ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO COWBOY LIFE FADES INTO SUNSET IN ELKO 01/31/99 Buckaroos, bards, ranchers and city folk headed home Sunday after filling up on the culture of the range at the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering. About 9,000 people from across the country gathered for the weeklong festival in this remote town 290 miles east of Reno, cramming into daytime sessions featuring cowboy songs, poems, fiddle-playing and humor. At night, people headed for bars and hotels around town for dances and impromptu jam sessions that ran far into the night. As usual, one of the hottest spots in town was Stockmen's Hotel, where the jam sessions featured professional and amateur musicians alike. When one fiddler or guitar-picker started a tune, everyone joined in. They sang such favorites as "Home on the Range," "Red River Valley" and "Way Down Yonder in the Indian Nation." "This takes me back. I can't remember when I've been in a sing-along," said Emmy McMasters, 78, of Portland, Ore. "It's just plain fun," added Delores Severe, a mother of seven from Somerville, Ore., who plays guitar, sings and yodels. The theme of this year's gathering was the Scottish and English roots of the cowboy culture. Ranching has a long tradition in Great Britain. Tam and Anne Reid, who live on a 66-acre farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, came here to perform songs and explore the Celtic roots of cowboy poetry and music. Celtic ballads were remade in America to reflect new circumstance and geography. But the themes remained the same: love and loneliness, cows and conflict. "So many things have changed," Anne Reid said. "People have lost the art of conversation and story-telling and singing. "We've got to keep the old songs alive. If we lose them we'll never get them back." Country singer Michael Martin Murphey, who performed at concerts during the event, said numerous cowboy songs have Celtic roots. "There are examples everywhere you look," Murphey said. "The first hit cowboy song, an Edison recording in the 1920s, came from an Irish ballad. 'Red River Valley' came from a Scottish song ... You can just go on and on." Real cowpokes and cowboys of the drugstore variety mixed during the 15th annual gathering. "Yeah, I guess I'm a hobby-horse kind of cowboy," said Tim Caughlin, 46, of Wheaton, Ill. "I've always liked the songs and poems, though. They touch the part of me that grew up on `Gunsmoke' and `Bonanza' on TV." "I've never lived on a ranch, but I know there's more hard work than romance to it," added Candy Carlile, 52, of Salt Lake City. "I moved west from Yew York about six years ago. The poetry here embodies what I like about the West." Ed Green, a native New Yorker who moved to Montana, said the West is the best. "There's a big difference between the broncs and the Bronx," he said. "This (gathering) is the romantic view, but it also brings out the real view of ranch life.",2107,13553-22795-164927-0,00.html

From: Jane Kolber RE: The Arizona Archaeological Society's Rock Art Recording Field School will not answer any more inquiries or send out any more applications since: we are almost full; have already sent out about 100 applications in response to inquiries; and, need to conserve time and money for postage.

[ SASIG Ed. Note -- Alternative rock art field schools ? Check ]

From: Toby Stahl The regular meeting of the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary will be held on February 3rd at 7:30pm in the PGM Community Room. The speaker will be Dr. Charles Merbs, Professor of Anthropology at ASU. Dr. Merbs topic will be "The Skeleton of General Casimir Pulaski: Revolutionary War Hero and Founder of the American Cavalry". Please join us. Refreshments will be served. While working on her master's thesis, Bernadette Tsosie studied water flow around uranium mills where Navajos worked up until the '70s. The Uranium Education Center at Dine College helps to address some problems associated with uranium. Uranium Education Center, (888) 423-6151. Census taking on the Navajo Nation is difficult. Many individual Navajos who are enrolled and consequently have a census number, may believe that they have already been counted in the census conducted by the Census Bureau. Arizona has been more progressive than other states. In 1992, a sweat lodge area was consecrated in Florence prison. Gerlaugh grew up away from the Gila River Indian Community. He knew little about traditional Indian practices. Inside the sweat lodge on Saturday, Foster and Gerlaugh prayed and sang in Navajo and beat a drum. Visitors to the museum have an opportunity to view a collection of unique horse shoes. Some of the footwear dates to around 1870. A Volunteer Directory for the USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region and Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden is available. Volunteers are needed in archeology, history... , and... more. For a copy of the directory, send request to: Regional Volunteer Coordinator USDA Forest Service 3324 25th Street Ogden, UT 84401, or E-Mail: bill lyons/ or you can FAX your request to 801-625-5170. If there are questions, call 801-625-5175 A planned visitor's center has been delayed, and construction won't begin for three more years. Already spent -- $500,000 conducting an archaeological study of the site. Between 30 and 100 settlers lived at the fort during the two years it operated. The pioneers left in part because they found the Las Vegas Valley too harsh. The Plains Village tradition was not present in the Panhandle until 1150, according to Roberta Speer, instructor of archaeology at West Texas A&M University. The Twentynine Palms Historical Society believes it is the oldest standing public building in the county. Today the schoolhouse is the society's museum. The building consists of three rooms - the original schoolroom, a second classroom, added in 1931, and the administration room, added in 1939. Tejano Legacy

