WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
The WHA Newsletter is semi-annual publication of the Western History Association Fall 2010
Founders Tell All in Tahoe John Porter Bloom and Bob Utley, two founders of the WHA, provided conference attendees with memorable commentaries on the founding of the WHA . They were asked to provide the WHA with written accounts to share with members.
Reminiscenceâ€”WHA 50th Annual Conference By John Porter Bloom
First I want to express my great appreciation to President John Wunder for this opportunity to reflect on how Our Western History Association got started. Of course, you may have some possible question of his judgment in inviting two old -- ah -- chaps to reminisce here on old times. There are three things I want to talk about in just a few minutes. First is the meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 12-1314, 1961, to which we gave the name "Conference on the History of Western America." Then I want to speak of two men who made special contributions to that conference and to the development of the WHA.
Giving to the Western History Association By Gordon Morris Bakkan I give to the WHA on an annual basis because of what this organization has meant to me as an historian. I attended my first WHA convention in 1970 in Reno, Nevada and discovered that I had a professional home. People were committed to understanding the American West and its significance for America. Established historians asked what I was working on as if I were an established scholar rather than a Continued on Page 4.
Our options in the 1950s, as to major historical organizations, were, first, the American Historical Association, dominated by Ivy League professors to whom "history of the West" meant Western Civilization - and maybe it still does (except at Yale). This was the only nationwide historical organization of broad scope. (Mention of American Association for State and Local History, National Trust for Historical Preservation, etc.).
Second, there was the MissisAs to that conference itself, how sippi Valley Historical Assodid it come about? Well, there is ciation, composed of Ameria long-standing, much-used tracanists, of course. It was in the dition in American public life process of broadening its that is involved here. People scope but it was still identified become aware of a need, of with the American heartland, a something lacking in their lives or their work, or whatever-- and regional emphasis. Third was they start talking about it. When the Southern Historical Assothe number of people talking ciation, focused in memberreaches a critical mass they have a meeting, form a com- John Porter Bloom, Iris Engstrand, and Robert Utley (Photo cour- ship (not topically) on the tesy of Henry Stamm, IV, Ph.D). states of the former Confedmittee and work it out, somehow, eracy. Finally, the Pacific to meet that need. Simply summaCoast Branch of the AHA was "out there" and beginning to derized, that's what happened. velop its own independence and traditions. So there was a need What was the need? Think back to what you remember or have heard about post-World War II America. Academia was expand- for historians whose interests lay in the trans-Mississippi West, or Westward Expansion, or Frontier, or whatever. ing almost, or maybe actually, exponentially. Graduate students were earning MA's and Ph.D.'s like crazy! Like so many others, And so talk led to formation of a committee, the "Organizing I used my GI Bill benefits to the maximum and, doctorate in hand in 1956, I had a choice of jobs in academia. Think of it! Of Committee for the Conference," as published in the eight-page course, my 9-month salary was only $4,100. (Aside: It was easy program pamphlet for Santa Fe. Jack Carroll called it the then, of course, to recruit summer faculty for additional pay, "Committee of Correspondence," however small.) (Continued on Page 2) Founded in 1961, the Western History Association exists to promote the study of the North American West in its varied aspects and broadest sense.
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010 held by the WHA took place in 1963. Strictly speaking, the cover on this year's program is in error. It sayeth: "The WHA's 50th Annual Conference." [Review shows inconsistency in the names given WHA conferences. The usage was "Conference on the History of the American West" through 1971 until 1972, when the program pamphlet cover displayed "New Haven Conference of the WHA." The 1971 event was correctly numbered as the eleventh "Conference on the History of the American West." The numbering was picked up from that year, to make 2010's the fiftieth irrespective of changing titles. One must hold that WHA was Please note that there was a remarkable balance, 3-1/2 academics "effectively" established at Santa Fe in 1961 to rationalize today's as the WHA's 50th conference.] and 3-1/2 "public" historians (though that term was not then in use). My recollection is that The two men to whom I referred at the top Walt Rundell was then the AHA Executive could not have been more different in superDirector, half-time, and was also on the hisficial ways, but they were united in devotion tory faculty of the University of Maryland. to Western American history. It was my wouldn't you know? Paul Bailey of Westernlore Press printed the pamphlet gratis for us, and the committee members published were, in alphabetical order after me, with no chair indicated: John Alexander Carroll (University of Arizona), Donald C. Cutter (University of Southern California), Walter Rundell Jr. (American Historical Association), Edgar I. Stewart (Eastern Washington College), K. Ross Toole (Museum of New Mexico) and Robert M. Utley (National Park Service).
privilege to know them both. The program pamphlet contained a fairly long "Explanatory Note" which stated briefly the Jack Carroll - formally John Alexander Carhow-and-why of the conference. It revealed roll - sprang from an American ranching the broad range of employment to which the family and had joined the US Navy in time to program was hoped to appeal: "Today the earn a Purple Heart at Pearl Harbor. By then field is amply populated with teachers, librari- The Trailblazer: “Kit Carson, 1843-44.” In Carson he had acquired a full-body tattoo job, menans, archivists, researchers, writers, publishCity, Nevada, by artist Buckeye Blake tioned by many but not all who have written ers, bookmen, collectors, curators, and staff about him. members of historical agencies." We intended and hoped to set up a "Big Tent" organization to envelop, to welcome all sorts of Plunging post-war into the study of history, he earned the Ph.D. from Georgetown University and not long afterwards (1957) was persons interested in the history of the American West. Do we awarded the Pulitzer Prize, shared with Mary Wells Ashworth, have a Big Tent now? We do not, but that is another topic. for a biography of George Washington in the immediate postSome 60-70 persons attended the conference, as I recollect. revolutionary years. By this time he was on the history faculty of Registration was $2.00 per head, payable on site - there was no the University of Arizona. pre-registration. The historic La Fonda Inn (Hotel) was our headquarters, and all advance lodging requests were handled by their It is hard to know when to stop in speaking of Carroll, a very staff for La Fonda and two co-operating "motor hotels." You will complex individual. Full of Big Ideas - for the WHA, University of Arizona, etc. - he was so flamboyant as to turn many persons realize that travel by air was not a routine experience in 1961. off, especially persons who did not know him well. May I say One reached Santa Fe by rail or by auto, period. Room rates that, as his Book Review Editor for Arizona and the West for ranged from $6.50-$9.00 single, twins from $9 to $14. several years, we got on great. Still, after he left the University of Luncheons with speakers were held all three days, with a banquet Arizona in 1968, we saw less and less of him. Sadly, he pulled on Friday evening at which Ray Allen Billington was to introback from many friends and connections of all kinds, so that his duce Stewart Udall as speaker. He was then U.S. Secretary of the death in 2000 was barely noticed. Anne Butler's obituary of him Interior, but sent the assistant secretary as a last-minute substiin Western Historical Quarterly (Vol. 32, no. 4) is one of the best. tute. Let me urge you to Google him and learn much more. The point is that our organization is a product of his energy, vision, and There were eleven sessions, all freestanding except two at the same time on Friday morning. To go into the personnel and top- dedicated effort, which drew many others into setting up the 1961 conference in Santa Fe. ics of these sessions here would evoke more nostalgia than I could stand -- or time would allow. Nineteen of the papers were So to José Cisneros, humble and retiring, an internationally fapublished in the book, Probing the West. Bob Utley was more mous artist who grew up and always resided in El Paso, Texas. involved than I in obtaining the fine program, and perhaps he will He was intent in most of his work to display historical accuracy, speak about that. I know that Bob will talk about the carefully to illustrate the history of his part of Western America. He diliscripted meeting at which it was agreed to have another confergently researched the finest details for his portraits and other ence a year later to establish what came to be known as and is the works. Born in Mexico in 1910, he passed away last November Western History Association. 19th at age 99. Let's be clear about the sequence of events here, for there is some Referring to the fine ten-page section of this year's program book confusion. Tonight we are marking the 50th of consecutive dedicated to his life and work, my comments must be brief. Furevents called, at first, "Conference on the History of Western ther, he did not have a major role in WHA's development. America."At the Santa Fe conference in 1961, 49 years ago, it was agreed by persons at a meeting, guided by a self-constituted I got to know José through the distinguished director of the Texas committee, to set up some sort of organization at a conference in Western Press, Carl Hertzog, with whom José often worked. As 1962. Under authority of that meeting in 1962, 48 years ago, the WHA's Secretary-Treasurer, formally elected in 1962, it was part WHA was established. Thus the first conference (by same name) of my job to see to the printing of program books for 1963.
