Just in time for the Battle of Flowers Parade 2014 this Friday!
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Collection at the Alamo Research Center is the official repository of the Battle of Flowers Association Records. Since 1895 (they became the Association in 1909), this group of primarily San Antonio women have organized and hosted the centerpiece of San Antonio’s biggest celebration- The Battle of Flowers Parade during Fiesta! Although this collection is always growing as the Association donates new material, the ARC archivists have worked hard to ensure that the collection is processed, organized, and made available to the public. Previously, information about the collection was available only in the library reading room. As part of the 2014 celebration of Fiesta, the finding aid for this collection has been posted online to help researchers from all over the world discover this unique material.
The Finding Aid for this collection is now available online here:
A Finding Aid provides a summary of the collection as well as details about what is contained in the collection. The Battle of Flowers Association Records are a large collection that includes committee reports, officer reports, printed material from all eras, photographs, films, speeches, artifacts, and newspaper clippings, among many other types of materials. We anticipate that this will be a very useful collection for researchers of all levels as well as people who are interested in San Antonio and Fiesta history.
Interested in Fiesta and Battle of Flowers Parade history? Check out these links for previous blog entries that highlight parts of this fabulous collection.
Related Collections in ARC:
We look forward to your visit!
A 1937 article announcing a gusher at the Alamo!
According to the article, drilling had been done in secret by the Ew Meloof (We Fool ‘Em) Company. Secret, that is, until the well turned into a San Antonio Spindletop!
Enjoy your April Fool’s Day! Join us this Saturday at the Alamo Research Center for First Saturday at the Alamo. We’ll have an exhibit on the Battle of Flowers Parade and Fiesta San Antonio. We can’t wait to see you!
Today we’d like to introduce you to the intrepid Joel Kitchens. He has spent the whole week researching at the Alamo Research Center- and this is not his first visit! Joel is a library professional at Texas A&M University in College Station. He is now gathering the research for his dissertation (and ultimately a book!) on collective memory–how communities create and use historical memory.
What is your topic of interest and what collections are you using? Tell us about your experience at the Alamo Research Center.
Joel says: The collective memories of the Spanish mission of San Antonio, which were used to market San Antonio as a romantic and exotic tourist destination. Also, the discourse of sacred space and identity. I am using the Ernst F. Schuchard Papers, the Claude B. Aniol Subject Files, and the San Antonio Guidebook Collection. I have been very surprise (pleasantly!) at how much material the ARC has that goes well beyond “just the Alamo.” I have always found the staff at the ARC to be very friendly, helpful and professional.
Thanks, Joel! We’ve enjoyed having you here and wish you all the best of luck as you continue with your work.
Joel is right. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Collection at the Alamo Research Center touches on all parts of Texas history with a special focus on San Antonio history. We love being part of the historical collective memory of our local and regional community. Schedule your research appointment today by calling us at (210)225-1071 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to help you explore our collections!
The Alamo Research Center’s Interim Archivist, Jaime Espensen-Sturges, recently returned from the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
I had a wonderful time at the two week workshop. We had eight hours of class time each day. We learned about archival principles and theory as well as received a lot of practical advice- since the real world is often much messier than theory! The best part was that the instructors for the Institute are all professionals at the top of their field. Several did, in fact, “write the book” on their area of expertise. It was an all-around excellent experience for developing as a professional archivist.
I also met a lot of wonderful people from across the country and who work in all kinds of archives. I’m so grateful that I was able to attend this course!
A Google Hangout with the Alamo Librarians!
The Alamo Research Center participated in an exciting new event this week. On Tuesday, January 14, we held a Google Hangout to present a virtual tour of the ARC to students across the state (and in fact, across the country!). 761 students from seven Texas fourth grade classes and one fifth grade class from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania attended the tour.
