The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 350
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
historical conference would be complete without an inclusion of the sub-
ject. Seventh-grade Texas history books now compete to ensure that pub-
lic school students become acquainted with new research discoveries.
Such enthusiasm for the history of Texas Mexicans did not always exist.
Before 1980, university presses hardly took an interest in publishing
monographs on Tejanos. Textbooks covered the Mexican Americans'
role in the Texas story incompletely or not at all. University lecturers
failed to mention Mexicans after explaining that Santa Anna's hordes
had slaughtered Anglo Americans at the Alamo, as if Mexican Americans
disappeared after 1836.
It cannot be argued that before the 197os there existed no publica-
tions on Texas Mexicans to be included in a general survey of Texas his-
tory.2 Available by then were the works of a small number of men and
women with historical consciousness who, since the 1930s, had pro-
duced instructive studies regarding "Latin Americans" in Texas. These
writers included the well-known Carlos E. Castafieda (history), George I.
Sinchez (education), and Jovita Gonzalez (folklore and literature).3
There was also the now distinguished historian F6lix D. Almariz Jr.
(University of Texas at San Antonio) who was writing about Tejanos by
the early 197os, albeit on Borderlands themes.4
Several explanations lie behind the general omission before the 1970s
of Mexican-descent people from the body of Texas historical literature.
One may be attributed to the same reason cited by Walter L. Buenger
and Robert A. Calvert for the tenacity of the shelf life of truth in Texas
history: Texans felt very comfortable with old myths and equally at ease
with post-World War II consensus history.5 Second, like women and
other minorities, Mexican Americans did not fit into the triumphalist
myth that gripped Texas history until the last few decades of the twenti-
eth century. Historians seemed bent solely on affirming the virtues of
the Texas war for independence, the Republic of Texas, and the fron-
tier. This "Ideals of the Republic" approach to history cast Mexican
2 For the pre-197o literature on the subject, see Arnoldo De Le6n, "Texas Mexicans: Twentieth
Century Interpretations," in Walter L. Buenger and Robert A. Calvert (eds.), Texas Through Tme:
EvolvnglInterpretatzons (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1991), 20-49.
9 Strictly speaking, this cohort did not write what current scholarship defines as "Tejano histo-
ry." The three were products of different times whose commitment to writing about Mexican
Americans was motivated by reasons other than the ones that impelled Chicano historians. See
Gonzales and Gonzales (eds.), En AquelEntonces, xlil-xiv.
4 An early publication was F6lix D. Almariz Jr., "The Historical Heritage of the Mexican
American in Nineteenth Century Texas: An Interpretation," in The Role of the Mexican American in
the History of the Southwest (Edinburg: Pan American College, Inter-American Institute, 1969),
' Waiter L. Buenger and Robert A. Calvert, "Introduction. The Shelf Life of Truth in Texas,"
in Buenger and Calvert (eds.), Texas Through Time, ix-x.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/418/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.