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Pursuit of Happiness: Struggling to Preserve Status Quo in Revolutionary Era Nova Scotia

Description: Following the Glorious Revolution in 1688, the British North American colonies interpreted Parliament's success in removing arbitrary governmental practices and establishing a balanced government as a victory for local representative government. Within these colonies, merchants secured their influence in local government in order to protect their profits and trade networks. The New England merchants that resettled in Nova Scotia in the 1750s successfully established a local government founded upon their rights as British subjects. The attempt by the British government to centralize the imperial administration in 1763 and the perceived threat of reintroducing arbitrary rule by Parliament was a direct threat to the colonial governmental system. Although Nova Scotia chose loyalism in 1775-1776, this decision did not stem from isolation or a differing political philosophy. In fact, it was their cultural and political similarities that led Nova Scotia and New England to separate paths in 1776. Nova Scotia merchants controlling the Assembly were able to confront and defeat attempts that threatened their influence in local politics and on the local economy. With the threat to their authority defeated and new markets opening for the colony, the Nova Scotia merchant class was able to preserve the status quo in local government.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Langston, Paul D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cattle Capitol: Misrepresented Environments, Nineteenth Century Symbols of Power, and the Construction of the Texas State House, 1879-1888

Description: State officials, between 1882 and 1888, exchanged three million acres of Texas Panhandle property for construction of the monumental Capitol that continues to house Texas government today. The project and the land went to a Chicago syndicate led by men influential in business and politics. The red granite Austin State House is a recognizable symbol of Texas around the world. So too, the massive tract given in exchange for the building, what became the "fabulous" XIT Ranch, also has come to symbolize the height of the nineteenth century cattle industry. That eastern and foreign capital dominated the cattle business during this period is lesser known, absorbed by the mythology built around the Texas cattle-trail period - all but at an end in 1885. This study examines the interaction of Illinois Republicans and Texas Democrats in their actions and efforts to create what have become two of Texas's most treasured symbols.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Miller, Michael M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

In justice to our Indian allies: The government of Texas and her Indian allies, 1836-1867.

Description: Traditional histories of the Texas frontier overlook a crucial component: efforts to defend Texas against Indians would have been far less successful without the contributions of Indian allies. The government of Texas tended to use smaller, nomadic bands such as the Lipan Apaches and Tonkawas as military allies. Immigrant Indian tribes such as the Shawnee and Delaware were employed primarily as scouts and interpreters. Texas, as a result of the terms of her annexation, retained a more control over Indian policy than other states. Texas also had a larger unsettled frontier region than other states. This necessitated the use of Indian allies in fighting and negotiating with hostile Indians, as well as scouting for Ranger and Army expeditions.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Yancey, William C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wyatt Cephas Hedrick: Builder of Cities

Description: Wyatt Cephas Hedrick, builder and architect, was born in Virginia in 1888 and came to Texas in 1913. At his death in 1964, Hedrick's companies had managed construction projects worth more than $1.3 billion. Hedrick's architectural business designed and built edifices of all kinds, including educational facilities, hotels, military bases, railroad terminals, courthouses, and road systems. His companies built all over the United States, and in some foreign countries, but primarily in Texas. The purpose of Hedrick's structures and their architectural styles changed to accommodate historical events. This can be seen by examining many of the commissions he received during the 1920s and 1930s. Hedrick had a unique opportunity to participate in years of great change and development in Texas, and he played a vital role in the history of those times. This thesis examines the career of Wyatt C. Hedrick from his beginnings in Virginia through his years in Texas, closing in 1940. As a builder, he played a major role in changing the skylines of Texas cities, especially Fort Worth.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Liles, Deborah M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Went Wrong? How Arrogant Ignorance and Cultural Misconceptions Turned Deadly at the San Antonio Courthouse, March 19, 1840