Cross-Posted from H-West: From: (Elliott West) To: H-WEST@H-NET.MSU.EDU Subject: Interactive Review: Mathews-Lamb on Alonzo, Tejano Legacy Date: Tue, 02 Feb Dear H-Westers, Below is a real treat. Courtesy of H-Rural, we have an interactive review. Our own moderator, Sandra ("Call Me Sam") Mathews-Lamb leads off with a review of a recent book on Texas and southwestern history. Following that will come a reply by the author of that book, Armando Alonzo. The purpose here is to begin a conversation among all interested parties on the book, its subject, and related issues. It’s a unique chance to engage in an exchange among the large community of subscribers on our list and that on rural history. Enjoy! And let us hear from you. Elliott West, Co-Mopderator, H-West

Armando C. Alonzo, Tejano Legacy: Rancheros and Settlers in South Texas, 1734-1900 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998). Bibliography, References, Maps, Tables. 357 pp. Reviewed for H-Rural by Sandra K. Mathews-Lamb

A product of extensive research, Tejano Legacy by Armando Alonzo provides an interesting and valuable addition to the growing body of research on Tejano history (meaning Hispanos who identify themselves as Texans). Alonzo offers a history of South Texas from the Spanish colonial era to 1900, arguing that the "importance of land or space to the settlers’ way of life and identity" is central to the theme of Tejano history (3). He supports this theme by looking at land tenure among large, medium, and small land holdings in the trans-Nueces region utilizing data from wills, tax records, census, bills of sale, and many other sources. Holding onto their land allowed Tejanos to maintain historical and cultural identities that remain strong even today. Preserving their ownership would prove to be difficult, however, especially after the 1880s, when greater numbers of Anglo-Americans and Europeans came into the region hoping to invest their merchant dollars into land speculation. Numerous factors led to the decline of acreage owned by Tejanos, not the least of which was the partition of larger estates through inheritance (and subsequent sale) and inadequate access to credit to carry Tejanos through deteriorating market conditions.

Divided into nine chapters, this book covers the original settlement of South Texas under the leadership of Jose de Escandon in the 1730s to the decline of Tejano land holdings by 1900. Organized topically, the chapters deal with environment and people of the Seno Mexicano; the origins and establishment of Spanish communities (1730-1848); economic life (1730-1848); population growth, adaptation, and conflict (1848-1900); Anglo-American challenges to Mexican land holdings after 1846; expansion of Tejano ranching (1845-1885); the decline of Tejano ranching (1885-1900); and finally an interesting comparison of Hispano landholding throughout the Southwest. Replete with tables and diagrams which he carefully weaves into his narrative, this monograph provides an interesting and very detailed look at South Texas, in particular Hidalgo County. Each chapter begins with a clear thesis which he follows methodically throughout. He ends each chapter with a conclusion in which he provides an excellent summation of each of his major arguments as well as solidifies his thesis.

Throughout this book, Alonzo overcomes and refutes misinterpretations of authors who view conflict as a central theme to Tejano history and who claim that Tejano land loss in South Texas was comparatively worse than other locations throughout the Southwest. He further argues that his book provides a more in-depth look into Tejano land tenure than have previous studies. He concludes that "Tejanos in the Lower Valley participated in an expanding commercial ranching economy and that they maintained control of their lands in much of the region until the 1880s. Shaped by their colonial experience, Tejanos were a resilient, pragmatic, and largely self-directed people" (11). He writes that the history of Tejanos is one of persistence and survival.

