Former State Historian Reveals Roots of Texas Independence

Former state historian Jesus F. de la Teja will present a look at how the Mexican Revolution affected Texas’ quest for independence at noon Monday, Sept. 20, in the Central Library’s Sixth Floor Parlor.

De la Teja, chair of the history department at Texas State University-San Marcos, has published extensively on Spanish, Mexican, and Republic-era Texas history. He is the author of the award-winning San Antonio de Béxar: A Community on New Spain’s Northern Frontier.

The event marks the bicentennial of Mexico’s war for independence and is sponsored by the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies. De la Teja’s presentation, “The Mexican War of Independence: Roots of the Texas Revolution,” is open to the general public.

Although de la Teja has taught Texas history at Texas State for nearly two decades, he is not a native of the state. Born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey, he earned both his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Seton Hall University. His interest in Texas history began at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his doctorate in colonial Latin American history, working with Nettie Lee Benson. While completing his graduate studies, de la Teja worked for two years as a research assistant for novelist James Michener, who was then writing his epic novel, Texas.

In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry appointed de la Teja to serve the first-ever two-year term as the state historian of Texas. The Legislature created the position to enhance Texans’ knowledge about the state’s history and heritage, encourage the teaching of Texas history in public schools, and consult with top government officials on the promotion of Texas history.

For more information, contact the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies at 817-272-3997 or swcenter@uta.edu.

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