Made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities
February 19, 2004
Little Theater - 7 p.m.
Dr. Armando Alonzo
Texas A&M University-College Station
"Rancheros and Priests in the Ranching Economy of Nuevo Santander and Tamaulipas, 1730s to 1848: Common Interests" in conjunction with art student
ranching poster contest Reception immediately following in Bailey Art Gallery.
Music by Marcos Chapa and Juan Vera.
The presentation will be a brief history of the social and economic nexuses among rancheros, vaqueros, and the diezmeros or tax collectors for the Catholic Church for the colonies of Texas, Nuevo Santander (Tamaulipas), Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila. It will show how all of these groups were connected
in the agricultural economy, especially the diezmeros, who were often priests from prominent landholding families. There will be a description of
the manner in which agricultural produce and livestock were collected for payment of the diezmos, or tithes, to the Catholic bishop at Monterrey.
Also, explained will be how the diezmos reports are a
useful gauge of the economy of this part of New Spain and Mexico. The data indicates, for example, that in fifty years or less, the towns of the Lower
Valley were as productive as Saltillo, the most important urban complex in the region. The presentation will be based on archival sources from Mexico City and Monterrey.
February 20, 2004
Dr. Lauro Cavazos
Former Secretary of Education
“My Life on the King Ranch”
The Cavazos family has long been associated with the famous King Ranch as it built its empire in South Texas and ultimately in the world of ranching. The
cowboys on the ranch were known as “Kineño” or the men of King. Los Kineños, or the people of King Ranch, continue the relationship of mutual respect
and loyalty as they work the Ranch today. One of the legendary Kineños was a man named Lauro Cavazos who had three sons who went on to become successful in
other occupations. The elder Cavazos namesake, became Lauro Cavazos, Ph.D., a biology professor, President of Texas Tech University and Secretary of Education for Ronald Reagan and then George Herbert Walker Bush. Now as he settles into a life as a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and
Community Health at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, he looks back and remembers his early life as a boy on the King Ranch and a part of a family that led men who built one of the world’s largest ranches. Dr. Cavazos’ father was a ranch foreman, and one of the men to whom the large ranch owes much respect for helping them harness the land of the “Wild Horse Desert.”
Little Theater, TAMUK campus
Director, Kenedy Museum
“The Legacy of Mifflin Kenedy”
Mifflin Kenedy came to Texas in 1847 as a steamboat captain with the U.S. Army during the war with Mexico. He established a prosperous steamboat
operation and ultimately invited a young friend named Richard King to join him in some of his business ventures. Following the Civil War Kenedy turned his
attention to ranching and bought thousands of acres of South Texas land. For the next 100 years the Kenedy name touched every aspect of the area’s
development, including ranching, railroads, real estate and oil. A very private family, Kenedy, his wife Petra Vela, and their children and
grandchildren, have been little studied in history although they had a profound impact on the development of South Texas history. Now the Foundation that was established by Mifflin’s granddaughter has established a new museum in Sarita,
Texas that begins to show the family’s vast wealth and importance.
11 a.m. - 12 noon
Little Theater, TAMUK
Dr. Jerry Thompson
Texas A&M University International
"Juan Nepomuceno Cortina and
The Texas-Mexico Ranching Frontier"
Juan Nepomuceno Cortina helped exterminate the last remaining bank of Karankawa Indians, shot the Brownsville marshal, ambushed Texas Rangers, captured
the United States mail, defeated the Matamoros militia, battled the United States Army, harassed the Confederate Army, ambushed French Imperialists,
attacked Mexican liberals, and fought anyone else who dared get in his way. He also stole more cattle than anyone in the history of Texas. He never learned to read--and only with difficulty could he write his name--but he rose to political and military heights of which the more literate could only dream. Juan Cortina dominated a large part of the nineteenth-century history of the Texas-Mexican frontier. Noted Texas author and folklorist J. Frank Dobie in his A Vaquero of the Brush Country, refers to Cortina as "the most striking, the most powerful, the most insolent, and the most daring as well as the most
elusive Mexican bandit, not excepting Pancho Villa, that ever wet his horse in the muddy waters of the Rio Bravo."
King Ranch Family
music by Lolo Treviño, a Kineño
Alice Gertrudis King married Robert Justus Kleberg in 1886 and they had five children who would grow up to help develop the King Ranch into a large
corporation. Sally Kleberg is the great granddaughter of Alice and Robert Kleberg and remembers her childhood days when the family would join with the
Kineños, or the people of the King ranch, for holiday celebrations. The food, the music for singing and dancing, and the traditions that came from this
gathering, were the memories she wrote about in her small book entitled Kineños Christmas. For her Saturday, February 21, presentation she will describe
the parties, and a Kineño, Lolo Trevino, will sing
some of the songs they both
Leslie Gene Hunter
Department of History
Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Kingsville, Texas 78363
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