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010 It seemed to be a good idea to get us a logo. With the image of the wagon wheel pierced by an arrow in mind, I thought of José and he was so kind as to draw it for us. Free. (I wonder where the original is.) The logo appeared first, except perhaps on letterheads, on the cover of the 1963 program pamphlet. It makes me marvel to think that this humble logo has been reproduced more often - say, millions of times? - than anything else of his work. Oh yes, did I mention? He was surely an illegal immigrant.
Remarks of Robert M. Utley at WHA Awards Banquet, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. By Robert M. Utley
John Bloom has admirably set forth the organization and personalities of that historic meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, fifty years ago. The event stands as probably the most significant milestone in our history, even more significant than the founding meeting a year later in Denver. John has also given me the opportunity to reminisce without explaining all the context. John named the organizing committee for the Santa Fe conference, and that first program pamphlet prints seven. I count only five. One never lifted a finger to help, did not go with the rest of us to Detroit in 1959 to promote the idea of such a conference, and didn‘t even show up at the meeting. And incidentally, at the Detroit meeting of Organization of American Historians–it may even have been the Mississippi Valley Historical Association that early–we made no headway. No one was interested. The program also named K. Ross Toole. We needed a sponsoring institution, and Toole was director of the Museum of New Mexico. He was also lazy and didn‘t do much to advance the cause. I recall that I persuaded him to telephone J. Frank Dobie and try to enlist him in our project. Dobie replied, ―Hell no, I don‘t approve of such organizations and have nothing to do with any.‖ Toole‘s response: ―Well, frankly, neither do I.‖ So I count the remaining five as the true founding fathers. The powerhouse who made WHA happen was John Alexander Carroll of the University of Arizona. We used to have a number of genuine characters, but not many now. Jack Carroll was the most flamboyant guy I‘ve ever known. Our own Cowboy Mike doesn‘t even come close. Jack appeared in his classrooms and at WHA impeccably attired as a tony western gambler. Tall and well proportioned, with a pencil-thin black mustache, he wore a black narrow-brimmed cowboy hat, starched white shirt with cuffs and links, western vest and coat, immaculately pressed western trousers, and well-polished high-heeled cowboy boots. A pocket watch with gold chain stretching across his vest completed the attire. I have even seen him preside over a session using a monocle.
I was a founding father mainly because the organizers wanted the conference held in Santa Fe. I lived in Santa Fe. Someone had to handle local arrangements. I did, and thus became one of the organizers. The conference succeeded beyond our wildest hopes. October weather in Santa Fe was perfect for setting the tone. Most of the big names in western history turned out to chair or participate in sessions. I thought we had about ninety registrants, but Bloom tells me about fifty. However many, all went smoothly, a perfect blend of scholarship and fun underwritten by some of the local philanthropists. Maybe we grew too big or too stuffy over half a century, but today we don‘t seem to have such characters as Jack Carroll or as much fun as we had in the early years. We need to laugh more. For me, the defining moment was the organizing meeting. All the registrants gathered in St. Francis Auditorium just off the plaza to talk about forming an association of westernists. We organizers Bob Utley brought down the house at the WHA Awards had created a Banquet. (Photo courtesy of H. Stamm). script, and each of us was to rise in sequence and say what the script commanded. The result was to be a spontaneous and unanimous call for a Western History Association. I was chosen to preside presumably because I was the only one with no reputation to lose in case the meeting turned sour. It almost did. Carroll, Cutter, Bloom, Rundell–all rose to deliver their persuasive appeal for such an organization. Then Ross Toole took to his feet. Ross was a great lover of martinis, and he had doubtless just emerged from a three-martini luncheon at La Fonda. He drew from his pocket a paper, held it high for all to see, then said, ―This is the script, and this is what I am supposed to say at this point.‖ Whereupon he proceeded to read his scripted remarks. That produced quite a buzz in the room and, as I saw in the back, the flaming red face of a furious Jack Carroll. When the chatter subsided, LeRoy Hafen of Brigham Young University rose to proclaim, ―I think we are being railroaded!‖
Which of course they were. Somehow I succeeded in railroading that meeting to the desired conclusion: a unanimous, spontaneous As John indicated, WHA‘s seeds were planted at the University call for a meeting in a year to organize a Western History Assoof Southern California in San Diego, where both Carroll and Don ciation. Cutter of the University of New Mexico were teaching in the late 1950s. Privy to the discussions between them about the need for We broadened the organizing committee from seven–or if you buy my count, five–to include most of the prominent westernists an organization more broadly western than the Pacific Coast of the time–men, and they were all men, like Bob Athearn of Branch of the American Historical Association was a young graduate student of Cutter‘s. She was literally present at the crea- Colorado, Gene Hollon of Oklahoma, Joe B. Frantz of Texas, Jack Bannon of St. Louis, and of course LeRoy Hafen, among tion and is with us tonight. Would our past president Iris Engothers. But the decisive moment came when the top westernist of strom please stand. his time, Ray Allen Billington, signed on. (Continued Page 4) 3
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010 President Quintard Taylor University of Washington President-Elect Albert L. Hurtado University of Oklahoma Executive Director Kevin J. Fernlund University of Missouri, St. Louis WHA Council Katherine G. Morrissey University of Arizona David G. Gutierrez University of California, San Diego Sherry Smith Southern Methodist University Dan Flores University of Montana Karen Merrill Williams College John Wunder University of Nebraska
View of Lake Tahoe, Nevada (Photo courtesy of H. Stamm).
He had just retired from Northwestern University, and he and Mabel were on their way to the Huntington Library for the remaining twenty years of his life (I had lunch with him the day his heart stopped.) At a dinner in La Fonda, Ray agreed to serve as interim president until next year, when of course he became our first president. So tonight we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Santa Fe conference. Next year we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the actual formation of WHA at Denver in 1962.