One past summer, Borchardt Elementary librarian Nancy Jo Lambert of Frisco, Texas, visited the DRT Library where staff showed her some of the fabulous documents and artifacts that we house here. She left wishing that her students from Frisco could visit the Alamo, but Dallas is a long way from San Antonio! She contacted the ARC director, Leslie Stapleton, this fall with a great new idea. Would we be interested in doing a Google Hangout with her students? A Google Hangout is a free video conferencing service with a live video and audio feed. Leslie said that we’d love to!
Leslie and Jaime first presented a Powerpoint presentation that included information about the ARC, a discussion of primary and secondary sources, and items from the DRT collection that could enhance what the students have been learning in the classroom about the Texas Revolution and the Alamo. Leslie was on the ARC’s main feed, and Jaime used her tablet to join as a secondary feed that the students could watch to see the artifacts live as Leslie talked about them. Jaime also took the students on a virtual trip to the vault where they could see how the documents are stored and cared for! Then we switched to a question and answer session. The students were able to submit questions on a website called Todaysmeet , and Leslie and Jaime answered as many as they could. We had so many questions submitted that we couldn’t get to them all!
Our first ARC Google Hangout was a huge success. It is also a creative use of new, readily available technology that allows students from all over the country to visit the Alamo! Librarians from Curtis Elementary and Borchardt Elementary who attended have blogged about the experience if you’d like to read more. We even got our own twitter mention at #AlamoGHO! If you are interested in working with us to hold a Google Hangout with your school, send an email to email@example.com or give us a call.
We had so much fun with the Google Hangout! Thanks, Nancy Jo!
The Alamo Research Center houses many documents that help us understand Texas history. Often, these items come from different collections, but careful reading links them together and let us tell a story.
In October of 1835, tensions flared into outright fighting between Mexican and Texian forces at Gonzales. Texians also won a victory by capturing San Antonio de Béxar in December.
After Gonzales, delegates met for a Consultation but failed to achieve a quorum, or sufficient representatives to present a vote. By the time they were able to hold meetings later in 1835 and in January of 1836, it became clearer that Texas was likely to declare complete independence from Mexico. As rumors began to swirl about Santa Anna himself leading an army north to retake Béxar, leaders became aware that they had no funds with which to support a revolution. Their forces desperately needed supplies, but the provisional government had no money for arms, ammunition, fodder for the animals, food for the men, or pay. They also could not see a way to raise any significant amount quickly.
Several enterprising men realized that the provisional government did in fact have a form of vast wealth at their disposal. The wealth was in land. These commissioners hammered out an agreement to float a loan wherein Texas would offer investors prime land at fifty cents an acre. Stephen F. Austin, Robert Triplett, and William Wharton went to New Orleans to see if they could persuade businessmen there to take on the risk of purchasing land that the new government may or may not end up with the title to sell.
The first loan issued was for $100,000. A second was later offered that would bring $20,000. Unfortunately, the representatives at Washington on the Brazos later changed their minds about the land offering at fifty cents an acre as land values fell during the Runaway Scrape. This meant that the consortium of investors that the three Texian commissioners had arranged withdrew their interest and failed to purchase more than the first $20,000 of the original $100,000 loan.
With the failure of the Texian loan, private citizens offered what they could to help raise funds. The burgeoning Republic might have had no liquid capital at all without Robert Triplett advancing substantial sums himself in exchange for prime real estate on Galveston Island. The agreement with Robert Triplett was actually signed on a riverboat to Galveston after the government and Governor Henry Smith fled both Washington on the Brazos and Harrisburg in advance of Santa Anna’s army.
VF-TEXAS HISTORY—TexasRepublic 1836-1846—Appropriations-Expenditures
“The Finances of the Texas Revolution,” Eugene C. Barker, Political Science Quarterly, 19 (4), December 1904.
The Paper Republic, James Bevill. Bright Sky Press: Houston, 2009.
The Fiscal History of Texas, William M. Gouge. Lippincott, Crambo, and Co.: Philadelphia, 1850.
A Financial History of Texas, Edmund Thornton Miller. University of Texas: Austin, 1916.