Texas Insights - August 2014

Volume V, Issue 1
 

What’s New?

The Texas State Historical Association is excited to announce the release of the new Texas Day by Day website. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by signing up for your free subscription.  Each day’s email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to the more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, available through the Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas Online.
 
This new website is one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history in less than 15 minutes each day. With your subscription you can explore Texas history in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox, get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history, and discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State. The new website also allows viewers to select any day of the year and view the articles associated with that date. If you find something that you love, you can also share the information by emailing it to a friend, directly through the site.
 
Texas Day by Day articles would make a great addition to any Texas history classroom.  Use them as warm ups or bell ringers by having students read the article and write a short response.  Most Day by Day emails will provide multiple events occurring on that day, have students compare and contrast the different events, review the Handbook of Texas Online articles, and evaluate how Texas has changed over time.  Share Texas history with your students, by having them look at the events which occurred on the month and day of their birth, and report back on the events that happened on that date in the past. 
 
 

Journey Stories Exhibit 

The Texas State Historical Associaion has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution to host a traveling exhibit between September 2014 and July 2015. Journey Stories presents accounts of how we and our ancestors settled in America, using engaging images with audio and artifacts to tell the individual stories illustrating the critical roles travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society. Student generated websites will be incorporated into the Journey Stories exhibit while it is in Marshall, Bryan, Victoria, Edinburg, Alpine, and Claude. For additional information, visit TeachingTexas.org. 
 
 

American Indian Heritage Day

Join the Bullock Texas State History Museum and Great Promise for Americn Indians for the 2nd Annual American Indian Heritage Day, September 26, 2014. School groups and the public can take part in the event to honor American Indians both past and present, while learning about their unique culture. This event will feature a range of activities with dancing and drumming performances and interactive experiences for school groups, and will be held at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Visit TeachingTexas.org, for additional information. 

Historian's Corner

Bernardo de Galvez
By Carolina Castillo Crimm

This is the amazing story of Bernardo de Galvez, military leader, governor, general and Viceroy of Mexico who helped save General Washington and the American Revolution. His name is found throughout the southeastern United States but not everyone knows why he was famous. 

Bernardo de Gálvez was born to Matías de Gálvez and María Josefa de Madrid in the tiny town of Macharaviaya, Spain on July 23, 1746. A second son died young, leaving Bernardo as the only child. The Gálvez family, including Bernardo’s father, Matías, and his three uncles, were small land owners and sheep herders in the mountains around Macharaviaya. Although poor, they could trace their honorable blood line back to the conquest of Granada in 1492. Ambitious and intelligent, they were anxious to improve their lives. José, the eldest, tried religious orders but found that the law suited him better. Bernardo’s father, Matías, went into the military while the other brothers chose diplomatic careers. José, as a lawyer for the French embassy in Madrid, won a court case against his own king, but Carlos III, instead of reprimanding him, hired him and sent him as Visitor or Inspector of northern New Spain.
 
Following in his father’s footsteps, Bernardo joined the military and received his training at the military academy at Avila. At 16, he fought against the Portuguese during the Seven Years’ War, and was promoted to lieutenant. In 1762, he joined his Uncle José’s entourage in New Spain. Stationed at Chihuahua, Lt. Gálvez, with his Opata allies, led several forays against the Apache across the Pecos River. Although he was severely wounded several times, he proved his abilities as a leader and was promoted to captain. He also befriended his Apache prisoners, sending some of the orphan Apache children to missions in the interior. He wrote an insightful essay on the Apache and their lifestyles, detailing the best methods for dealing with them. 
 
Bernardo returned to Spain with his uncle in 1772. He joined the Cantabrian Regiment and was assigned to Pau, France where he learned to speak French, a skill he would later find useful as governor of Louisiana. He also taught at the military academy at Avila. In 1775, he joined General O’Reilly in an attack on Algiers. When the Spanish forces were ambushed, Bernardo saved his men, suffering wounds during the retreat. For his bravery, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. 
 
In 1776, just as the American Revolution exploded, twenty-nine year-old Bernardo, with the backing of his uncle, José, by then head of the Council of the Indies, was named Captain General of Cuba and then Interim Governor of the province of Louisiana. When Gálvez arrived in New Orleans, he found the tension high with the British in control of East and West Florida. Spain was not at war with the British, but 
Governor Gálvez received orders to secretly help the American revolutionaries. He worked closely with Spanish and Irish merchants, including Irishman Oliver Pollock, to smuggle guns, powder, medical supplies, clothing and blankets on flat-bottomed barges that took three months to reach General George Rogers Clark in the Illinois country.
 