Louis Warren University of California, Davis That was a memorable meeting. I share with you Sandra Schackel Santa Fe, New Mexico George Miles Beinecke Library Nominating Committee Emily Greenwald Historical Reseach A ssociates, Inc. Marsha Weisiger New Mexico State University
one memorable event. Several months before the meeting, our headquarters hotel burned down. We had to squeeze into the Hilton and share the space with a convention of the Salvation Army. LeRoy Hafen was presiding over a fur-trade session when the doors burst open. Down the aisle marched a bearded man with flowing white robes and outstretched arms. ―I am Jesus Christ,‖ he loudly proclaimed, ―and I have come to save you.” Hafen, that staunch Mormon from Brigham Young University, quipped from the podium, ―Well, we have been expecting this for some time, but on the other side of the mountains.‖
Alessandra J. Tamulevich Jack Bannon–the Rev. John Francis Bannon, S.J.– University of Oklahoma Press saved the day. Rising from his chair, he observed Durwood Ball University of New Mexico
that when he came to the conference he hadn‘t expected the Boss to drop in. He then turned the Boss around and escorted him from the room.
Thomas G. Andrews University of Colorado, Denver
Thus anointed by the Boss, WHA has thrived ever since. May it continue through many more celebratory anniversaries.
Giving to the WHA (continued)
Gordon Morris Bakkan
27-year old assistant professor. They were open, helpful and nurturing. When I brought graduate students to the WHA, the process of nurture continued with the next generation. The two graduate students attending the Lake Tahoe convention were amazed at the openness of the people at the convention. We all know why we love the WHA, but how can we be part of the legacy? Simply giving of time and money. We can volunteer for so much and be one of those nurturing people encouraging young people in their pursuit of the meaning of the American West. We can give money in so many ways. Last semester, I bought every member of my graduate class on the American West a membership in the WHA. Two of those students attended the Lake Tahoe meeting and they are telling other students about the experience. (Continued Page 7)
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
Christina Thomas, kicks off the Opening Reception with traditional Paiute songs (Photo courtesy of H. Stamm).
Members enjoy the scenery aboard the Tahoe Queen (Photo courtesy of Danielle Demarest).
Autry Prize winners receive their award. (Photo courtesy of H. Stamm.).
Dave Edmunds, George Moses, and other Conference attendees enjoy the Opening Reception (Photo courtesy of H. Stamm).
Elliot West receives the Caughey Prize from President, John Wunder. (Photo courtesy of H. Stamm).
Quintard Taylor receiving the Presidentâ€™s Pelting Knife. (Photo courtesy of H. Stamm).
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
Postscript By Paul Bonnifield Editors Note: Paul Bonnifield is a long-standing member of the WHA. Born in Colorado, he received his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and taught at Panhandle State. His book, The Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt and Depression, was published in 1979 by the University of New Mexico Press. Readers may also know of Bonnifield’s work through William Cronon’s article, “A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative,” Journal of American History, March 1992, p. 1347. Last October, at the WHA’s Annual Meeting in Incline Village, Nevada, Paul Bonnifield, who is now retired, was asked if he would write the same book today that he wrote in 1979. He replied no because he has since rethought the causes of the Dust Bowl. The following is his reconsideration of what he concluded thirty-one years ago.
If I rewrote the Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt, and Depression (U. of New Mexico Press, 1979), I would place more emphasis on the role played by blind promotion of population growth. Western leaders went to great lengths to attract farmers in the belief they were advancing civilization and creating wealth. The second and perhaps the more important revision would address the significance of H. W. Campbell‘s system of Scientific Dryland Farming. The pseudo-science of dryland farming was the single most important force in causing the horrific disaster known as the Dust Bowl. Finally, any serious current dust bowl study should include work on the drought and dirt storms of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Since 1980, high plains farming has revolutionized and dirt storms dramatically decreased. Why? At the dawn of the twentieth century the region between the Rocky Mountains and the 100th meridian remained the promised land for raising livestock. For centuries the land from the southern Texas Panhandle into Canada provided food, water and shelter for millions of grazing animals. After 1900, the region was sorely tested. Under pressure from western political and business leaders who demanded growth with the assumed benefit, President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 appointed the Public Lands Commission to investigate ―the conditions, operations, and effect of the present land laws, to recommend such changes as are needed to affect the largest practicable disposition of the public lands to actual settlers, and to secure in permanence the fullest and most effective use of the resources of the public lands.‖ (1) In his landmark book, Our Land Heritage, Roy M. Robbins wrote, ―the administration (Roosevelt) was determined to settle the West with as large a population as possible, and that the farmer was to be favored at the expense of sheep and cattle interests . . . ‖ (2) The passage of the Kinkaid Act, (1904) the Enlarged Homestead Act (1909), the Three Year Homestead Act (1912), and the Stock-Raising Homestead Act (1916) encouraged filling the short grass plains with farmers, associated towns, and railroads by liberalizing the homestead laws. The new laws made it easier to claim public land and they increased the size of a homestead from 160 acres to 320 acres. Under the Kinkaid Act western Nebraska farmers received 640 acres. Despite the liberal laws and enforcement, there was little assurance farmers would move into the region until they were confident they could raise crops. In January 1907, in Denver, farmers, agriculture scientists, political figures, businessmen, and real estate promoters met for the first International Dry Farming Congress. The organization continued annual
Giving to the WHA (continued) We can write a check to WHA and designate specific funds to honor scholarship or help students attend the convention. We can write a check to the WHA endowment account to make sure the long-term future of the organization is secure. We just need to give some amount regardless of size and do it every year. Finally, we must attend the conventions and continue to encourage others to find meaning in the American West. meetings until World War I. Among many papers presented, H.W. Campbell offered his research on dryland farming at the Bethany, Nebraska, experiment station. Campbell believed that creating a ―dust mulch‖ (a layer of fine soil) atop the field reduced moisture evaporation. He argued the high plains had sufficient precipitation for crop production; however, evaporation robbed the plants of moisture. Fellow researchers at the meeting questioned Campbell‘s study, especially regarding wind erosion. At the end of the Dry Farming Congress, most delegates had already hurried to catch their trains when Chairman J. L. Donahue turned the meeting over to Vice-President Briggs. Donahue then introduced the following: ―Resolved that this Trans-Missouri Dry Farming Congress goes on record as approving the fundamental principles of soil culture as practiced by Prof. H. W. Campbell of Bethany, Nebraska.‖ The resolution was approved. Land agents, railroad real estate officials, state emigrant agents, and town boomers went to work promoting Scientific Dryland Farming. Science had discovered a way to remove the risk from farming the semiarid plains. (3) At its height the organization had 13,000 members and numerous followers. Campbell‘s Scientific Dryland Farming method was gospel for many wheat farmers. They ploughed fields to kill all weeds and turn under the stubble. Then they harrowed the land to break up all the clods of dirt. (When the threat of wind erosion became apparent in the 1920's the system was modified to allow for small hard clods to remain on the surface.) After the field was smooth and level, it was drilled and a chain dragged behind to cover the seed and assure a fine dust mulch. The extensive working of the soil not only left a dust mulch on the surface it also broke down the organic fibers that knitted the soil together below the surface. Necessary transportation to move wheat to markets and supply a large population with goods and services was the final barrier to development. Between 1900 and 1930 American railroads experienced their last surge of building with many branches onto the high plains. Anyone wanting to take part in America‘s last farming frontier had little choice except to move onto the high risk, short grass plains. (Continued Page 7)
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
