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PORVENIR MASSACRE MARKER DEDICATION 


The Texas Historical Commission has announced the Porvenir Massacre marker dedication ceremony will take place at the Presidio County Courthouse on November 30, 2018 at 2 p.m. Everyone is invited to this public event.

http://www.thc.texas.gov/news-events/ev ... dedication

Gj

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PORVENIR MASSACRE AND THE HANDBOOK OF TEXAS 
Back in the 1980's, I worked for the Texas State Historical Association as a staff writer for the New Handbook of Texas. I penned many history articles about West Texas, the Permian Basin and Big Bend. We had lots of revisions to make especially on articles concerning West Texas and the Big Bend. The largest single reason for so many errors in the original Handbook done in the early 1950's can be traced to one common problem. Most of the articles done in the first edition were written by graduate students in Austin many of whom never set foot West Texas and actually went to the places they were assigned to write about. A good example of that still continues today in the "Pilares, Texas" article. See:

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrp87

Pilares is an obscure Mexican border village located not far from Porvenir, Texas across the Rio Grande in far Northwest Presidio County. Pilares is and always has been a Mexican border village and was never located in Texas. However, John Earnest Gregg wrote in his 1933 University of Texas master's thesis that Pilares was located on the Texas side of the border in Presidio County. The error has been repeated over and over and continues even today continues to be published in a Handbook article.

And while this and other factual errors continue on the Handbook has finally updated their article about the Porvenir massacre. I wrote the first Porvenir massacre article many years ago. However the Handbook editors at the time simply did not believe the real story of the massacre and had another staffer rewrite my article heavily relying on Walter Prescott Webb's version in his famous Texas Ranger book. This came as no surprise since Prescott Webb created and edited the first Handbook of Texas. As a young professor Webb spent a couple of weeks in Marfa and interviewed some of the same Texas Rangers who actually took part in the Porvenir massacre. They told him the story they wanted to world to know. This is where Webb's version of the Porvenir massacre that lived on for many years originated. According to the Webb version of what happened at Porvenir a group of Captain Fox's Company B Rangers went to Porvenir "looking for bandits" and after searching the jacales in Porvenir came under fire from unknown persons in the bushes. The rangers shot back not knowing if they hit anyone but the next morning found the bodies of the fifteen men and boys who had been shot. This, of course, is not what happened that awful night but for many years was the "accepted" history. Shortly before his death in 1963 Professor Webb admitted to some of his colleagues and students that he had been wrong about what happened at Porvenir and needed to revise his famous Texas Ranger book. Unfortunately Webb died in a car wreck a few months later and the revisions he wanted to make did not happen.

See: http://www.rimrockpress.com/blog/index. ... 422-093645

The real story of the Porvenir massacre has only recently been published by the Handbook of Texas. I cannot honestly say what brought this about. Perhaps the publicity about Porvenir massacre THC Historical Commission caused someone at the Handbook to correct the Webb errors that have for so many years been thought to be infallible and beyond question.

See: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jcp02

Glenn Justice



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WAR IN EAST TEXAS: REGULATORS VS. MODERATORS 


University of North Texas Press announces the July 2018 publication of War in East Texas: Regulators vs. Moderators by Bill O'Neal.From 1840 through 1844 East Texas was wracked by murderous violence between Regulator and Moderator factions. More than thirty men were killed in assassinations,lynchings, ambushes, street fights, and pitched battles.

The sheriff of Harrison County was murdered, and so was the founder of Marshall, as well as a former district judge. Senator Robert Potter, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was slain by Regulators near his Caddo Lake home. Courts ceased to operate and anarchy reigned in Shelby County, Panola District,
and Harrison County. Only the personal intervention of President Sam Houston and an invasion of the militia of the Republic of Texas halted the bloodletting. The Regulator-Moderator War was the first and largest of the many blood feuds of Texas. Bill O'Neal includes
rosters of names of the Regulator and Moderator factions arranged by the counties in which the individuals were associated, along with a roster of the victims of the war.

“O’Neal has done a very good job of keeping track of the many people who were involved in the complicated series of events of the Regulator-Moderator War. He has also explained the part played by Sam Houston and theTexas Militia in quelling this feud.”—Donaly E. Brice, author of The Great Comanche Raid and coauthor of
The Governor's Hounds: The Texas State Police, 1870-1873.

BILL O’NEAL is State Historian of Texas and the author of more than thirty books, including The Johnson-Sims Feud, The Johnson County War (2005 NOLA Book of theYear), Historic Ranches of the Old West, Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters, and Cheyenne, 1867-1903.
He is retired from teaching at Panola College.