This well-written monograph helps to bring Tejano land tenure in South Texas into focus. Alonzo’s impressive supporting data includes tables depicting livestock sold in various counties during certain years, occupational structures, population, percentage of Hispanos and Anglos in various occupations, land holdings by size and ethnicity in various years, ethnicity of livestock owners, percentage of livestock sale by ethnicity, and more. Most of his information represents Hidalgo County, but he also includes information from the other lower valley counties as well. His breakdown of ethnicity in relationship to land tenure and livestock production and sale is particularly intriguing. The tables are incredibly informative and I respect the tremendous amount of time they must have consumed to compile.

While reading the book, no doubt certain questions come to mind. Admittedly Alonzo’s focus is the Tejano community. However, as a Native American historian, I would like to have seen more information about the early native communities who lived in the area. He includes one short section in his first chapter about the Coahuiltecans who lived in the region, but does not describe their lifestyle in any detail. It would have been interesting to learn about how they survived in this region as a counterpoint to later Tejano settlements. Perhaps archaeological data or anthropological studies are scarce. Alonzo also mentions the Lipan Apache and Comanche raids on Tejano livestock and communities as well, yet he does not explain the events which might have precipitated the increased raids, particularly in the 1830s. This no doubt occurred as a result of the shifting native populations on the Plains, as well as numerous other factors. In New Mexico, Nuevo Mexicanos punished the Apache, Navajo, Ute, and Comanche for raiding Hispano settlements. Did the same retaliatory raids occur in South Texas? Perhaps the early population was too small, or perhaps because Tejanos moved from community land holdings to individual grants very early in South Texas history, community outrage and a smaller population base did not support a counterraid mentality.

Tejanos built a sense of community through their shared struggle. Besides the raids, periodic droughts and floods decreased production and influenced local and regional markets in South Texas and areas south. Of greater impact to Tejano landholding, however, was the arrival of outsiders into the region. Alonzo demonstrates convincingly that the arrival of Anglos and Europeans did not immediately disrupt Tejano landholding patterns; rather, the Tejanos experienced a boom in livestock production, selling tens of thousands of sheep and cattle to regional and extra regional markets. It appears that Tejanos who prospered had diversified to horses as well as cattle and undertaken other economic ventures. More importantly, the expansion of markets after 1848 and the coming of farmers kept their local market viable. While outsiders eventually disrupted land tenure and treated Tejanos as second-class citizens (because of their lack of power), Alonzo makes an interesting argument about Tejano class structures - that the frontier lessened the importance of color within Tejano communities. Well-supported with evidence, this thesis should be compared to other frontier regions of the Spanish Borderlands, and perhaps even to the American West on a larger scale. While I doubt researchers would find the same result throughout the West (or even the Borderlands), Alonzo has found something unique if indeed that is the case - and his evidence seems to support it. It would appear that the necessity of building economic viability and expanding the frontier of Spanish authority outweighed the importance of racial and class distinctions. It also appears, however, that once the communities became firmly established, race and class distinctions emerged.

Some limitations can be found, as they can in any work of this magnitude. I have included a list of questions which the author, or members of H-Rural’s membership, may feel free to address.

When the trade boom began in the 1820s, as it did in New Mexico, Alonzo might have expanded upon the opening of trade restrictions with other territories and more importantly, with foreign countries like the United States. In New Mexico, the Santa Fe Trail offered great trade opportunities, but Alonzo does not mention any such organized trade route of this sort. The reader might appreciate a broader perspective of the opening of trade by a comparison with other regions of Texas (as he does with his last chapter and Hispano land tenure across the Southwest).

Why is there a new intensity of Indian raids in the 1830s?

What new laws regulated U.S. activities in Texas after the initial settlement by impresarios and how did that affect South Texas? (Perhaps it did not)

What roles did women play in the livestock industry and land tenure in South Texas. While women were mentioned in regard to wills and inheritance (as widows or sisters, etc.), it would be interesting to know how many of the sales bills, signed by men, actually represented women or widows selling livestock or land. Since many men did serve as business agents for women (either as brothers, sons, or uncles, etc.), however, as in New Mexico, it might be hard to gauge the importance of women and their land ownership in South Texas.

Did new U.S. probate laws alter inheritance practices?

Did schools provide English-only education? Were they compulsory? Since no Tejanos taught in these schools, did fewer numbers of Tejano children attend school? Was attendance based on class and if so, did those who had attended school as children fare better as adults in maintaining land holdings?