Description: Although the Council House Fight is well written about in the annals of early Texas history, this all-encompassing study will reveal a whole new picture. Unlike previous works that maintained one point of view, multiple perspectives were analyzed and explored to allow a more comprehensive view of the Council House Fight to emerge. Primary focus on social and cultural misunderstandings, as well as the mounting hostility between the Penateka Comanche and Texians across the frontier, will demonstrate their general distrust and hatred of the other. Detailing their complicated relationship will prove that neither the Texians nor the Comanche were without blame, and both shared responsibility for the deterioration of events on and before March 19, 1840.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Copeland, Cristen Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creole Angel: The Self-Identity of the Free People of Color of Antebellum New Orleans

Description: This thesis is about the self-identity of antebellum New Orleans's free people of color. The emphasis of this work is that French culture, mixed Gallic and African ancestry, and freedom from slavery served as the three keys to the identity of this class of people. Taken together, these three factors separated the free people of color from the other major groups residing in New Orleans - Anglo-Americans, white Creoles and black slaves. The introduction provides an overview of the topic and states the need for this study. Chapter 1 provides a look at New Orleans from the perspective of the free people of color. Chapter 2 investigates the slaveownership of these people. Chapter 3 examines the published literature of the free people of color. The conclusion summarizes the significance found in the preceding three chapters and puts their findings into a broader interpretive framework.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Hobratsch, Ben Melvin
Partner: UNT Libraries

East is East and West is West: Philadelphia Newspaper Coverage of the East-West Divide in Early America

Description: The prominent division in early America between the established eastern populations and communities in the West is evident when viewed through the lens of eighteenth-century Philadelphia newspapers, which themselves employed an East-West paradigm to interpret four events: the Paxton Boys Incident, Regulator Rebellion, Shays's Rebellion, and Constitutional Convention. Through the choices of what words to use to describe these clashes, through oversights, omissions, and misrepresentations, and sometimes through more direct tactics, Philadelphia newspapermen revealed a persistent cultural bias against and rivalry with western communities. This study illustrates how pervasive this contrast between East and West was in the minds of easterners; how central a feature of early American culture they considered it to be.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Leath, Susan Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Slaves and Slaveholders in the Choctaw Nation: 1830-1866

Description: Racial slavery was a critical element in the cultural development of the Choctaws and was a derivative of the peculiar institution in southern states. The idea of genial and hospitable slave owners can no more be conclusively demonstrated for the Choctaws than for the antebellum South. The participation of Choctaws in the Civil War and formal alliance with the Confederacy was dominantly influenced by the slaveholding and a connection with southern identity, but was also influenced by financial concerns and an inability to remain neutral than a protection of the peculiar institution. Had the Civil War not taken place, the rate of Choctaw slave ownership possibly would have reached the level of southern states and the Choctaws would be considered part of the South.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Fortney, Jeffrey L., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Amon Carter: The Founder of Modern Fort Worth, 1930-1955

Description: From 1930 to 1955, Amon Carter, publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, exerted his power to create modern Fort Worth. Carter used his stature as the publisher of the city's major newspaper to build a modern city out of this livestock center. Between 1930 and 1955, Carter lobbied successfully for New Deal funds for Fort Worth, persuaded Consolidated Aircraft to build an airplane plant in the city, and convinced Burlington Railways to stay in the city. He also labored unsuccessfully to have the Trinity River Canal built and to secure a General Motors plant for Fort Worth. These efforts demonstrate that Carter was indeed the founder of modern Fort Worth.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Cervantez, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Place to Call Home: A Study of the Self-Segregated Community of Tatums, Oklahoma, 1894-1970

Description: This study examines Tatums, Oklahoma, under the assumption that the historically black towns (HBT) developed as a response to conditions in the South. This community provides a rich example of the apparent anomalies that the environment of self-segregation created. Despite the widespread violence of the Klan, the residents of the HBTs were not the targets of lynching or mob violence. During the years after World War II, Tatums residents enjoyed the greatest prosperity. The final chapter looks at the battle Tatums' residents fought to keep their school from being closed after the state of Oklahoma began to enforce the Brown v. Board of Education decisions in the 1960s. Their solidarity during the desegregation transition remained powerful enough for them to negotiate compromises regarding the fair treatment of their children in a world that was integrating around them.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Ragsdale, Rhonda M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spanish La Junta de los Rios: The institutional Hispanicization of an Indian community along New Spain's northern frontier, 1535-1821.