978-1-57441-728-9 paper $18.95
978-1-57441-739-5 ebook
6x9. 206 pp. 43 b&w illus. 2 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.
Texas History.
JULY 15, 2018
Intended audience: adult readers, Texas history scholars,
Texas history enthusiasts



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HIGHER EDUCATION IN TEXAS: ITS BEGINNINGS TO 1970 


Higher Education in Texas is the first book to tell the history, defining events, and critical participants in the development of higher education in Texas from approximately 1838 to 1970. Charles Matthews, Chancellor Emeritus of the Texas State University System, begins the story with the land grant policies of the Spanish, Mexicans, Republic of Texas, and the State of Texas that led to the growth of Texas. Religious organizations supplied the first of many colleges, years before the Texas Legislature began to fund and support public colleges and universities.

Matthews devotes a chapter to the junior/community colleges and their impact on providing a low-cost education alternative for local students. These community colleges also played a major role in economic development in their communities. Further chapters explore the access and equity in educating women, African Americans, and Hispanics.

CHARLES R. MATTHEWS is Chancellor Emeritus of the Texas State University System, the oldest public university system in Texas. He was chancellor from 2005 until his retirement in 2010. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. He lives on his ranch in Hill County.

“This is a strong contribution to the scholarship on Texas higher education.” —Matthew Fuller, College of Education, Sam Houston State University

About Author:
CHARLES R. MATTHEWS is Chancellor Emeritus of the Texas State University System, the oldest public university system in Texas. He was chancellor from 2005 until his retirement in 2010. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. He lives on his ranch in Hill County.

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BEN THOMPSON: PORTRAIT OF A GUNFIGHTER 


University of North Texas Press announces the August 2018 publication of Ben Thompson: Portrait of a Gunfigher by Thomas C. Bicknell and Chuck Parsons. Ben Thompson was a remarkable man, and few Texans can claim to have crowded more excitement, danger,drama, and tragedy into their lives than he did. He was an Indian fighter, Texas Ranger, Confederate cavalryman, mercenary for a foreign emperor, hired gun for a railroad, an elected lawman, professional gambler, and the victor of numerous gunfights.

As a leading member of the Wild West’s sporting element, Ben Thompson spent most of his life moving in the unsavory underbelly of the West: saloons, dance-houses,billiard halls, bordellos, and gambling dens. During these travels many of the Wild West’s most famous icons—Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, Wild Bill
Hickok, John Wesley Hardin, John Ringo, and Buffalo Bill Cody—became acquainted with Ben Thompson. Some of these men called him a friend; others considered him a deadly enemy.

In life and in death no one ever doubted Ben Thompson’s courage; one Texas newspaperman asserted he was “perfectly fearless, a perfect lion in nature when aroused.” This willingness to trust his life to his expertise with a pistol placed Thompson prominently among the western frontier’s most flamboyant breed of men: gunfighters.

Thomas C. Bickwell, a native Chicagoan, has been studying the life of Ben Thompson for decades. His research and articles have appeared in various periodicals including True West and Wild West. Chuck Parsons is the author of Captain John R. Hughes and The Sutton-Taylor Feud and coauthor of A Lawless Breed, a biography of John Wesley Hardin. He lives in Luling, Texas.

978-1-57441-730-2 cloth $34.95
978-1-57441-741-8 ebook
6x9. 688 pp. 47 b&w illus. 3 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.
Texas History. Western History. Biography.


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THC PORVENIR MASSACRE HISTORICAL MARKER GOES TO THE FOUNDRY  
Its been a long time coming but the Porvenir massacre THC marker is on its way to the foundry to be cast!



TO: INTERESTED PARTIES

FROM: MARK WOLFE

DATE: SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

RE: PORVENIR MASSACRE HISTORICAL MARKER

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has completed work on the text for its marker telling the story of the Porvenir Massacre. THC thanks all of the many individuals and organizations who have expressed an interest in, and participated in the development of, this project. We are particularly grateful for the guidance provided to staff by Commissioner Lilia Marisa Garcia, Professor of History at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Texas Historical Commission earlier this year as the Commission’s official Professional Historian. With her contributions, and thorough research on the part of THC’s professional marker staff, we are confident that the text is accurate and ready to be sent to the foundry for casting early next week. On completion, in approximately six weeks, we hope that the various parties of interest will join in dedicating the marker at its permanent location in Presidio County.

Thank you again for your patience. The stories of Texas can be complex. There is much to celebrate, but there is also a darker side to our history, and those stories must also be told. The THC is the only state agency in the country to initiate a process for seeking out these “Undertold” stories and memorializing them at no cost to the state’s taxpayers. Since the Undertold Stories program was put into place in 2006, more than 110 markers have been installed, with such themes as Freedom Colonies, education, underrepresented groups, and civil rights. Only by telling these disregarded, or even forgotten, stories can we truly understand the complicated tapestry that is Texas.

We don’t take this responsibility lightly. THC markers are made to last many generations, so we take as long as necessary to finalize text. We apologize for any inconvenience that may have caused, but are confident that the end result is a better, more accurate, product.

