The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

The rise of museums in various parts of the state is a sign of
the awakening of the people to the importance of their own
locality. The San Jacinto Museum of History is scheduled to
open its doors to the public on April 21, and at the present time
the board is considering the appointment of a director, archivist
and librarian, and assistant archivist. The museum will be housed
in the San Jacinto Memorial Building on the San Jacinto battle-
field. The five trustees, appointed through the joint action of
the State Board of Control and the San Jacinto State Park Com-
mission, are George A. Hill, chairman; L. W. Kemp, W. B. Bates,
Alfred C. Finn and Mrs. Madge I-Iearnc, all of Houston.
On November 7, 1938, there was filed in the office of the Sec-
retary of State the charter of the San Jacinto Museum of His-
tory Association. This Association has the same board of trustees
and the same officers as the museum itself. Its purpose is to
stimulate interest in the museum and to raise funds for its
The trustees have divided Texas history into seven periods
which are to be "revisualized" in the museum. I note that the
last period entitled "Texas' Statehood Until the Civil War," ends
in 1861. I am moved to inquire why the story should stop in
1861. Surely something has happened in Texas since 1861 that
is worthy of consideration in a history museum. Practically the
whole ranch cattle industry has grown up since that time and
the oil industry was not even dreamed of in 1861. The drill-
stem from the first Texas oil well is likely to be of more interest
to future Texans than the shoe from the horse of some seventeenth
century wanderer in Texas of whom nothing but the horseshoe
survives. In our desire for perspective, let us bear in mind that
foreground is as important as background.
The central unit of the Texas Memorial Museum on the campus
of the University of Texas has been completed. It was temporarily
opened to the public for the first time during the Thanksgiving
holidays, November 24-27 inclusive. This museum fulfilled a
life-long desire of Professor James Edwin Pearce whose anthro-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 31, 2016.

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