restricted access Introduction (Richard V. Francaviglia)
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Introduction richard v. francaviglia One of the many ironies in southwestern history relates to the changing position of Texas in the region’s history and scholarship. A poorly explored backwater during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Texas long remained terra incognita to Spain—until, that is, the French showed a strong interest in the area by the mid-1680s. And yet, compared to the dearth of interest in Texas in centuries past, the scholarship about the area has flourished in the last half century. Today Texas takes a very strong— some might say passionate—interest in the history of the entire Southwest , as evidenced by the many academic institutions in the state hosting programs on the region and publications about it. Texas is the home of a distinguished journal about the region—the Southwestern Historical Quarterly—and has no fewer than three university-sponsored southwestern studies centers. Among these institutions is the Universityof Texas at Arlington. In the early 1970s, UTA Libraries set out to develop a Special Collections Division pertaining to the Southwest. By the early 1990s, UTA had created its Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and, in conjunction with Special Collections, had begun hosting symposia on the region’s history. Although conferences have been held on many subjects, one in particular—cartographic history—has become UTA’s strong suit. If, as one UTA professor once quipped, ‘‘Maps R Us,’’ then one person, longtime UTA friend Virginia Garrett, deserves credit for helping the universitydevelop its internationally known collection of maps of the Southwest. An active supporter for many years, Mrs. Garrett donated nine hundred historic maps to UTA in 1997, bringing to about six thousand the number of maps in the university ’s collection. That same year, the Garrett family helped the university initiate a biannual lecture series called, appropriately, the Virginia Garrett xvi u richard v. francaviglia Lectures on the Historyof Cartography.The UTA-sponsored series began in 1998 with ‘‘Mapping and Empire: Soldier-Engineers on the Southwest Frontier.’’ Like UTA’s program generally, these lectures employed a broad geographic definition of the Southwest, namely, the huge geographic area extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific coast. This region, of course, was not ‘‘the Southwest’’ to Spain, but rather el norte. It would become the Southwest later, under European-American expansion. As suggested by the title ‘‘Mapping and Empire,’’ the five presentations in the first set of Virginia Garrett lectures focused on the relationship between cartography and expansion into the region. The essays in this volume are based on those presentations and serve as a lasting record of them. Although the series’ sponsors recognized that expansion occurred through both church and state, it was the military role in initiating the process that concerned the presenters.The presenters agreed that traditional military history (battles, logistics, conquests) would not be the focus, but rather the speakers would deliberately concentrate on the processes by which the military mapped the region and helped various countries establish a presence in it.Those hoping for recountings of spectacular military engagements would be disappointed, but it was felt that the longoverlooked intellectual role of the military would be revealed through this conference. One thing was clear from the outset: the military’s encounter with the region had major consequences for the region’s native peoples. The Native Americans often bore the brunt of expansion and suffered in at least two ways—militarily, as theyencountered the superior weapons, and culturally, as they experienced aggressive policies aimed at either dominating or removing them from the land. And yet, through it all, one must marvel that the native peoples persisted in many areas; their presence is still palpable in places like northern Sonora, northern Arizona, and the Rio Grande Valleyof New Mexico.We now know that Native Americans not only survived , but in many cases they actually assisted in the process of European expansion by serving as guides to exploration and suppliers of information in mapmaking. If today the word ‘‘scout’’ signifies a turncoat to militant Native Americans, one must nevertheless recognize the debt owed them in creating the Southwest as we know—and generally appreciate—it. Although it is tempting to think of the Southwest as landlocked, this volume’s first essay, by W. Michael Mathes, reminds us that the region faces the sea on two sides—the Atlantic through its juxtaposition to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific by its proximity to both the Gulf of California (or...


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