A "Little Alsace" for the Lone Star State: Alsatian Migration and the Construction of Place, Narrative, and Identity on the Texas Frontier

Author(s): Patricia G. Markert

Year: 2018

Summary

This paper examines placemaking and identity in the Alsatian colonies of Texas. On the eve of Texas statehood, Alsatian migrants settled lands to the west of San Antonio. Displaced or disenfranchised by the turmoil of 19th century Europe, Alsatian families, often farmers, responded to advertisements by empresarios touting free passage, land, and opportunity in a "land of milk and honey." They arrived unprepared for the harsh realities of the Texas landscape, particularly life on the Republic’s contested western lands. Placemaking in these spaces coincided with other processes: survival, violence, displacement, and identity formation, all within the larger cogs of US nation-building. Settlers and their descendants used both material and narrative strategies to construct places–and doing so, they situated themselves within broader narratives and landscapes. Here, I examine these strategies, calling on Bakhtin’s chronotope and Casey’s place-world to understand how place/identity emerged, and continues to emerge, in Alsatian Texas.

Cite this Record

A "Little Alsace" for the Lone Star State: Alsatian Migration and the Construction of Place, Narrative, and Identity on the Texas Frontier. Patricia G. Markert. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441657)

Keywords

Temporal Keywords
19th-20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 758