Alonzo argued that in the case of Texas, "equity favored Tejano landholders." Why was there a desire for equity in South Texas? Is that a result of lesser demand for land by Anglo interlopers? In the case of New Mexico, which served as a through-route for the newly-opened Santa Fe Trail and later the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, pressure on land grew with larger populations of Anglo-Americans and Europeans. Obviously South Texas was not a through-route, nor a destination for merchants and gold miners as California. To be fair, Alonzo does make the second point, but I’m curious as to how Tejano land tenure was influenced by the fact that South Texas might still be considered a frontier much later than New Mexico.

In New Mexico, land fraud abounded. In South Texas, it doesn’t seem to be the case. Did fraudulent land claims resulting from quick adjudication in South Texas exist? Whatever happened to the land claims in Rio Grande City? Were they ever adjudicated?

Why was it easier to speculate in unconfirmed grants or land in New Mexico than in Texas?

Tejanos were not colonized by the Anglo-Americans they encountered. They persevered until the livestock industry and local and regional markets declined after 1885. Their smaller land holdings and inability to acquire credit caused the decline in Tejano land tenure in South Texas.

To support his work, Alonzo has consulted major monographs, well-known to scholars of the Borderlands and Hispano land tenure (except a new book by Malcolm Ebright entitled, _Land Grants and Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico_, which would have provided an excellent counterpoint for comparison in his final chapter). Alonzo’s monograph will direct the reader to new and fascinating information regarding South Texas and Tejano land tenure, as well as the historic economic and environmental viability of the region. This is a must read for those with knowledge of land tenure of Hispanos throughout the Southwest, as well as those who would like an in-depth introduction to a viable and surviving culture - the Tejanos. The level of detail Alonzo included might be daunting to those unfamiliar with land tenure practices and Hispano culture. For those specialists of South Texas local history and scholars of land tenure in the Southwest during the transition period from Spain and Mexico to the United States, this book is a valuable source.

From: (Elliott West) To: H-WEST@H-NET.MSU.EDU Subject: Review Response: Alonzo to Mathews-Lamb Date: Tue, 02 Feb

Below is Armando Alonzo’s reply to the review just posted.

I want to thank Prof. Sam Mathews-Lamb for a fair, thorough,and insightful review of my book. Her analyses and questions offer a good starting point for me to ponder key points about my study of Tejano history, in particular Tejanos who occupied the south Texas region.

I agree that the study could be strengthened by making more comparisons with other parts of the Southwest with regard to matters other than land tenure, such as the opening of California and New Mexican trade with Americans. This was an omission on my part as was the matter of elaboration of Indian pressures in Texas during the 1820s and 1830s. It is clear that the Borderlands were experiencing new economic ties with the U.S. at a time that conditions in Mexico were at best chaotic. David F. Weber and others have elaborated on these factors; I merely attempted to add a bit more detail to the Matamoros trade in the Lower Rio Grande in order to show how another corner of Mexico became intertwined with the U.S. economically. Regarding Indian pressures, I pointed out tht Laredo seemed to be always beleaguered by surrounding nortenos or Indians resident in Texas. Thus, Laredo grew slowly in comparison to the other river towns during the period from its founding to 1880. The Indians conducted intermittent raids, which persisted until the 1850s, effectively keeping out HIspanic and Anglos until then.

The review also raises questions about land tenure that are interesting and significant. I shall address three concerns of the reviewer. 1. As far as I can tell from the available secondary evidence, the fact that Coahuila y Tejas had a colonization project did not affect the state policy of Tamaulipas. Both entities used colonization policy as a way to secure a greater hold on the "frontier." Without further study, I would say that Coahuila y Tejas was more sucessful and dynamic because of the greater number and diversity of settlers attracted to Texas. Still, it is correct to say that Tamaulipas succeeded in extending its control over grazing lands through a similar policy, especially in south Texas. However, I have found no evidence of actual empresario settlement in Tamaulipas in contrast to Texas. This point deserves closer study. 2. While Hispanic women played a role in land tenure and actual ranching oprations, it is very difficult to document precisely. As owners of land and livestock, their names appear in tax records but rarely in other documentation. Perhaps additional research using oral histories might be the best way to resolve the question of what specific roles women landholders had in the ranching society of the 18th and 19th centuries. 3. As much as Texas tried to stamp out Hispanic influences in various aspects of life, both the Republic and the state of Texas maintained much from Hispanic law, especially with regard to property law and probate matters. Whereas in the Spanish-Mexican system, probate was at the local level, in the state the county judge was the probate judge. Tejanos easily adapted to this new system, which facilitated resolution of property issues upon the death of landholders.