In New Orleans during 1777, Bernardo met and fell in love with the beautiful Marie Felicité de St. Maxent, the widow D’Estrehan, and mother of a four-year old daughter, Adelaide. Bernardo, ill with dysentery and fearing death, asked her to marry him without waiting for a permit from the king. He survived the dysentery, and their marriage became a love match that resulted in three children, Matilde, Miguel and Guadalupe, the last born two weeks after Bernardo’s own death. 
 
In June of 1779, Spain at last declared war on Great Britain. Governor Gálvez received the information before the British, and was able to capture the dispatches notifying General John Campbell at Pensacola. Gálvez gathered a rag-tag army made up of the local French military, as well as Germans, Acadians, Texans, newly arrived Malaga colonists, Indians, Free Blacks and slaves.
 
Just as he was ready to attack, New Orleans was hit by a hurricane, sinking several of his small boats. Nothing daunted, Governor Gálvez raised his ships and continued his attack. He surprised Manchac, easily defeating the small garrison. The Battle of Baton Rouge on September 21, 1779, resulted in the defeat of the British and the surrender of the fort at Natchez. His success closed the Mississippi to the British and protected the supply line to the American colonists. 
Gálvez wanted to attack the British settlements at Mobile and Pensacola immediately.

Commanders in Havana, however, who feared an attack by the British navy, refused to supplythe ships he needed. By January 11, 1780, with only twelve ships and 754 men, Gálvez launched the attack on Mobile. Again hit by a vicious storm, he had to regather his fleet and lay siege to the town. With reinforcements from New Orleans and, at last, from Havana, by March 13, his cannon breached the walls of Fort Charlotte and the British commander surrendered. 
 
Once again, Gálvez wanted to launch an immediate attack on Pensacola. The military at Havana again refused their support. Gálvez sailed to Havana and convinced the generals to provide him with a small force. By the spring of 1781, he had enough ships and men to attack. He later 
received reinforcements from Gibraltar sent by his uncle, José. The narrow mouth of the harborhowever, dissuaded the Spanish admiral who refused to enter. Gálvez raised his own pennant on his ship the Galveztown, and, with two small sloops behind him, sailed under the 
artillery barrage of the British into Pensacola Bay. His efforts earned him the motto “Yo Solo” (I Alone) for his coat of arms.  
 
In March of 1781, Gálvez landed his troops on Santa Rosa Island and for the next three months laid siege to Pensacola. It was the longest battle of the American Revolution. At last, on May 9, 1781 a Spanish cannon ball exploded the powder magazine at Fort George.  General John Campbell surrendered the following day. British control in the Gulf of Mexico ended and saved the Americans from facing a southern front.
 
Gálvez had requested financial help for the American Revolution. His native town of Malaga contributed 40,000 reales, the money destined to complete their cathedral. Today their church is called “La Manquita” (The Armless One) for lack of a bell tower. The Sons of the American Revolution have placed a plaque on the church in appreciation. Gálvez also received one and two peso donations from soldiers and citizens throughout Texas and Spanish America, making their descendants eligible for membership in the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution. The funds were used to pay the French forces under Admiral Rochambeau to protect General Washington at the Battle of Yorktown thus ending the American Revolution.  
 
General Gálvez continued his attacks on the British the following year. He captured the Bahamas and would have taken Jamaica in 1783 if the Peace of Paris had not been signed before his attack. For his successes, Gálvez was named Viscount of Galveztown and Count de Gálvez. 
 
In 1785, Bernardo de Gálvez was named to the post of Viceroy of Mexico, to follow his father who had died earlier that year. As Viceroy, he saved the citizens of Mexico from a famine, opened trade, completed the Cathedral of Mexico City, improved roads and started the palace at Chapultepec. Still suffering from the dysentery he had contracted in New Orleans, he died November 30, 1786, leaving behind his wife and three children. He was deeply mourned by the people of Mexico City and was buried in a crypt across from his father in the Church of San Fernando. He is rightly remembered today as a heroic defender of the American Revolution. 
 

Featured Lesson

As you begin planning your lesson on Spanish Texas, make sure to check out the Portal to Texas History’s lesson plan, Comparing the American and Texas Revolutions. Comparing the American and Texas Revolutions enables the students to understand the similarities and differences of these two historic conflicts while highlighting the Texas and Spanish heroes of each conflict. This lesson plan includes graphic organizers, background information, and organized power points. 

Texas History News

Several opportunities for Texas history educators and students are available or are on the near horizon:

Returning to Austin for its fifth year, the 2014 Save Texas History Symposium, Ambition – A Good Servant, but Bad Master, hosted by the Texas General Land Office, September 20, 2014, will investigate notable and notorious characters that color Texas history, looking at the drive and motivation that turned good people bad and solid citizens into Texas heroes. For more information, on the Save Texas History Symposium, visit TeachingTexas.org.
 