Description: Throughout the colonial period, the Spanish attempted to Hispanicize the Indians along the northern frontier of New Spain. The conquistador, the missionary, the civilian settler, and the presidial soldier all took part in this effort. At La Junta de los Rios, a fertile area inhabited by both sedentary and semi-sedentary Indians, each of these institutions played a part in fundamentally changing the region and its occupants. This research, relying primarily on published Spanish source documents, sets the effort to Hispanicize La Junta in the broader sphere of Spain's frontier policy.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Folsom, Bradley
Partner: UNT Libraries

An unjust legacy: A critical study of the political campaigns of William Andrews Clark, 1888-1901.

Description: In a time of laissez-faire government, monopolistic businesses and political debauchery, William Andrews Clark played a significant role in the developing West, achieving financial success rivaling Jay Gould, George Hearst, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan. Clark built railroads, ranches, factories, utilities, and developed timber and water resources, and was internationally known as a capitalist, philanthropist and art collector. Nonetheless, Clark is unjustly remembered for his bitter twelve-year political battle with copper baron Marcus Daly that culminated in a scandalous senatorial election in January 1899. The subsequent investigation was a judicial travesty based on personal hatred and illicit tactics. Clark's political career had national implications and lasting consequences. His enemies shaped his legacy, and for one hundred years historians have unquestioningly accepted it.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Pitts, Stanley Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Between Comancheros and Comanchería: a History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico

Description: In 1863, Fort Bascom was built along the Canadian River in the Eroded Plains of Territorial New Mexico. Its unique location placed it between the Comanches of Texas and the Comancheros of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This post was situated within Comanchería during the height of the United States Army's war against the Southern Plains Indians, yet it has garnered little attention. This study broadens the scholarly understanding of how the United States Army gained control of the Southwest by examining the role Fort Bascom played in this mission. This includes an exploration of the Canadian River Valley environment, an examination of the economic relationship that existed between the Southern Plains Indians and the mountain people of New Mexico, and an account of the daily life of soldiers posted to Fort Bascom. This dissertation thus provides an environmental and cultural history of the Canadian River Valley in New Mexico, a social history of the men stationed at Fort Bascom, and proof that the post played a key role in the Army's efforts to gain control of the Southern Plains Indians. This study argues that Fort Bascom should be recognized as Texas' northern-most frontier fort. Its men were closer to the Comanche homeland than any Texas post of the period. Its records clearly show that the Army used Fort Bascom as a key forward base of operations against Comanches and Kiowas. An examination of Bascom's post returns, daily patrols, and major expeditions allows its history to provide a useful perspective on the nineteenth-century American Southwest.
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Date: August 2012
Creator: Blackshear, James Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Highsmith Men, Texas Rangers

Description: The Highsmith Men is a general historical narrative of four prominent men who happened to be Texas Rangers. The story begins in Texas in 1830 and traces the lives of Samuel Highsmith, his nephew, Benjamin Franklin Highsmith, and Samuels's sons, Malcijah and Henry Albert Highsmith, who was the last of the four to pass away, in 1930. During this century the four Highsmiths participated in nearly every landmark event significant to the history of Texas. The Highsmith men also participated in numerous other engagements as well. Within this framework the intent of The Highsmith Men is to scrutinize the contemporary scholarly conceptions of the early Texas Rangers as an institution by following the lives of these four men, who can largely be considered common folk settlers. This thesis takes a bottom up approach to the history of Texas, which already maintains innumerable accounts of the sometimes true and, sometimes not, larger than life figures that Texas boasts. For students pursuing studies in the Texas, the American West, the Mexican American War, or Civil War history, this regional history may be of some use. The early Texas Rangers were generally referred to as "Minute Men" or "Volunteer Militia" until 1874. In this role, the Highsmith men participated in many historic Texas engagements including but not limited to the Siege of Béxar, the battle of the Alamo, San Jacinto, the Cordova Rebellion, Plum Creek, the Mexican Invasions of 1842, the Mexican War, the Civil War, Salado Creek, Brushy Creek, and the capture of Sam Bass. Not only did people like the Highsmiths, who were largely considered "common folk," participate in these battles, they were also Texas Rangers. None of the Highsmith men were full time Texas Rangers, which discredits prominent stereotypes. The Highsmith Men shows that the Texas Ranger institution and the ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Edwards, Cody
Partner: UNT Libraries