Teachers and Committee on Teaching & Public Education By Brian Collier and Lindsey Passenger Wieck In the past year, our committee has worked to bring teachers to the WHA and to provide multiple opportunities to support and enrich their experiences at the conference. The Charles Redd Center has continued its support of a Teaching Award to help bring four teachers to the WHA. The 2010 winners of this award were: Berta Simic, Drew Clary, Mitchell Bradford, and Matthew Lamore. To win this award, K-12 teachers submit a lesson plan on the American West, and this year‘s winning lesson plans will soon be posted at http:// reddcenter.byu.edu. The Redd Center will generously 2010 Redd Center Award winners: Matthew fund these grants again in Lamore, Berta Simic, Mitchell Bradford, and 2011. Drew Clary. Our committee also wrote a Teaching American History Grant in 2009 that was not funded, but with the leadership of Linda Sargent Wood from NAU the grant was re-written, re-structured and improved and has now been funded for a million dollars. The WHA is partnered with this grant and we are excited for teachers from this region to come to the WHA and for scholars from the WHA to go to Northern Arizona. Our committee is grateful to Linda Wood for her hard work on this project and for agreeing to serve on the Committee on Teaching and Public Education. New committee members also include Peter Blodgett, the H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western Historical Manuscripts at the Huntington Library, and former teacher and ABD student Leisl Carr from UNLV. Our committee also received our second grant to bring a group of teachers from around the American West to Lake Tahoe as part of a Library of Congress Grant. This two-day workshop prepared teachers to use more Library of Congress sources in their classrooms and then allowed the teachers to stay for the WHA conference. The Committee on Teach- Jon Coleman, University of Notre Dame, discusses ing and Public Education his research with teachers Mitchell Bradford and Diana Libs, and Montana Historical Society’s Marwas happy to host a lunch tha Kohl. for K-12 teachers for the second year. They received a free copy of a recent book and time to meet with the authors over lunch to discuss this scholarship. This continues to be a fantastic opportunity for K-12 teachers and authors alike. The committee thanks Quintard Taylor, Jon Coleman, Leah Glaser, and Steve Amerman for their participation this year. Finally, thanks to all the teachers K-12 who attend the conference and are interested in the role of teaching in our field. The transmission of knowledge through teaching is certainly worthwhile and we thank you all for your support. 7
WHA Oral History Project Announcement By Gregory Smoak The 2011 WHA meeting in Oakland will be a time to look forward to our organization‘s second half century, but it will also present an opportunity to reflect on where we have been. We are at an important juncture as an organization – old enough to have developed a legacy yet young enough that some of our founders and oldest members are still with us. Now is the time to capture their stories and our organization‘s history. Beginning at Oakland meeting, the WHA in association with the American West Center and the Marriott Library at the University of Utah will begin a multi year project to collect and preserve an oral history of the Western History Association. Our plan is to begin with video interviews of the WHA‘s founders and most senior members and then in subsequent years expand our pool of interviewees to encompass a broad view of the organization‘s history. We will have space set aside to carry out interviews in Oakland and will also seek ways to interview those who may not be able to travel to the meeting. We hope to do approximately ten interviews at each meeting. We welcome your suggestions and comments concerning the project, potential interviewees, etc. See you in Oakland!
Postscript (continued) Easy homestead laws and enforcement, confident scientific dryland farming, and modern transportation made the gamble attractive. Skilled land promoters knew how to populate the vast region. Once settlers were on the land, they had no realistic choice but to stay. Those who abandoned their land left exposed fields behind. Until a better way evolved, farmers were stuck with Campbell‘s system. Despite many warnings, the danger of wind erosion went unheeded. By 1920, the short grass high plains were a time bomb waiting for the combination of drought, depression, and high wind to ravish the land and its people. The West‘s political and business leaders who wanted growth achieved their goal. Farmers and the nation paid, and are still paying, a high price for the folly. Now the vast region is nearly depopulated, and towns and railroads are abandoned; however, all is not lost. Since 1980, federal farm programs returned millions of acres to grass, and farming methods have greatly improved. No American is more aware and fearful of wind erosion than the high plains farmer. Yet, again the call for growth at all hazards is on the wind. (1) Roy M. Robbins Our Land Heritage: The Public Domain 17761936, p.343 (2) Ibid. p 362 (3) Steinel, Alvin T and Working, D. W, History of Agriculture in Colorado, State Agriculture College 1926, p. 266
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
The WHA Honors Parlimentarian’s 32 Years of Service to the WHA By Danielle Demarest The Lake Tahoe Conference marked the 32nd year that Tom Alexander, the Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Professor of Western American History Emeritus at Brigham Young University, served as the WHA‘s unofficial parliamentarian. Over the past three plus decades, Tom has volunteered his time and passion to the WHA to help oversee the proceedings at meetings during the annual conference. Alexander was born in Logan, Utah, and he attended the public schools of Ogden, Utah. He earned an associate of science degree from Weber State University (1955), bachelor's and master's degrees at Utah State University (1960, 1961), and a Ph. D. in American history at the University of California at Berkeley (1965). After attaining his Ph.D. he served on the BYU faculty from 1964 to 2004, and he has taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, the University of California at Berkeley, Utah State University, and the University of Utah. Thomas Alexander Along with his teaching credentials, Alexander served as the director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies from 1980-1992. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of twenty-four books and monographs and more than a hundred fifty articles. He specializes in Utah History, Western History, Environmental History, and Mormon History. Some of his books include: A Clash of Interests: Interior Department and Mountain West, 1863-1896 (1977); Mormons and Gentiles: A History of Salt Lake City (1985) (with James B. Allen); Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890-1930 (1986, 2nd ed. 1996); The Rise of Multiple-Use Management in the Mountain West: A History of Region 4 of the Forest Service (1987); Things in Heaven and Earth, the Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff, A Mormon Prophet (1991, 2nd ed. 1993); Utah, the Right Place: The Official Centennial History (1995, 2nd ed., 1996, 3rd printing 2007); Grace and Grandeur: A History of Salt Lake City (2002); and The Historical Dictionary of Mormonism (3rd ed., 2008) (with Davis Bitton). Alexander joined the WHA in 1964 and started acting as parliamentarian in 1978 at the Hot Springs meeting. Attention was called to the fact that the WHA lacked formal operational procedures when fireworks erupted during the business meeting the previous year. Alexander was approached by President-Elect, Rodman Paul, and asked to serve as parliamentarian to help smooth over the meeting process. He has been asked every year since then to continue in this important capacity. (Continued Next Column) 8
WHA Partners with Western Schools The Western History Association will partner with northern Arizona school districts and Northern Arizona University in a new Teaching American History Grant to boost history education. Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) will serve as the lead education agency in the $1 million, 3-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. WHA Executive Director, Kevin J. Fernlund, who is also an Associate Professor of History and Education at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, will serve as a liaison and advisor to the project, which includes the content course, "Moving West: From the Appalachians to the Rockies." Dr. Fernlund and other WHA members will be directly involved in the training and mentoring of 4th -12th grade history teachers. Participating teachers will receive continuing education or master's degree credit. There are 14 Northern Arizona school districts involved, spread out over a very large and geographically isolated service area, which includes proximity to, and schools within, several Indian reservations—the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, and Yavapai. The districts serve a total of 24,000 students; 44% qualify for F/R lunch and 50% are minorities (the vast majority whom are Native American). Courses begin January 2011. Alexander first became interested in parliamentary procedure during high school and college where he took debate classes. His teachers and professors insisted that he become familiar with parliamentary procedure so they could conduct mock-legislature sessions. He has continued to be interested in parliamentary procedure to this day. Alexander currently lives in Provo, Utah, with his wife. He is active in community service and in church work. He has served as a neighborhood chairman, as a member of the Provo City Landmarks Commission, and as a member of the Capitol Arts Placement Subcommittee. He currently serves as First Assistant in his High Priests Group Leadership in the Edgemont 11th Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife are the parents of five children and grandparents of six children. The office of the WHA would like to express our gratitude for the services Tom Alexander has provided the organization with for the past 32 years, and hopes that he will continue his role as parliamentarian for many years to come.
