Antonio’s identity as a military city is rooted in Spain’s efforts to defend its northern frontier from European rivals, autonomous Indian peoples, and eventually from the United States. From its origins as a frontier military post (presidio) to its status as Texas’s chief garrison during the Mexican War of Independence, the military was the most important of the city’s social and economic institutions. My presentation provides an overview of the many ways that the presidio influenced life in the city from supporting the work of Franciscan missionaries in their work among the province’s indigenous populations to forming families and serving as the root stock of the Tejano community, the military was San Antonio’s institution from 1718 to 1821.


Dr. Amy Porter - Early San Antonio Women and the Wars of Independence
Dr. Amy PorterFor women in early San Antonio, life on the frontier was challenging.  Due to the presidio and military presence in the Spanish period, women played roles as soldiers’ wives and lived on a frontier that periodically experienced war.  Indian relations, though involving peace and trade, could also involve raids and warfare.  By the 1810s, the San Antonio area was embroiled in fights over Mexican independence, and many women would face widowhood, mistreatment, land loss, and hunger due to the aftermath of the Battle of Medina and the rules imposed thereafter.  While the 1820s brought changes with Mexican independence, the 1830s would bring warfare to the women of San Antonio as they yet again withstood loss and devastation.  Yet, through all of the sufferings, San Antonio women endured and maintained family and community.  This talk will examine how women experienced war in early San Antonio with a focus on the wars of independence.


Dr. James Crisp - After the Alamo: San Antonio in an Independent Texas
Dr. James CrispThis presentation will attempt to put to rest the myth that the Texas Revolution was a kind of “race war” that ended up pitting Anglo-Texans and Mexican-Texans against each other, so that Mexicans in Texas immediately became second-class citizens, if citizens at all. The focus will be on San Antonio native Juan N. Seguín, his father Erasmo Seguín, José Antonio Navarro, and other tejanos who held positions of trust and authority under the Texas Republic. Following the Revolution, there were important questions of loyalty and citizenship that were in the early years of independence largely answered in ways that were positive for the tejanos. But following the twin invasions of 1842 that twice put Mexican armies in control of San Antonio, life in the Texas Republic for people of Mexican origin became steadily more difficult, and in some cases, impossible. The reasons for this change will be explored in depth.


Hidden Histories of Race and Health in San Antonio


Dr. Mark Allan Goldberg, University of Houston - Before Alamo City:  Health and Medicine in 19th-Century San Antonio and Early National Mexico
This presentation explores health practices and the medical profession in early 19th-century San Antonio.  It places public health initiatives and general discussions of health in a national and international context to highlight San Antonio’s position as a global city.  Only twelve years after Mexican independence, northern Mexicans faced the ravages of a global cholera epidemic, raising questions and concerns about health and medicine that offer windows into how norteños and Mexicans, more broadly, conceived of nationhood in political and cultural terms.  For Mexican physicians, medicine became an avenue to global modernity for the young nation.  Doctors drew a boundary around what they that deemed legitimate medicine, marking some Mexicans as true citizens and those who practiced unlicensed medicine as obstacles to national progress.  In this multiracial borderland where diverse cultures met, however, that line remained blurry.

 

 

Mr. Everett Fly, San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum - San Antonio Black History: One Foot In and One Foot Out
Everett FlyThe historical role of Spanish colonial suertes and ranchos in San Antonio’s social, economic, legal, religious, environmental, and evolutionary legacies are widely acknowledged.  Accounts of white citizens engaged in rural enterprises while living in town are also part of the city’s heritage.  Previous studies of African American life have focused within the city boundaries without considering the history of the entire county.  The tendency to apply an urban ghetto stereotype to the specific interdependent history of San Antonio and Bexar County has produced misinformation, oversimplified and limited contextual understanding of black history in the region.  Mr. Fly’s recent research uncovered authentic primary source documentation that begins to reveal a broader, more significant and more complex black history and culture. The illustrated presentation will provide a historic cultural landscape overview of important relationships between black settlements in all quadrants of Bexar County and the city of San Antonio.


Spectacle and Sport in Twentieth-Century San Antonio


Dr. Laura Hernández-Ehrisman, St. Edwards University - San Antonio '68: Hemisfair and the US Commission on Civil Rights
Dr. Laura Hernández-Ehrisman,As we mark the 300th anniversary of San Antonio, we also mark the 50th anniversary of the many events of 1968, which has a particular meaning for San Antonians. This was the year of Hemisfair, an event which would transform the city’s downtown, enhance the tourist industry, and celebrate San Antonio as a cultural crossroads between the United States and Latin America. Six months later, another pivotal event would also have profound implications for the future of the city-- the federal Commission on Civil Rights located its hearings in San Antonio, for the first time directing its attention to discrimination against Mexican Americans in this region. This paper explores the ways that these two events highlighted both the problems and the possibilities of the city in the mid-twentieth century. While the fair celebrated progress, the Hearings demonstrated that there was much more work to be done.