Remembering the Forgotten D-day: the Amphibious Landing at Collado Beach During the Mexican War

Description: The current historiography of the Mexican War does not give due credit to the significance of the landing at Collado Beach. No one source addresses all aspects of the landing, nor have any included an analysis of the logistical side of the operation. This thesis presents a comprehensive analysis of the operation from conception to execution in an attempt to fill the gap in the historiography. Additionally, the lessons learned and lessons forgotten from this landing are addressed as to how this landing shaped American military doctrine regarding joint operations and amphibious operations. The conclusion drawn from the historical sources supports the argument that this operation had a significant impact on the American military. The influence of this operation shows itself throughout American military history, including the establishment of amphibious doctrine by the Unites States Marine Corps and during World War II.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Menking, Christopher N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Continuity of Caste: Free People of Color in the Vieux Carré of New Orleans, 1804-1820

Description: Because of its trademark racial diversity, historians have often presented New Orleans as a place transformed by incorporation into the American South following 1804. Assertions that a comparatively relaxed, racially ambiguous Spanish slaveholding regime was converted into a two-caste system of dedicated racial segregation by the advent of American assumption have been posited by scholars like Frank Tannenbaum, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, and a host of others. Citing dependence on patronage, concubinage, and the decline in slave manumissions during the antebellum period, such studies have employed descriptions of the city’s prominent free people of color to suggest that the daily lives of non-whites in New Orleans experienced uniform restriction following 1804, and that the Crescent City’s transformation from Atlantic society with slaves to rigid slave society forced free people of color out of the heart of the city, known as the Vieux Carré, and into “black neighborhoods” on the margins of town. Despite the popularity of such generalized themes in the historiography, however, the extant sources housed in New Orleans’s valuable archival repositories can be used to support a vastly divergent narrative. By focusing on individual free people of color, or libres, rather than the non-white community as a whole, this paper seeks to show that free people of color were self determined in both public and private aspects of daily life, irrespective of governmental regime, and that their physical presence and political agency were not entirely eroded by the change in administration. Through evaluation of the geography of free black-owned properties listed in the city’s notarial archives, as well as baptisms, births, deaths, and marriages listed in archdiocese ledgers, I show that the family and community lives of free people of color in New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood appeared alive and well throughout the territorial period.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Foreman, Nicholas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hungering for Independence: The Relationship between Food and Morale in the Continental Army, 1775-1783

Description: An adequate supply of the right kinds of foods is critical to an army's success on the march and on the battlefield. Good food supplies and a dire lack of provisions have profound effects on the regulation, confidence, esprit de corps, and physical state of an army. The American War of Independence (1775-1783) provides a challenging case study of this principle. The relationship between food and troop morale has been previously discussed as just one of many factors that contributed to the success of the Continental Army, but has not been fully explored as a single issue in its own right. I argue that despite the failures of three provisioning system adopted by the Continental Congress - the Commissariat, the state system of specific supplies, and the contract system - the army did keep up its morale and achieve the victory that resulted in independence from Great Britain. The evidence reveals that despite the poor provisioning, the American army was fed in the field for eight years thanks largely to its ability to forage for its food. This foraging system, if it can be called a system, was adequate to sustain morale and perseverance.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Maxwell, Nancy
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Power Politics of Hells Canyon

Description: This study examines the controversy regarding Hells Canyon on the Snake River, North America's deepest gorge. Throughout the 1950s, federal and private electric power proponents wrangled over who would harness the canyon's potential for generating hydroelectricity. After a decade of debate, the privately-owned Idaho Power Company won the right to build three small dams in the canyon versus one large public power structure. The thesis concludes that private development of Hells Canyon led to incomplete resource development. Further, support of private development led to extensive Republican electoral losses in the Pacific Northwest during the 1950s.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Alford, John Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Southern Attitudes Toward the West, 1783 to 1803