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
2010 Prize & Award Winners The following awards were announced at the Awards Banquet during the Western History Association Conference on Friday, October 15, 2010: Arrington-Prucha Prize, given for the best essay of the year on the history of religion in the West: Joshua Paddison for ―Anti-Catholicism and Race in Post Civil War San Francisco,‖ Pacific Historical Review (November 2009). Autry Public History Prize: American West Center at the University of Utah for the Utah Curriculum Project. Award of Merit, annual award recognizing an individual for outstanding contributions to western history, and especially to the Western History Association: Joan Jensen. Ray Allen Billington Prize, annual award for the best journal article in western history not published in the Western Historical Quarterly: David Igler for ―On Coral Reefs, Volcanoes, Gods, and Patriotic Geology; Or, James Dwight Dana Assembles the Pacific Basin," Pacific Historical Review (February 2010). Bolton-Cutter Award, for the best article on Spanish borderlands history: Carlos Blanton for ―The Citizenship Sacrifice: Mexican Americans, the Saunders-Leonard Report, and the Politics of Immigration, 1951–1952,” Western Historical Quarterly (Autumn 2009). Caughey-Western History Association Prize, for the best book of the year in western history: Elliott West for The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story (Pivotal Moments in American History), Oxford University Press (2009). Charles Redd Center Teaching Western History Award: Drew Clary, Matt LaMore, Mitchell Bradford, Berta Simic Dwight L. Smith (ABC-CLIO) Award, a biennial prize given to the author or editor of a significant bibliography or research tool on any aspect of the history of the American West: Marsha Gallagher and Steve Witte of the Joslyn Art Museum for North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied, Volume 1, May 1832-April 1833, translated by William J. Orr, Paul Schach, and Dieter Karch, University of Oklahoma Press (2008). Bert M. Fireman Award, for the best student essay published in the Western Historical Quarterly: Todd Holmes for ―The Economic Roots of Reaganism: Corporate Conservatives, Po-
litical Economy, and the United Farm Workers‘ Movement, 1965-1970,‖ Western Historical Quarterly (Spring 2010). Honorary Life Membership, awarded by the Western History Association president: Theda Perdue and Michael Green and Kathleen Underwood. Huntington –WHA Martin Ridge Fellowship, one-month fellowship to the Huntington Library for study in western history: Juliette Maiorana of the University of California San Diego. Jensen-Miller Award, awarded annually for the best article in the field of women and gender in the North American West: Lori Flores for ―An Unladylike Strike Fashionably Clothed: Mexicana and Anglo Women Garment Workers Against TexSon, 1959–1963,‖ Pacific Historical Review (August 2009). John C. Ewers Award: Pekka Hämäläinen for The Comanche Empire, Yale University Press (2008). Sara Jackson Graduate Student Award, to support graduate student research: Jean-Paul deGuzman, UCLA. Walter Rundell Award, to support dissertation research on a topic in western history: Max Krochmal, Duke University. Robert G. Athearn Award: Margaret Jacobs for White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940, University of Nebraska Press (2009). Robert M. Utley Award, annual award for the best book published on the military history of the frontier and western North America: Robert Wooster for The American Military Frontiers: The US Army in the West 1783-1900, University of New Mexico Press (2009). Oscar O. Winther Award, for the best article published in the Western Historical Quarterly: Kip Curtis for ―Producing a Gold Rush: National Ambitions and the Northern Rocky Mountains, 1853-1863,‖ (Autumn 2009). Trennert-Iverson Conference Scholarships: Annie Hanshew and Max Krochmal. Indian Student Conference Scholarship to support Indian student attendees at the WHA conference: Angel Hinzo and Julie Reed.
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
2012 Call for Papers 52nd Annual Conference of the Western History Association Denver, Colorado, October 4-7, 2012 Boundary Markers and Border Crossers: Finding the West and Westerner SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
The boundaries of the American West are malleable and have changed over time. Less a unified entity than a collection of regions, the places we now call the West have gone by many names: Indian country, New Spain, Louisiana, Deseret, and Mexico, to mention a few identifiers that infer sovereignty as well as location. The West has been contested ground, but there is more to the West than national sovereignty. Natives, explorers, conquerors, colonizers, sojourners, and settlers, all brought their own overlapping senses of order and community to the West. Each of these groups set out to establish boundaries of one sort or another. All of them failed to a greater or lesser degree. This is one of western history‘s ironies: yesterday‘s border crossers mark boundaries to impede tomorrow‘s newcomers. The rooted and the rootless struggle for sustenance in the western soil. Yet westerners old and new somehow became native to the place while making their own histories on the ground that they claimed. That process continues. How shall we interpret this continuously evolving West? Western historians are invited to re-examine the history of an American West that is being made anew in our own time. The nature of borders – whether political, cultural, or other – as well as the places that they enclose are fitting subjects for your consideration. The origins, implications, and complications of a multicultural society beg to be revealed. The lives of the famous and obscure have much to tell us. The environment has tales to tell. Public historians of the West, bring your unique and important experiences to the table. The practice of history is ultimately a collective effort that belongs in the public arena. In Denver the community of western historians will meet again so that we may learn from one another. When submitting an entire session or panel, include a brief abstract that outlines the purpose of the session and designate one participant as the contact person. Each paper proposal, whether individual or part of a session, should include a one- paragraph abstract and a one-page c.v., including address, phone, and email address for each participant. Indicate equipment needs, if any. The committee assumes that all listed individuals have agreed to participate. Email each submission, with supporting materials, as a single document (PDF) to: email@example.com or send by mail service to: Brian Frehner, Department of History, Oklahoma State University, 115 Murray Hall, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078-3054. SUBMISSIONS SHOULD BE SENT BY SEPTEMBER 1, 2011. The 2012 Program Committee Co-chairs: Brian Frehner, Oklahoma State University, and Fay Yarbrough, University of Oklahoma. 10
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