Mr. Gregory Garrett, The Institute for Texan Cultures - Invisible Diamonds: Black Baseball in the Greater San Antonio Area
Gregory GarrettInvisible Diamonds focuses on two teams that consisted of all black players. One team, the San Antonio Black Sox, was an urban squad that played in the organized South Texas Negro League. The other team, the Kerrville All Stars, was a rural town team similar to those found throughout the state. Despite the differences in urban and rural locations, the game itself was conducted in the same way. Whether in the city, or a rocky field in some patch of rural Texas, baseball supplied these men with a social space in which they were able to prove that they were equals in talent, desire, and leadership to any ballplayers in the state. This presentation will give voice to these men and their experiences.


Douglass W. McDonald, CEO, Alamo Trust, Inc. - Remembering and Commemorating the Great War
Douglass W. McDonaldAs San Antonio celebrates its Tricentennial anniversary, the Alamo embarks on its third century as well. The 300 year-old former Spanish mission turned fortress has seen many changes since its founding in 1718 as Mission San Antonio de Valero, with important changes to come in the near future. Leading the Alamo through this new period of change is Alamo Trust President & CEO Doug McDonald. In a combined effort with the Texas General Land Office, the city of San Antonio and Alamo Trust, a historic campaign called the Alamo Master Plan is underway. With this, reverence and honor will be paid to the defenders who gave their lives at the Alamo for Texas Liberty by recapturing the 1836 footprint and through restoring the Alamo church and Long Barrack. Today at the Alamo, visitors can experience life in 1836 with our daily living history demonstrations, guided and audio tours, and our 2018 special exhibit Fortress Alamo: The Key to Texas. Alamo Trust CEO Doug McDonald will discuss not only how the Alamo is remembered today but the ongoing efforts to ensure that future generations “remember the Alamo.”


Machaia McClenny & Sherri Driscoll - The Diversity of Alamo Defenders
Machaia McClenny & Sherri DriscollThe men who defended the Alamo represented the entire spectrum of age, country of origin, social status, military rank, ethnicity, etc. Furthermore, their motivations for being there varied wildly. Some hoped to earn land for fighting in the battle, others wanted glory, some were defending their home, and a few were there simply because they believed in the cause. Despite all of those disparate elements, they were all here – they all fought and died together.


Jackie Davis - 300 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: The first 127 years
Jackie DavisAlthough we all acknowledge the presence of the three predecessor military forces in Texas (Spanish, Mexican and Texian) before the arrival of the U.S. Army in 1845, we seldom consider them in the way we do our present Army.  A look at how our predecessors were organized and commanded; uniformed, equipped and supplied, and what were their missions.  And just what was a Presidial Soldier?


Jake Mangum - Portal to Texas History
Jake MangumThe Portal to Texas History is a digital repository for historical and cultural heritage materials. The materials hosted on the Portal are the product of collaboration between the University of North Texas Libraries and Portal Partners, which include genealogical societies, museums, libraries, government agencies, and private collectors. The presentation will provide users with an overview of the Portal to Texas History, how one could use it for their own research interests, and highlights some of the various collections on the Portal. 


Leslie Stapleton - An Overview of the Archives and Special Collections at Texas A&M University – San Antonio
Leslie StapletonGet a brief overview of the holdings of the Archives and Special Collections at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.  You will learn about the University’s young and growing collection in addition to the already mature collection from the DRT Library, which is now on loan to the University.  You will learn about the different types of material available for research, and see some of the highlights of the collection. Learn about our Presidio Gallery and how you can schedule field trips for guided tours of the exhibit. Housed downtown in the Bexar County Archives Building the collection is open to the public for research by appointment.  Come see what we have to enhance your research and/or teaching experience.


Lynn Yakubik - Institute of Texas Cultures
Lynn YakubikThe UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures offers many options for engaging learning! Discover how a TEKS based field trip to the museum with hands on exhibits about the many cultures that settled Texas or a tour of the Back 40 living history area highlighting the hard work and resourcefulness shown by the pioneers brings your textbooks to life!  Can’t make it here? Find out about our online curriculum and our Tex Kit traveling trunks for your classroom (with tips for making your own!) And finally, learn about our certified professional development workshops throughout the year.


John Wheat - The Béxar Archives: The Story of Spanish and Mexican Texas
John WheatThe Béxar Archives are the Spanish and Mexican records of Texas from 1717 to the end of the Mexican regime in 1836.  The presentation will cover the size and scope of the archives—encompassing military, civilian, and missionary affairs, Indian relations, revolutions, and much more—as well as the different types of documentation they contain, from official correspondence, reports, and accounts, to detailed community censuses by household.  Also featured will be the different tools that have been created over the years to provide access to the Béxar Archives, including a calendar, microfilm edition, a name guide, translations, and most recently, an online feature on the Briscoe Center website.


Robert Langston - San Antonio Museum of Art
Robert LangstonThe San Antonio Museum of Art is an encyclopedic museum with a collection broadly spanning many cultures and time periods. This presentation will introduce highlights from the Museum’s collection of American Art including objects from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art and previous past exhibitions following a brief history of the Lone Star Brewery, which houses the Museum. The goal of the presentation is to examine how art objects as time and site-specific examples of visual and material culture build and share context with historic maps and documents to better inform historical inquiry and interpretation.