Description: This dissertation argues that the strong relationship that historians see between the South and West in the early 19th century, which allowed them to form what scholars have termed the Old South, had its origins in the twenty-year period after the American Revolution when a group of far-sighted southerners worked to form a political bond between the two regions. They did so by tirelessly defending the West and westerners against political and economic attacks, often from northerners but sometimes from people within their own region. Within the ongoing debate over the emergence of a southern consciousness, historians have overlooked one important factor in its development-the West. Although it would be incorrect to argue that southern consciousness began in the 1780s or 1790s, it would not be remiss to argue that southerners began to look at the trans-Appalachian West during this period as something more than just virgin territory. A few southerners, particularly James Madison, saw the South's political future entwined with the West's advancement and worked to ensure that a strong political relationship developed between the two regions. For people like Madison, this political merger of the two sections is what they meant when they talked about a "southern and western interest." Historians should be careful not to take the close relationship present in the nineteenth century between the South and the trans-Appalachian West for granted. Although the two regions shared many interests, family and slavery being just two, the close relationship that developed happened because of the hard work and dedication of a handful of forward-looking southerners in the late eighteenth century. The history of these two regions during this twenty-year period is far more complicated than historians have imagined and described.
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Date: May 2011
Creator: Zemler, Jeffrey Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spanish Relations with the Apache Nations East of the Río Grande

Description: This dissertation is a study of the Eastern Apache nations and their struggle to survive with their culture intact against numerous enemies intent on destroying them. It is a synthesis of published secondary and primary materials, supported with archival materials, primarily from the Béxar Archives. The Apaches living on the plains have suffered from a lack of a good comprehensive study, even though they played an important role in hindering Spanish expansion in the American Southwest. When the Spanish first encountered the Apaches they were living peacefully on the plains, although they occasionally raided nearby tribes. When the Spanish began settling in the Southwest they changed the dynamics of the region by introducing horses. The Apaches quickly adopted the animals into their culture and used them to dominate their neighbors. Apache power declined in the eighteenth century when their Caddoan enemies acquired guns from the French, and the powerful Comanches gained access to horses and began invading northern Apache territory. Surrounded by enemies, the Apaches increasingly turned to the Spanish for aid and protection rather than trade. The Spanish-Apache peace was fraught with problems. The Spaniards tended to lump all Apaches into one group even though, in reality, each band operated independently. Thus, when one Apache band raided a Spanish outpost, the Spanish considered the peace broken. On the other hand, since Apaches considered each Spanish settlement a distinct "band" they saw nothing wrong in making peace at one Spanish location while continuing to raid another. Eventually the Spanish encouraged other Indians tribes to launch a campaign of unrelenting war against the Apaches. Despite devastating attacks from their enemies, the Apaches were able to survive. When the Mexican Revolution removed the Spanish from the area, the Apaches remained and still occupied portions of the plains as late as the 1870s. ...
Date: May 2001
Creator: Carlisle, Jeffrey D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Burying the War Hatchet: Spanish-Comanche Relations in Colonial Texas, 1743-1821

Description: This dissertation provides a history of Spanish-Comanche relations during the era of Spanish Texas. The study is based on research in archival documents, some newly discovered. Chapter 1 presents an overview of events that brought both people to the land that Spaniards named Texas. The remaining chapters provide a detailed account of Spanish-Comanche interaction from first contact until the end of Spanish rule in 1821. Although it is generally written that Spaniards first met Comanches at San Antonio de Béxar in 1743, a careful examination of Spanish documents indicates that Spaniards heard rumors of Comanches in Texas in the 1740s, but their first meeting did not occur until the early 1750s. From that first encounter until the close of the Spanish era, Spanish authorities instituted a number of different policies in their efforts to coexist peacefully with the Comanche nation. The author explores each of those policies, how the Comanches reacted to those policies, and the impact of that diplomacy on both cultures. Spaniards and Comanches negotiated a peace treaty in 1785, and that treaty remained in effect, with varying degrees of success, for the duration of Spanish rule. Leaders on both sides were committed to maintaining that peace, although Spaniards were hampered by meager resources and Comanches by the decentralized organization of their society. The dissertation includes a detailed account of the Spanish expedition to the Red River in 1759, led by Colonel Diego Ortiz Parrilla. That account, based on the recently discovered diary of Juan Angel de Oyarzún, provides new information on the campaign as well as a reevaluation of its outcome. The primary intention of this study is to provide a balanced account of Spanish-Comanche relations, relying on the historical record as well as anthropological evidence to uncover, wherever possible, the Comanche side of the story. The ...
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Date: May 2002
Creator: Lipscomb, Carol A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reckoning in the Redlands: the Texas Rangers’ Clean-up of San Augustine in 1935

Description: The subject of this manuscript is the Texas Rangers “clean-up” of San Augustine, which was undertaken between late January 1935 until approximately July 1936 at the direction of then newly-elected Governor James V. Allred, in response to the local “troubles” that arose from an near decade long “crime wave.” Allred had been elected on a platform advocating dramatic reform of state law enforcement, and the success of the “clean-up” was heralded as validation of those reforms, which included the creation of – and the Rangers’ integration into – the Texas Department of Public Safety that same year. Despite such historic significance for the community of San Augustine, the state, and the Texas Rangers, no detailed account has ever been published. The few existing published accounts are terse, vague, and inadequate to address the relevant issues. They are often also overly reliant on limited oral accounts and substantially factually flawed, thereby rendering their interpretive analysis moot in regard to certain issues. Additionally, it is a period of San Augustine’s history that haunts that community to this day, particularly as a result of the wide-ranging myths that have taken hold in the absence of a thoroughly researched and documented published account. Concerns over offending the descendants of the key antagonists, many of whom still live in the area, has long made local historians wary of taking on the topic. Nevertheless, many of them have privately expressed the need for just such a treatment, as they have crossed paths with enough evidence in pursuit of other topics that they recognize and appreciate the historical significance, and lack of an accurate modern understanding, of those events. Furthermore, descendants of some of the victims have expressed frustration over the lack of such an account, because it makes them feel victimized once more to see the ...
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Ginn, Jody Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries

Joaquín de Arredondo in Texas and Northeastern New Spain, 1811-1821

Description: Joaquín de Arredondo was the most powerful and influential person in northeastern New Spain from 1811 to 1821. His rise to prominence began in 1811 when the Spanish military officer and a small royalist army suppressed Miguel Hidalgo’s revolution in the province of Nuevo Santander. This prompted the Spanish government to promote Arredondo to Commandant General of the Eastern Internal Provinces, making him the foremost civil and military authority in northeastern New Spain. Arredondo’s tenure as commandant general proved difficult, as he had to deal with insurgents, invaders from the United States, hostile Indians, pirates, and smugglers. Because warfare in Europe siphoned much needed military and financial support, and disagreements with New Spain’s leadership resulted in reductions of the commandant general’s authority, Arredondo confronted these threats with little assistance from the Spanish government. In spite of these obstacles, he maintained royalist control of New Spain from 1811 to 1821, and, in doing so, changed the course of Texas, Mexican, and United States history. In 1813, he defeated insurgents and American invaders at the Battle of Medina, and from 1817 to 1820, his forces stopped Xavier Mina’s attempt to bring independence to New Spain, prevented French exiles from establishing a colony in Texas, and defeated James Long’s filibustering expedition from the United States. Although unable to sustain Spanish rule in 1821, Arredondo’s approval of Moses Austin’s petition to settle families from the United States in Texas in 1820 and his role in the development of Antonio López de Santa Anna, meant the officer continued to influence Mexico. Perhaps Arredondo’s greatest importance is that the study of his life provides a means to learn about an internationally contested region during one of the most turbulent eras in North American history.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Folsom, Bradley, 1979-
Partner: UNT Libraries