In Memoriam David J. Weber, a leading scholar of the Spanish borderlands, died August 20, 2010 of complications related to multiple myeloma. He was 69. Weber was the Robert and Nancy Dedman Chair in History at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and at the time of his death was serving as the Vice-President of the Professional Division of the American Historical Association. A native of Buffalo, New York, and a graduate of the public schools of Cheektowaga, New York and the State University of New York at Fredonia, Weber earned a Ph.D. in Latin American history at the University of New Mexico in 1967. Before coming to SMU in 1976, Weber also taught at San Diego State University (1967-76), at the Universidad de Costa Rica as a Fulbright Lecturer (1970) and at Harvard University as a visiting professor (2002). While in graduate school at New Mexico, Weber was drawn to the Spanish borderlands by Donald Cutter, the university‘s borderlands historian. Trained in both Latin American and United States history, Weber would spend his career working at their intersection, ultimately writing or editing some 27 books and 70 articles. As he wrote in 1999, ―if there is any thread that runs through [my] work, it might be that I like to take what is familiar and make it strange: to put westering Anglo American trappers in northern Mexico instead of the American West; to find Mexican Americans in the history of the ‗American‘ Southwest; to tie the ‗American‘ Southwest into Mexican history, to make the Spanish frontier in North America harder for American historians to ignore; to connect the borderlands, which Latin American historians have dismissed as a part of U.S. history, with other peripheral areas of Spanish America.‖ His dissertation, published as The Taos Trappers: The Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, 1540-1846 (New Mexico, 1971), examined early Anglo-Americans who came into New Mexico. The empirical and thematic scope of his work expanded considerably in the early 1970s, which Weber credited to his colleagues at San Diego State, his experiences living in Southern California and in Costa Rica on a Fulbright, and his Latino students (who he later wrote ―forced me to think about why borderlands history ended in 1821‖). In 1973, the University of New Mexico published Foreigners in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans, which became a foundational work in the burgeoning field of Mexican-American history and is still in print and widely used in classrooms. The Mexican Frontier, 18211846: The American Southwest Under Mexico (New Mexico, 1983), treated the region as a cohesive unit in the context of Mexican history, rather than as separate state histories within U.S. history. Weber‘s final two major books reflected the continued expansion of his interests and helped to secure the integration of borderlands history into the larger study of the colonial Americas as a whole. In The Spanish Frontier in North America (Yale University Press, 1992), he offered a synthetic account of the colonial period, including both the contemporary U.S. Southwest but also present-day Florida and Louisiana, that he hoped would prompt ―American historians [to] take the borderlands more seriously.‖ In Bárbaros: Spanish and Their Sav11
ages in The Age of Enlightenment (Yale University Press, 2005), Weber placed developments in late northern New Spain in the broader empire-wide context of Spanish encounters with independent Indians peoples in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a period in which Latin Americanists generally cease to think about such encounters. Particularly later in his career, Weber‘s work attracted widespread honors and recognition. Two governments gave Weber the highest honor they can bestow on foreigners: in 2002 King Juan Carlos of Spain named him to membership in the Real Orden de Isabel la Católica, the Spanish equivalent of a knighthood, and in 2005 Mexico named him to the Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca (the Order of the Aztec Eagle). He was one of a few U.S. historians elected to the Mexican Academy of History. Honors in the United States included his 2007 induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Weber was as generous to others as he was invested in his own work. He was widely known as a sympathetic critic and reader of manuscripts and a devoted and effective teacher. At SMU, he chaired the department of History from 1979 to 1986 and received the university‘s Willis Tate Distinguished Teaching Award in 2010. After years of mentoring M.A. students, he played a key role in founding SMU‘s history PhD program, which began admitting students in 1998, and the university‘s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, which opened its doors in 1996. Weber directed the Clements Cen- Yale University Press, 2009 ter until 2010. The accomplishments of the students and postdoctoral fellows that he mentored were a source of great pride to him. In the profession at large, Weber was president of the Conference of U.S.-Mexico Historians (1990) and the Western History Association (1990-91), and served on the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians and as the Vice President of the Professional Division of the American Historical Association. Weber is survived by his wife, Carol Bryant Weber, their two children, three grandchildren, three siblings, and the countless friends, students, and colleagues whose work and lives were touched by his presence. By Benjamin H. Johnson, Southern Methodist University
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
In Memoriam (continued) Gilbert C. Fite, 25th President of the Western History Association, passed away this year at the age of 92. Fite was a prominent agricultural historian and served as the President of Eastern Illinois University from 1971 –1976. Fite received his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and his main research interest was American agricultural and economic history. He was a well published author, writing nine books and more than 60 articles. Fite is survived by his wife June; two sons; and grandchildren. For a full obituary please visit: http://castle.eiu.edu/~pubaff/ headline/2010/0721201090.php. This remembrance is reprinted with permission from the New Mexico Historical Review. For two full generations Ferenc (Frank) Morton Szasz profoundly influenced the lives of thousands of students and colleagues at the University of New Mexico. From his arrival at UNM in 1967 until his untimely death from leukemia on 20 June 2010, Frank Szasz, in his classroom lectures, his seminars, and in his connections with other professors, markedly shaped the UNM Department of History. And in his writings, particularly in the fields of American religion and science and popular culture, his influence reached out to untold numbers of readers. Born on 14 February 1940 in Davenport, Iowa, Szasz was the son of Ferenc Paul Szasz, an immigrant engineer, and Mary Plummer Szasz, a high school English teacher. Early on he became a voracious reader, his interests including a huge number of comic books. After completing public schools in Bucyrus, Ohio, Szasz enrolled in nearby Ohio Wesleyan University and, through the molding influence of Professor Richard W. Smith, graduated with a history major. Next came graduate school at the University of Rochester in New York, where he specialized in American social and intellectual history under the tutelage of Milton Berman and Hayden White, among others. His doctoral dissertation, which focused on the ―divided mind‖ of American Protestantism from 1880 to 1930, eventually became his first book.1 Even before Frank completed his dissertation, he landed a fill-in position at UNM in Albuquerque in 1967. The temporary slot turned into a full-time position, and Szasz never left UNM. He was teaching at the university when the serious illness overtook him.
