Object Blog: Drawing

I-0418k (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I-0418k
Drawing
“Tejanos del Siglo XVIII”
J. Cisneros
American
El Paso, TX
1988
Materials: Ink/Paper

This is a pen and ink drawing entitled “Tejanos del Siglo XVIII” by artist J. Cisneros, commissioned by the Institute of Texan Cultures. The Spanish presence in Texas has a long history. Originally, Spanish emissaries ran Texas as part of New Spain from 1717-1821. They established missions and presidios to spread Christianity. They founded San Antonio in 1718, which was their most successful settlement in Texas. In fact, what we know as The Alamo is actually the remains of Mission San Antonio Valero. The Spanish population in Texas at the time was made up of only male settlers from Spain, so by the 1730’s they started to send for their families to come to the new world. From there, women also began marrying into the existing community.

Traditionally, Spanish policy did not allow foreigners into their territories. Although they permitted individuals to settle in some areas in the 1790’s, the Spanish were concerned about the potential danger of Anglo-Americans to inspire political conflict. However, in an effort to help protect their lands from hostile Plains Indians, the Spanish started to allow settlers from the United States into Texas. In January of 1821, the Spanish gave permission to the first Anglo-American settler, Moses Austin, to bring with him a group of Anglo-Americans to build homes along the Brazos River. After he passed away in 1821, the Spanish allowed his son Stephen F. Austin to assume his fathers property and bring more Anglo-American settlers with him. Anglo-American immigration into the southwest was largely male and the majority moved into Texas between 1821 and 1835. The extremely low cost of land encouraged them to settle in Texas. Up to 4,605 acres of land could be purchased for 40 cents an acre. The immigration of Anglo-Americans to Texas was complicated since both Spanish and Anglos were highly suspicious of one another. Settlers tend to believe their own culture was superior to others. They clung closely to their original cultures as they moved to Texas. Nonetheless, as Anglo-American men started to marry into the Spanish community, they began to integrate the two cultures.

Sketch of the Alamo in 1845 via tshaonline

Sketch of the Alamo in 1845 via tshaonline

Life for Spanish women in Texas at this time was very different from the life of Anglo-American women in the United States. Due to Spanish law, Spanish women in Texas had a number of legal rights, including the right to be party to lawsuits and the ability to act as witnesses at trial. A woman could manage her own property if she signed a declaration that she was responsible for her own actions. Women were equally able to inherit property as their male counterparts. They could write their own wills and act as executors of others’ wills, all without needing the legal permission of their husbands. After Spanish women were married, however, they lost a few rights, including the ability to accuse someone of a crime. Yet, they still maintained some property rights after marriage. After death or at the end of a marriage, the law required a wife’s land be returned to her or her descendants. Any property held in the name of both a husband and wife required the permission of both parties before the land could be sold. Anglo-American women in the United States had far fewer legal rights. When Anglo-Americans migrated to Texas, they agreed to abide by Spanish law.

The Spanish ended their rule of Texas in 1821 when Mexico gained independence. When it came to governing Texas, Mexico decided to maintain Spanish law regarding the rights of women. Though they no longer rule Texas, signs of the Spanish occupation can still be seen in the culture and cities of today. [Ashton Meade, edited by Joscelynn Garcia]

Additional Resources:

Cantrell, Gregg. Stephen F. Austin: Empresario of Texas. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

Chipman, Donald E. Spanish Texas, 1519-1821. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992.

Gauderman, Kimberly. Women’s Lives in Colonial Quito: Gender, Law, and Economy in Spanish America. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003.

Habig, Marion Alphonse. Spanish Texas Pilgrimage: The Old Franciscan Missions and Other Spanish Settlements of Texas, 1632-1821. Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1990.

McCaleb, Walter Flavius. The Spanish Missions of Texas. San Antonio, Tex: Naylor Co, 1954.

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Schoonover Farm Blog

This is the blog for our little farm in Skagit county. Here we raise Shetland sheep, Nigerian Dwarf goats, and Satin Angora rabbits. In addition we have donkeys, llamas, cattle, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, peafowl and pheasants. The blog describes the weekly activities here.

The TARL Blog

Experimenting with collections access since 2013

Museum Anthropology

Experimenting with collections access since 2013

Center for the Future of Museums

Experimenting with collections access since 2013

TAMEC

Experimenting with collections access since 2013

Smithsonian Collections Blog

Experimenting with collections access since 2013

Digital Scholarship in the Humanities

Exploring the digital humanities

ethnology @ snomnh

experimenting with social microexhibitions since 2007

%d bloggers like this: