Journal of Big Bend Studies

Robert J. Mallouf, Series Editor
Kelly S. Garcia, Technical Editor(s)

©1998  Center for Big Bend Studies
244 pages

Out of Print

Table of Contents

Observations at a Trans-Pecos Rock Art Site
Eileen Thompson

A previously recorded rock art site in the Davis Mountains of West Texas reveals new data as objective field observations are made at sunset on solstices and equinoxes. Sunlight patterns and shadows appear on and near pictographic images that consist of anthropomorphic figures, quadrupeds, and handprints. One boulder within the rockshelter displays two triangular shapes of sunlight as a trail of light passes through a split boulder at the front of the shelter. Because this phenomenon happens at the time of the summer solstice, the interaction of sun and earth becomes a significant contribution to the location and purpose of the rock art. The most prominent painted rock art element is a red anthropomorphic figure which strongly resembles a succulent that dots the landscape, thus the name given to the site: Cholla. Situated on the left-hand section of the split boulder, the cholla figure faces the setting sun during the summer and accepts a shadow that creeps up its bottom half as two triangular highlights simultaneously appear on a boulder inside the rockshelter. A comprehensive recording of the 33 measurable handprints provides additional information for inferences concerning the function of the rockshelter as a site for ritual activity during specific seasons of the year

Rock Art of Coahuila: Pictographs of the La Linda Area
Terry Sayther and Deborah Stuart

East of Big Bend National Park in Mexico lies a natural corridor between the Sierra del Carmen and the Serranías del Burro mountain ranges. The town of La Linda, Coahuila, lies at the northern end of this corridor. This paper discusses numerous pictograph sites found to the south and east of La Linda along the mountainous edges of this corridor. Three of the sites share stylistic elements which allow the suggestion of a “La Linda Style.” Two sites show definite Lower Pecos Style elements and are the westernmost examples of that style. Historic figures are found at two sites, and the final four sites discussed contain predominantly polychrome abstract figures.

Archeological Investigations at Goat Cave, Jeff Davis County, Texas
Robert J. Mallouf

Archeological mapping and subsurface testing of Goat Cave (41JD138), a rockshelter in the northeastern Davis Mountains, was conducted in the fall of 1989 by the Office of the State Archeologist, Texas Historical Commission, in cooperation with the Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch, Boy Scouts of America. This large rockshelter contains evidence of spatially and temporally discreet prehistoric and historic (modern) human occupations. A test excavation yielded an intact, tree-bark (Quercus sp.) lined storage pit containing seven maguey leaves (Agave Havardiana), a possible sandal fragment, and three deteriorated cut wood fragments. This unusual Late Prehistoric feature is assigned a chronometrically determined age of A.D. 1037 – 1115.

An Overview of the Canon Ranch Archeological District
George M. Canon

The Canon Ranch Archeological District in eastern Pecos County, Texas, was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as a result of the prehistoric and historic sites located on the privately owned ranch. Locational preferences for burned rock middens and the direction of rockshelter openings may indicate seasonal use of the sites. A mortar hole site and adjoining hearth field are discussed. Pioneer uses of local features and materials influenced housing, roads, livestock management, and attempts to control water.

The Spanish and Mexican Origins of Ranching in Texas
Joe S. Graham

Ranching began in Spain in the eleventh century and came to the New World when the first shipload of cattle arrived in Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1521. The ranches and the men who worked on them developed traditions, many of which continue to the present. The hacienda arrived in South Texas from Mexico in 1750 and persisted for about 100 years, when the Anglos came into the region. Ranching spread from South Texas into other regions of Texas and many parts of the Southwest. Anglos have borrowed heavily from the ranching methods and traditions originated by Spanish and Mexican ranchers.

Grierson’s Spring Military Outpost, 1878-1882
Larry Riemenschneider and Solveig A. Turpin

In 1878 Col. Benjamin H. Grierson, commander at Fort Concho, was named administrator of the newly created District of Pecos. Grierson intensified his defensive program by scouting and exploration within the district with emphasis on finding good reliable water sources. An expedition led by Lieutenant Mason Maxon located a spring which became known as Grierson¹s Spring. A new road was built from Camp Charlotte to the Pecos Crossing by way of Grierson’s Spring, which provided a shorter route west as well as access to a new water source. From 1878 to 1882 Grierson established a military outpost at the spring in order to house the troops that were on duty in the area. Construction of buildings, redoubts, spring boxes, and a military road are reported in letters sent from Grierson’s Spring; however, no diagrams of buildings or locations were noted. An archeological survey of the site was conducted to locate and document any remaining structures.