Szasz quickly gained the reputation of a warm, encouraging classroom instructor. Gradually, his enrollments increased until his survey and upper-division courses were ―packed out.‖ In addition to the introductory survey of U.S. history, he offered a two-semester sequence in American social and intellectual history and, along the way, gave courses on American religions and historical biography. After his colleague Gerald Nash retired, Szasz also took over the huge World War II course they had previously team taught. As he did in his writing, Szasz larded his lectures with stories, pen portraits, and vignettes. His lecture notes were a wonder to behold. They began with his packed, unreadable hand-written scribbles on legal-size yellow sheets and cascaded with frequent stapled emendations eventuating in lengthy, unwieldy sheets no one else could have used, let alone read. Even Szasz admitted to his abominable pen tracks, thanking two persons on one occasion for ―deciphering my handwriting, some of which, I discovered, I couldn‘t read myself.‖2 A key shaping influence in Frank‘s further education was his fruitful year spent as a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Exeter in England during 1984–1985. His teaching of English students, his work with erudite colleagues, and his travel in Great Britain and on the European continent—all these experiences broadened his perspectives, deepened his thinking, and challenged his work as a professional historian. Frank launched his publication career with a monograph on the history of American religion. After several delays, his much revised dissertation appeared as The Divided Mind of Protestant America, 1880–1930 in 1982. It was a valuable study of the enormous impact of higher criticism, modernism, and Darwinian evolution in that explosive conflict among American Protestants, particularly among Mainline Protestants and fundamentalists and evangelicals. In 1988, a half-dozen years later, he published another valuable monograph, The Protestant Clergy in the Great Plains and Mountain West, 1865–1915. He had undertaken this volume, he told an interviewer, because churches were such important community builders and refuges for Plains peoples.3 The most significant of Szasz‘s studies of religion in the United States is his Religion in the Modern American West published in 2000. This notable work, the best examination historians have of the subject, clearly illustrates his research and writing strategies. Szasz makes abundant uses of published books and essays, newspapers, and manuscript sources. But he also cites illuminating ephemeral sources gathered during his career-long plundering of vertical files at libraries and historical societies. Equally notable is the author‘s balance. He deals with multiple church and nonchurch groups, a full run of denominations, Jewish and Asian groups, and alternate faiths; but no discernable bias undermines any of his discussions. Here, and throughout his career, Szasz avoided taking sides in historical arguments.4 Although some of these essays and books on American religion dealt glancingly with scientific topics, Szasz gradually began to explore this subject after residing several years in New Mexico in the shadows of one of the country‘s most important concentrations of science and technology. (Continued Page 13) 12
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
In Memoriam (continued) This new interest surfaced with a huge bang in his smoothly written volume The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion July 16, 1945, appearing in 1984. It became Szasz‘s best selling volume, widely and positively reviewed and adopted in many classrooms. Readers soon discovered that Szasz could deal vividly and invitingly with complex scientific subjects. The New York Times reviewer called the volume a ―tightly focused, lucidly written and thoroughly researched book‖ that provided a ―concise and cogent [overview], a valuable introduction to how our nuclear dilemma began.‖ 5 Szasz continued and expanded his work on science in the American West. An important outcome of that mushrooming interest was his book The British Scientists and the Manhattan Project: The Los Alamos Years (1992). As Szasz told one journalist, his own background as an immigrant‘s son and his fascination with the general subject made this topic particularly appealing to him.6 Along the way, he also wrote several essays on other New Mexico scientific topics, some of which were gathered in Larger Than Life: New Mexico in the Twentieth Century published in 2006. In the last year of his life, Szasz completed a manuscript that united two of his interests, nuclear science and comic books; the book, tentatively titled ―Atomic Comics,‖ is currently under consideration at a university press. Throughout his life, Szasz also nourished a strong interest in the life and career of Abraham Lincoln. First as a boy and later as a practicing historian, Szasz read numerous books on Lincoln and made presentations on that topic before dozens of audiences in New Mexico. After Szasz began regularly visiting Scotland with his wife Margaret and wrote Scots in the North American West, 1790-1917 (2000), he decided to join two of his fascinations: Scotland and Abraham Lincoln. The result was an intriguing and helpful work of comparative history, Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns: Connected Lives and Legends, which appeared in 2008 during the bicentennial of Lincoln‘s birth. This expanding interest in Abraham Lincoln continued into his final days, with Szasz drafting a book on Lincoln and religion while in the hospital for chemotherapy treatment. Perhaps even more significant, although less quantifiable, are Frank‘s personal influences on his students and colleagues. He practiced peace and kindness. His family summed up his character: ―the secret of his appeal lay in his compassion, knowledge, ability to listen, his honesty, his humility and his sense of humor.‖7 To the multitudes of students he taught—perhaps more than twenty thousand in forty-three years in the classroom—he became a friend, an encourager, an older brother, perhaps even an indulgent father figure. In my twenty years as his colleague, I never saw Frank foment conflict; instead, he avoided divisive issues in his classes, departmental meetings, and collegial relationships. Graduate students came to know that he would encourage and support their efforts and find ways to steer them away from the numerous shoals threatening their careers and down avenues that led to the completion of their master‘s or doctoral degrees. Undergraduates and graduate students lined up for his courses or at his door for informative lectures, helpful seminars, and, above all, kind words. A key to Szasz‘s winsome relationships was his indefatigable
sense of humor. He loved the phrases of comic books: ‘em, ahem, er, zip, zap, gadzooks, and even an occasional shazam. He often would say, ―Dick, have you heard the one about . . .‖ and out would come a schmaltzy story bringing widespread chuckles. There was, too, the story of his reading manuscripts to his rabbit in the backyard. But, Frank confessed, when some unkind predator snatched away his lop-eared companion, his prose style deteriorated—noticeably. Soon after my family moved to Albuquerque, we heard a strange buzzing in the trees. Yep, Frank told us, that happened every year about this time. The maestro struck up the beat with ―a vone, a two, a three,‖ and kept up the rhythm and cicada noise for the next three or four months. Frank‘s boyish ways showed up in his love for comic books, children‘s literature, and folk tales (e.g., Aesop‘s fables). He often recalled these childhood and boyhood readings and put them variously to work. For example, he saw the perfect fit for Eeyore, the grumbling, pessimistic donkey in Winnie the Pooh stories, in one of our down-at-the-mouth history colleagues. Frank was a master storyteller, one who savored jokes and chuckles. Once, he asked my librarian wife, Joyce, and our librarian daughter, Jackie, to read a collection of animal tales he had written and, we were informed, had first been told to his daughter Maria. Joyce and Jackie were smitten with the delightful tales, urging Frank—twice, in fact—to see the collection into print. Joyce even used the stories to positive effect in her elementary library classes. She and her students thought them remarkably similar to University of New Mexico Press, 1984. the classic Frog and Toad yarns. I recall, with unavoidable recollection, that I once disappointed Frank. He enjoyed giving presentations on Abraham Lincoln sponsored by the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities, around New Mexico. I thought he wanted a respite from the talks, and I did not push for renewal of his program for the next year. When notified that his Lincoln presentation would not be continued, he expressed great disappointment. And I realized that I, largely, had been the cause of the nonrenewal. I admitted my role to him and knew his letdown. To disappoint Frank like that was depressing. I vowed it would never happen again, but the dark memory remains. Frank rarely philosophized about life, his teaching and writing, or the historical profession. He did not aim at cutting-edge or pathbreaking historical studies, even though some of his publications covered or uncovered new subjects. He preferred, instead, to tell informational stories that readers could understand and enjoy. 13
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
In Memoriam (continued) Still, on a few occasions he expressed himself on larger issues. He told David Holtby, his friend and long-time editor at the University of New Mexico Press, that he was intrigued with ―ultimate questions‖: ―one about our future as a people and [the] other about our individual destinies.‖ ―Atomic energy and its potential for total destruction and religion and its potential for redemption and eternal life‖—those were among the ―ultimate questions,‖ Frank believed.8 For nearly thirty years, I enjoyed the warm friendship of Frank Szasz. We edited two books together, exchanged essays to read (he was a superb reader of manuscripts), and nourished a mutual bibliomania.9 As he did for so many others, Frank chuckled his way into my mind and heart. A tall, slim, willowy man, he had a huge, warm, and expansive spirit. Mention Frank Szasz and smiles capture the scene. His interests were catholic, his energy inviting and encouraging, and his drive dynamic. What Doris Kearns Goodwin said of Szasz‘s hero Abraham Lincoln was also true of Frank: he was ―a man of golden character.‖ His impact has already begun to move into a second notable stage, the inspiring legacy of a remarkable man. The Spanish phrase— pasó por aquí (―passed by here‖) encapsulates this commendable life. Frank Szasz expanded our minds while he warmed our hearts. By Richard W. Etulain, 39th President of the WHA Notes: 1. Dr. Ferenc Morton Szasz (Albuquerque), 22 September 2006, www.exactingeditor.com/SzaszNewMexico.html, 29 pages. See also, Margaret Connell Szasz, et al., email message to Richard W. Etulain, 6 August 2010. 2.Ferenc Morton Szasz, The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion, July 16, 1945 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984), x. 3.Gregorsky, 12. 4.Szasz also edited Religion in the West (Manhattan, Kans.: Sunflower University Press, 1984), Religion in Modern New Mexico, with Richard W. Etulain (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997), and Great Mysteries of the West (Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum Publishing, 1993). 5.Szasz, The Day the Sun Rose Twice, on back book jacket. 6.Gregorsky, 4. 7.Connell Szasz, email message to Etulain, 6 August 2010. 8.David Van Holtby, email message to Richard W. Etulain, 27 June, 2 July 2010. 9.Szasz and Etulain, Religion in Modern New Mexico, and Etulain and Szasz, The American West in 2000: Essays in Honor of Gerald D. Nash (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003).