We continue to welcome comments on this text, or on the text of any of our more than 16,000 markers across this great state. The order will go to the foundry on Tuesday morning, September 18th. Comments should be directed to Charles Sadnick (charles.sadnick@thc.texas.gov).

Thank you again for your interest and participation, and we look forward to working with you on future projects.


Texas Historical Commission staff (BB), 7/17/2015, rev 3/5/2018, 5/17/18, 9/10/18, 9/12/18, 9/13/18:

27” x 42” Official Texas Historical Marker with post

Presidio County (Job #15PS02) Subject (Atlas ) UTM:

Location: US 90, northwest of Marfa


PORVENIR MASSACRE


PORVENIR WAS A COMMUNITY IN REMOTE NORTHWEST PRESIDIO COUNTY ON THE RIO GRANDE. IN THE MIDST OF MILITARY CONFLICTS, INCREASED ETHNIC TENSIONS AND RETALIATORY RAIDS ALONG THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER AND IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA DURING THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION, THE SMALL FARMING AND RANCHING SETTLEMENT WAS THE SITE OF A NOTORIOUS TRAGEDY IN 1918.

A GROUP OF TEXAS RANGERS FROM COMPANY B IN MARFA, U.S. ARMY SOLDIERS FROM TROOP G OF THE 8TH CAVALRY, AND LOCAL RANCHERS ARRIVED AT PORVENIR IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF JANUARY 28, 1918. THEY CAME TO THE RANCH OF MANUEL MORALEZ AND SEPARATED FIFTEEN ABLE-BODIED MEN AND BOYS FROM THE WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ELDERLY MEN. THOUGH INITIAL ACCOUNTS DENIED ANY WRONGDOING, LATER TESTIMONY CONFIRMED THAT THESE 15 VICTIMS WERE SHOT AND KILLED. FAMILY MEMBERS CROSSED THE RIO GRANDE INTO MEXICO TO BURY ANTONIO CASTAÑEDA, LONGINO FLORES, PEDRO HERRERA, VIVIANO HERRERA, SEVERIANO HERRERA, MANUEL MORALEZ, EUTEMIO GONZÁLEZ, AMBROSIO HERNÁNDEZ, ALBERTO GARCÍA, TIBURCIO JÁCQUEZ, RÓMAN NIEVES, SERAPIO JIMÉNEZ, PEDRO JIMÉNEZ, JUAN JIMÉNEZ, AND MACEDONIO HUERTAS.

IN JUNE 1918, GOVERNOR WILLIAM P. HOBBY AND ADJUTANT GENERAL JAMES A. HARLEY DISBANDED COMPANY B, DISMISSED FIVE RANGERS FOR THEIR ACTIONS AT PORVENIR, AND FORCED CAPTAIN J.M. FOX’S RESIGNATION. STATE REPRESENTATIVE J.T. CANALES FILED CHARGES WITH THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE AGAINST THE TEXAS RANGERS, FOR THE OPPRESSION AND MURDER OF HUNDREDS OF HISPANICS ALONG THE RIO GRANDE. AT AN INVESTIGATION BEGINNING JANUARY 31, 1919, LEGISLATORS HEARD AND RECEIVED TESTIMONY REGARDING SEVERAL INCIDENTS INCLUDING PORVENIR. AS A RESULT, THE TEXAS RANGERS WERE REORGANIZED AND REDUCED IN SIZE. IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE ATTACK, APPROXIMATELY 140 REMAINING RESIDENTS OF PORVENIR ABANDONED THE COMMUNITY.

(2015)


MARKER IS PROPERTY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS

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CAPTAIN JACK HELM: A VICTIM OF TEXAS RECONSTRUCTION VIOLENCE 


The University of North Texas Press recently published "Captain Jack Helm: A Victim of Texas Reconstruction Violence" by Chuck Parsons. Parsons has authored a number of good Texas histories/biographies including, "Captain John R. Hughes: Lone Star Ranger", "Texas Reconstruction, and Violence in the Wild West" and "The Sutton County Feud" as well as others. Parson's "Captain Jack Helm" has long been awaited and is a good read.

John Jackson (Jack) Helms or Helm according to what source is used was born in Missouri about 1836 and came to Texas with his mother and father in 1842 to settle in Lamar County. During the Civil War Jack served the Confederacy in Company G, Ninth Texas Cavalry beginning his reputation as a cold-blooded killer who showed no mercy to his victims. In 1862 Helm took part with a group of vigilantes who tried and hung five men for having Union sympathies. Following the war Jack Helm became a captain in the Texas State Police and during this time he unmistakably established himself as a violent hunter of men. The Galveston News reported that in a two-month period in the summer of 1869 Helms and his "regulators" killed twenty-one men only jailing ten fugitives. Not many criminals escaped Helm most were shot dead while "trying to escape". Parsons does a first-rate job of illustrating just how violent and chaotic reconstruction Texas really was during the years following the Civil War. Finally in 1870 Texas Governor Edmond J. Davis dismissed Helm from the state police force after he and some of his men killed Henry and Will Kelly in view of the deceased men's wives and families. The old saying of he who lives by the gun dies by the gun proved to be true in the case of Captain Jack Helm. In 1873 none other than John Wesley Hardin and Jim Taylor gunned him down.