Two Texas Rangers Needed: Pursuit of the Murderers of the Petty Family into Mexico by the Tenth Cavalry in 1884
Franklin W. And Dorothy C. Daugherty

About November 12, 1884, the Petty family was brutally murdered by Mexican nationals at their camp on Tornillo Creek near the northern boundary of present-day Big Bend National Park, Texas. The murderers were pursued to the Mexican border by troops of the Tenth Cavalry from Fort Davis and Camp Peña Colorado. Unfortunately, the treaty between the two nations allowing “hot pursuit” of Indians across the international border had expired forcing the pursuing troops to wait at the border until the treaty¹s renewal. The delay probably prevented apprehension of the culprits. The pursuit was finally abandoned, although one of the murderers was seen fleeing, but the troops¹ horses were exhausted from traveling over mountainous terrain devoid of grass and with scant water.

General Albino Aranda: Villista Leader on the Texas Border During the Mexican Revolution
Glenn P. Willeford

Francisco Villa, Felipe Ángeles, Rodolfo Fierro are names that ring bells in the minds of those familiar with the 1910 – 1920 Mexican Revolution. Behind the scenes of that dramatic conflict linger other names, almost forgotten now, that deserve recognition. One example is Albino Aranda, a man who sprang from the desert hills just south of the Rio Grande early in the war, rose meritoriously through the ranks, and continued to serve Mexico until his death in 1939. This paper will identify Aranda as an individual, chart his service, and briefly address land distribution matters following the Sabinas peace agreement.

A Tumultuous Decade: Changes in the Mexican-Origin Population of the Big Bend, 1910 – 1920
Paul Wright

The 1910 – 1919 decade was one of great turmoil in Mexico, which caused a large immigration of Mexicans to the Big Bend area of Texas. In addition, violence spawned by the Mexican Revolution spilled over into Texas and created a redistribution of the local population away from those areas affected by violence. The large-scale immigration, however, masked a simultaneous massive outflow of Mexican-origin residents of the Big Bend. This loss of population was engendered by economic boom conditions and better wages elsewhere. This outmigration combined with the massive immigration from Mexico resulted in a dramatic reversal of roots established earlier in the Big Bend by the Mexican-origin population. Thus, by 1920 Big Bend area residents of Mexican origin were largely of recent immigration. This study also explores the possibility that the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 struck the local Mexican-origin population with particular severity.

Recuerdos de la Caballería
Anita Torres Smith

The United Sates Cavalry, while stationed along the borderlands from the southernmost tip of Texas all the way to Arizona, passed through Uvalde, Texas, on many occasions while on reconnaissance missions. The soldiers and their horses caught the attention of the barrio children, providing them with entertainment and capturing in them the fantasies of their youth. One of these children became un caballerista as an adult. The times were the 1920s and 1930s during the Mexican Revolution, the end of General José Gonzalo Escobar¹s rebellion and the era of the 1940s.

The Big Bend and The Imagination
Lonn Taylor

The Big Bend and the Imagination will consider the development of a body of regional literature about the Big Bend during the twentieth century, and will examine one article and six books about the Big Bend published between 1900 and 1985 in light of the analyses of regional literature developed by Henry Nash Smith, Frederick W. Turner, and Robert Dorman. I will pay special attention to the ways in which authors Robert T. Hill, Carlysle Gaham Raht, Alice Jack Shipman, Pat Ellis Taylor, W. D. Smithers, J. O. Langford, and Jim Bones represent the landscape of the Big Bend in their works.

African Americans in the West: A Short Story Tradition
Laurie Champion and Bruce A. Glasrud

Despite seeming evidence to the contrary (lack of information, in other words), over the past century a growing and enlightening body of short stories depicting African Americans in the western United States has emerged. In this work we look at trends that begin in the late nineteenth century, with the short stories of Charles W. Chesnutt and Paul Laurence Dunbar; examine writers such as Langston Hughes, noted among significant authors of the Harlem Renaissance; follow this development through the 1940s and 1950s, analyzing the short stories of authors such as Ralph Ellison and Chester Himes, writers hitherto acknowledged more as novelists than as short story writers (and seldom connected with the West); and place within a historical and literary context contemporary short story writers such as Reginald McKnight, Colleen McElroy, Wanda Coleman, and J. California Cooper. We define the significance of a western setting in short stories that portray African Americans and examine these stories in terms of the progression of a specific short story tradition.