 
Teachers and students are invited to celebrate Constitution Day at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum on September 19th. This event will feature special exhibits, demonstrations, and activities that highlight the US Constitution, the founding fathers, and voting rights. Popular activities return from last year; including signing a giant Constitution, calligraphy demonstrations and typesetting and printing demonstrations. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.
 
Join the Terrell Flight Museum and British Flying Training School Museum for their annual Flights of our Fathers Weekend, September 20-21, 2014. Enjoy static and dynamic displays of military aircraft, guest speakers, book signings, a kid’s zone, museum tours, a pancake breakfast, BBQ cook-off, and a memorial service at Oakland Cemetery. Visit TeachingTexas.org for more information.
 
 
Join the University of North Texas Department of History for the Teaching of History Conference (TCON). This event will be held on September 20, 2014, on the University of North Texas campus. The keynote presentation will be given by Dr. Randolph “Mike” Campbell of the University of North Texas. Teachers will earn CPE hours for attending. Visit TeachingTexas.org for more information.
 
The Texas State Historical Association and the Region 17 Education Service Center are proud to present the Texas History Workshop, October 21, 214 at the Region 17 Education Service Center in Lubbock. This workshop will cover Texas history from 1682 to the present. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org. 
 
 
 
The Portal to Texas History is proud to announce the release of the Byrd Williams Photography Collection, which includes over 100 years of commercial and studio photography, western landscapes, documentary studies, and fine art photography shot by four generations of photographers named Byrd Williams. For more information, visit TeachingTexas.org.
 
The Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, is proud to announce the opening of an exhibit and sale of the artwork of nationally known artist, Lee Herring, running August 30th through January 2015. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated back to the Texas Rangers Museum by Mr. Herring. 
 
 
Ever since Leonardo da Vinci created the Mona Lisa, artists have tried to paint portraits as distinctive as his Renaissance masterpiece. See how Texas artists established their own portrait tradition in a new exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, on display now through May 2015. For additional information, visit TeachingTexas.org.
 
The Portal to Texas History is proud to present three recently added photography collections. The Hardin-Simmons Collection spans the 122 year history of Hardin-Simmons University. The C. F. McCann Collection consists of the work of Mr. McCann during his time as a company clerk with the CCC in Pineland, Texas. The Danish Heritage Preservation Society Collection, documents the history of the Danevang community in Wharton County, which was the first settled by Danish immigrants in 1849. 
 
 
The Texas Archive of the Moving Image is proud to announce the release of their new lesson plan, Texas Experiences: Mexican-American Heritage. Through the use of primary and secondary source audiovisual materials, students will examine and trace the history and experiences of Mexican-Americans in the Southwest and Texas from the sixteenth to twentieth century. Both the 4th grade and 7th grade lesson plans are available at TeachingTexas.org. 
 
Step back in time with the Brazoria County Historical Museum as it presents the Ninth Annual Austin Town, November 7-8, 2014. A living history re-enactment, Austin Town recalls and celebrates the lives of those pioneers who settled Colonial Texas from 1821-1832. Set just north of Angleton, the fictitious Austin Town features character interpreters, demonstrators, sutlers, militia drill units, and period games. The purpose of this event is to provide an educational and entertaining experience for all. See TeachingTexas.org for more information.
 
 
Houston Arts and Media is proud to announce the release of San Felipe and American Settlement, part two of an eight part series of location based videos, The Birth of Texas Series. San Felipe and American Settlement is the story of Stephen F. Austin’s settlement of Texas and all the relationships involved in the process. View the official trailer on the Houston Arts and Media You Tube Channel. For more information on how to order your copy, visit TeachingTexas.org.
 
The Texas Archive of the Moving Image is proud to announce the release of a new lesson plan, Gone to Texas: The Story of the Texas Empresarios. Using educational films from the 1960s and 1980s, students will examine the varied experiences of the nineteenth century Texas Empresarios, and identify the important contributions of significant individuals, including Moses and Stephen F. Austin, Baron de Bastrop, Martin de Leon, and Green DeWitt. Both the 4th grade and 7th grade lesson plans from Texas Archive of the Moving Image are available at TeachingTexas.org. 
 
 
The Texas State Historical Association and the Region 13 Education Service Center are proud to present the Discovering Texas History Conference, November 13-14, 2014 at The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. This event, for 4th and 7th grade Texas history educators, will focus on the history of Texas from 1900 to the present. Participants will be able to choose from a variety of breakout session addressing historical content, geography, economics, civics, teaching strategies, and resources. Visit TeachingTexas.org for more information.
 

Texas Insights is a publication of the Texas State Historical Association
in cooperation with the University of North Texas.

Texas State Historical Association
1155 Union Circle #311580
Denton, TX 76203-5017

Stephen Cure - Editor
JoNeita Kelly- Associate Editor

 

 

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