The reviewer raises a critical question concerning my claim that equity in land-grant adjudication favored Tejanos. She wonders why this was the case and whether viewing south Texas as a frontier much later than New Mexico might be a factor. Perhaps my argument on the assertion of equity did not come through clearly. Basically, I argued that Texas favored a quick resolution to make the lands available for settlement and to incorporate the new citizens. Texas had about a 15-year experience of dealing with Mexican land grants so that they basically understood the requirements for a good claim. Also, it should be noted that Texans had some sense that the grasslands wre valuable because of the extensive herds. In my opinion, these considerations tended to dispose the Texas governemrnt to a fair process. With regard to the frontier nature of the region, it seems to me that it somehow did limit Anglo interest in the land. Outside of a relatively few soldiers, merchants, and artisans, no one else except Mexicans were willing to occupy the region. Perhaps someone could offer a a better insight than I can on this aspect of the question.

On the critical question of land loss, Prof. Mathews-Lamb raises the question of fraud and speculation in land by newcomers to the region. Based on what I have seen up to now, it is very nearly impossible to find rampant fraud in land deals involving Tejanos as sellers and Anglos and Europeans as buyers. There are considerable courthouse and lawyers records in which deeds are found. This fact alone does not preclude fraud. But how does one offer proof? It is true that Tejanos allege misdeeds in land transactions, but their evidence is usually in the form of oral tradition, which has it own value. I suggest two possible appproaches to this problem of fraud: 1. a detailed study of individual land grants histories using alll kinds of available evidence, and 2. a careful analysis of lawyers’ records. Reliance on oral tradition is, I think, full of danger. I am not sure why there was greater speculation in New Mexico than Texas, at least south Texas. Perhaps the fact that adjudication proceeeded more slowly and haphazardly in New Mexico mght have made conditions ripe for speculation in New Mexico, whereas the relatively fair and quick pace as well as the more local nature of adjudication by Texas agencies precluded the kind of uncertainty to land claims that fostered speculation in New Mexico. Lastly, the Rio Grande City claims were in fact presented when the Bourland-Miller Commission redid its work. The state legislature confirmed the claims and they are listed in as the Starr County confirmations.

There were other concerns raised in the review. Here I offer a few comments regarding the question of education. I must admit that I collected raw data on school attendance and language use, but I did not analyze it due to time constraints in bringing this project to a conclusion. My perusal of the data reveals the presence of Tejano children in school, more boys than girls. Also, children of landholders appear to be more in school than children whose parents have other occupations. I am not sure what all this means; perhaps, class was a key factor in determining who attended and for how long. Schools were operated by the counties (other than private schools) and a perusal of the tax collections shows that the sums collected were not very much. My impresion is that schools had a low priority in the second-half of the 19th century, except Brownsville, the most cosmopolitian and diverse town in the region. For those not familiar with state education policy, one should remember that Texas was (and is) very much a southern state.

Armando Alonzo History Department Texas A&M University Tejano Legacy The fort opened as a cavalry outpost in 1887 out of fear of labor strikes. It followed the 1886 Haymarket Riot by workers seeking an eight-hour workday. Today's buyers of the historic buildings must follow an entire book of rules laid out by the Landmark Preservation Council. Homeowners who follow the rules are eligible to have their property taxes frozen for eight years. Today is Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania. Each year on the ancient Germanic feast of Candlemas, an uncomprehending groundhog is dragged from its burrow at dawn to face the crowds hoping to foretell just how grudgingly this northern winter will concede to spring's new dawn. When Punxsutawney Phil, as this unassuming rodent is known, fails to see his shadow, spring is on the way.

[ SASIG Ed. Note -- Today is Hedgehog Day in the Southwest. According to tradition, we dragged Pinaleno Pete, an uncomprehending geek, from the keyboard in his burrow. He felt a 'dry heat.' That means, this year, there will be 11 more months of summer heat... ]