Title: Before Arlington: Indians, Militiamen, Pioneers and Traders
Program: Come and hear Southwestern historian James Bailey Blackshear speak about the historical significance of this region, including how the Indians lived here. Find out about the Battle of Village Creek and the first Texian land developers. The history of Texas is like a patchwork quilt, a collection of individual events, cultures and eras. The threads that weave this history together are its rivers. People always follow the rivers. The Wichita, Caddo and Cherokee Indians followed the Trinity River to this part of North Texas. They lived here in great numbers. Texian pioneers followed them, building the first Anglo settlements in the region. Within the Viridian development in Arlington sits what became known as Calloway Lake, one of the only natural lakes in North Texas. The historic Bird’s Fort was built next to the lake and was visited by founding fathers such as President Sam Houston. After being retrieved from the Comanches, one of the most famous Texans who ever lived, Cynthia Ann Parker, lived in a nearby cabin. Come hear about our celebrated, almost forgotten past.
Presenter: Dr. James Bailey Blackshear teaches Texas and U.S. History at Collin College in Plano and the University of North Texas at Dallas. He has written two books on nineteenth century Southwestern history; Honor and Defiance: A History of the Las Vegas Land Grant in New Mexico (Santa Fe: Sunstone Press, 2013), and Fort Bascom: Soldiers, Comancheros and Indians in the Canadian River Valley (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016). His articles have appeared in the New Mexico Historical Review and the Military History of the West. He has also published stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.