Richard Etulain is professor emeritus from the University of New Mexico, where he was the director of the Center for the American West and editor of the New Mexico Historical Review. He is the editor of Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010).
Peggy Pascoe was the Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History and Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon. With family and friends at her side, she died on July 23, 2010, at home in Eugene, Oregon, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 55. Peggy is survived by her life-partner of 30 years, Linda Long, and their two daughters, Ellie and Joie Pascoe-Long. At the time of her death, Peggy was a widely admired member of the UO faculty. She will be profoundly missed by her colleagues and the many scholars and students who were deeply influenced by her pioneering research and teaching on the history of race, gender, and sexuality. Her death is an enormous loss to those who knew her personally, professionally, or both. Peggy Pascoe‘s book, What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America (Oxford University Press, 2009), won five major national awards: the Ellis W. Hawley Prize (for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States) and the Lawrence W. Levine Prize (for the best book in American cultural history) from the Organization of American Historians; the John H. Dunning Prize (for best book in United States history) and the Joan Kelley Memorial Prize in Women's History from the American Historical Association; and the J. Willard Hurst Prize from the Law and Society Association for best book in socioloegal history. Pascoe was also the author of Relations of Rescue: The Search for Female Moral Authority in the American West, 1874-1939 (Oxford University Press, 1990), based on her dissertation. All of her work explored themes related to the multicultural past, especially but not only in the U.S. West, and women‘s complex place in that past. Her prize-winning book on miscegenation law posed challenging questions about why and how relations of race, gender, and sexuality in marriage had been historically structured as questions of self-evident nature rather than social power. Her first book, which examined Protestant home missions in several western cities, exposed the disquieting dilemmas of Victorian women‘s efforts to rescue their Asian-American, Native American, and Mormon sisters on the basis of certainty about the humanitarian values underlying female moral authority. By illustrating how those values ran headlong into cultural differences, Peggy presented a history in which women‘s passionate efforts to combat sexual violence and power simultaneously helped to solidify racial and ethnic domination. All of Peggy‘s scholarship buttressed the case for a more chastened, less comfortable, but also far more interesting vision of intercultural relations in both women‘s and western history. Peggy was a consummate professional who gave unstintingly of her time and talent to such organizations as the American Studies Association, the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Western History Association, and the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. She served as co-president of the Coordinating Council for Women in History from 1997 to 2000. (Continued Page 15) 14
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION FALL 2010
In Memoriam (continued) She was a co-editor of the American Crossroads series at the University of California Press from 1996 until her death. In 2009, she was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for fostering diversity at the University of Oregon. She took particular pride in promoting the work of graduate students and mentoring junior faculty members and she took every opportunity to do both, right up to the end. The encouragement she offered to young scholars was legendary, and her ability to go to the heart of every problem, with diplomatic skill and calm, will be sorely missed by her university and professional colleagues. Pascoe graduated from Montana State University with a B.A. in history in 1977 and earned her M.A. in Women‘s History at Sarah Lawrence College in 1980, where she worked with Gerda Lerner, and a Ph.D. in American history Oxford University Press, 2010 at Stanford University in 1986, where she worked with Estelle Freedman. A fund in Peggy‘s honor has been established through the University of Oregon Foundation to support graduate student research in the UO Department of History. Contributions can be made to the UO Foundation: University of Oregon Foundation, 360 E. 10th Avenue, Suite 202, Eugene, OR 97401-3273 or online at https://supportuo.uofoundation.org/ with a note designating gift to the Peggy Pascoe Graduate Student Fund in History. By Ellen Herman, Colleague and Friend William H. Goetzmann, authority on the exploration of the U.S. frontier and American West, and long time member of the Western History Association, passed away this year at the age of 80. Goetzmann received his Ph.D from Yale University in 1957 and he remained at Yale teaching history and American studies until 1964, when he took up at the University of Texas, Austin. In 1966, Goetzmann won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, Exploration and Empire: The Explorer and the Scientist in the Winning of the American West. His other works include Army Exploration in the American West, 1803-63 and New Lands New Men: America and the Second Great Age of Discovery. Goetzmann is survived by a son, daughter, and many grandchildren. See Stephen Pyne’s Remembrance, “A Beautiful Mind: William Goetzmann (1930-2010)” at www.stephenpyne.com/ a_beautiful_mind_william_h_goetzmann_1930_2010_103410.htm.
Craig H. Miner, the Willard W. Garvey Professor of Business History at Wichita State University, died Sunday, Sept. 12, following a lengthy illness. He was 65. Miner, a WSU alumnus, left a doctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado in 1969 to join the Wichita State faculty. In 1972 he became an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 1978. Ten years later, Dr. Miner was named distinguished professor, and his endowed professorship began in 2006. He taught courses for Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the W. Frank Barton School of Business, including courses in economic history; Kansas and local history; U.S. 18651900; and advanced research and writing. Dr. Miner served as chair of the History Department from 1998-2004 and director of the public history program from 1998-1999. He was an expert in the history of Kansas and business history and the author of about 40 books.
Miner’s last book, A Most Magnificent Machine, was published posthumously by University Press of Kansas,
He served on the WSU Centennial committee and the University Press of Kansas Editorial Board. He was on committees for about 20 organizations throughout the years. Dr. Miner was often nominated for Board of Trustees Excellence in Teaching and Academy for Effective Teaching Awards. He won more than half a dozen other awards for his work. A vast array of subjects kept Dr. Miner's interest. He had considered the possibility of returning to school to study Egyptology. He gave instruction in amateur astronomy. Dr. Miner also enjoyed bicycling, classical guitar, book collecting and classic cars. He married Susan (Suzi) Miner in August 1967. They have two sons, Hal and Wilson. Source: Wichita State University
Dear WHA Members, Please share the joy this holiday season by considering a contribution to the WHA. Your gift will help us reach our goal to endow fully our awards program. To donate, visit our website or make your check payable to the WHA Endowment Fund. You may send your gift to: Western History Association 152C University Center Dr. One University Blvd. UMSL St. Louis, MO 63121 May your holiday be filled with warmth and happiness. Best Regards The WHA Staff www.westernhistoryassociation.com
152 C University Center Dr. One University Blvd. UMSL St. Louis, MO 63121
Fall 2010 WHA Newsletter