Gj





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THE OLD ARMY IN THE BIG BEND OF TEXAS: THE LAST CAVALRY FRONTIER, 1911-1921 


The Texas State Historical Association recently published a new title: The Old Army in the Big Bend of Texas: The Last Cavalry Frontier, 1911-1921 by Thomas T. Smith. (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2018. Pp.240. Illustrations, bibliography, index).

This well researched history deals with the military occupation of the far West Texas southern border by the U.S. military during the Mexican revolution. The book is an extremely interesting read and makes considerable use of official U.S. Army records. For most of the twentieth century a number of these official army records had remained classified and their scattered locations in various National Archive locations made them difficult to locate and make use of. Another problem is that a disastrous 1972 fire at the National Archives National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Mo. destroyed some 16-18 million documents including most of those relating to the Big Bend Military District. Smith also states correctly how unreliable newspaper accounts from these years have proved to be. The Big Bend border became off limits to newspaper reporters who were forced to depend on Army press conferences to report the news during this time period. In spite of these obstacles author Thomas Smith does a commendable job of researching this difficult topic.

The U.S. Army largely had been absent from the Big Bend from the 1890’s until the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. During a decade of civil war in Mexico, the resulting border raids, theft of livestock as well as an immense and constant stream of refugees fleeing the war into the United States greatly compounded these problems. U.S. military presence expanded on the border at a steady rate until Pancho Villa’s bold attack on Columbus, New Mexico in March 1916 in which seven American soldiers and eight civilians lost their lives in the first invasion of the United States by a foreign army since the war of 1812. This prompted President Woodrow Wilson to order General John J. Pershing and some 10,000 U.S. troops into Chihuahua in an attempt to capture or kill the elusive Villa. Then on night of May 5 1916 a band thought to be Villista raiders attacked Glenn Springs, in the Texas Big Bend, killing three U.S. soldiers and a nineteen-year-old boy. About the same time, a second group of marauders robbed Jesse Deemer’s store at Boquillas a few miles downriver from Glenn Springs. The bandits kidnapped Deemer and his storekeeper and crossed the Rio Grande where they robbed the American owned Boquillas mine and took two more captives. On May 7 a U.S. Army punitive expedition headed by Col. Frederick W. Silbey and Maj. George T. Langhorne set out from Marathon with about 80 cavalry troopers. The expedition remained in Chihuahua for seven days and managed to free the two hostages and kill five of the raiders. On June 18, 1916 President Woodrow Wilson mobilized the National Guard sending some 156,000 guardsmen to the U.S. Mexican border.

Thomas Smith does an outstanding job of documenting these critical events that led to a huge military build up of this remote border region. Using Regimental Returns and other primary source military records the author details the locations of the U.S. Army border outposts, their years of operation, the commanders of these units and their tactics as well as providing valuable time lines that will be a great aid to future researchers, writers as well as history buffs. In view of today's not dissimilar border troubles, Smith’s fine military history provides his readers with valuable insight from a historical perspective.

Glenn Justice



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T-BONE WHACKS AND CAVIAR SNACKS: COOKING WITH TWO TEXANS IN SIBERIA AND THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST 


University of North Press has announced the publication of "T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks" by travel and food authors Sharon and Tom Hudgins. This is the first cookbook in America to focus on the foods of the Asian side of Russia. Filled with fascinating food history, cultural insights and personal stories, it chronicles the culinary adventures of two intrepid Texas who lived, worked, and ate their way around Siberia and the Russian Far East.

Featuring 140 traditional and modern recipes, with many illustrations, ""T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks" includes dozens of regional recipes from cooks in Asian Russia, along with recipes for the European and Tex-Mex dishes that the author and her husband cooked on the "Stoves-from-Hell" in their three Russian apartments, for intimate candlelight diners during the dark Siberian winter and for lavish parties throughout though out the year.

You'll learn how to make fresh seafood dishes from Russia's Trans-Siberian luxury train and flaming "Baked Siberia", the Russian twist on "Baked Alaskan". And here's the bonus: all of these recipes can be made with ingredients from you local supermarket or your nearest delicatessen.


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PORVENIR MASSACRE ON TEXAS BORDER HAUNTS DESCENDANTS 100 YEARS LATER 
Check out the latest El Paso Times about the Porvenir massacre and our upcoming commeration. See:
http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2 ... 058345001/

Gj

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