Holy Ground, Healing Water (TAMU 2010) by Donald J. Blakeslee is the recipient of this year’s Ferguson Kansas History Book Award. The award is from the Kansas Authors Club, for the best book on Kansas history by an author who is a resident of Kansas. Blakeslee will be presented the award at the 2011 Annual Convention and Writers Conference in Coffeyville on Saturday, October 8, 2011.
In Holy Ground, Healing Water: Cultural Landscapes at Waconda Springs, Kansas, anthropologist Blakeslee traces the usage and attendant meanings of this area, beginning with prehistoric sites dating between AD 1000 and 1250 and continuing to the present day. Addressing all the sites at Waconda Lake, regardless of age or cultural affiliation, Blakeslee tells a dramatic story that looks back from the humdrum present through the romantic haze of the nineteenth century to an older landscape, one that is more wonderful by far than what the modern imagination can conceive.
Tejanos in Gray (TAMU 2011) by Jerry Thompson is the recipient of this year’s Clotilde P. García Tejano Book Prize. The Clotilde P. García Tejano Book Prize is awarded to books about Tejano heritage that bring attention to the history and contributions of Tejanos. Thompson will receive the award at this year’s Texas State Hispanic Genealogy and Historical Conference, hosted by Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society, Thursday, Sept. 29 – Saturday, Oct. 1 in San Antonio, Texas.
Gathered for the first time in this book, the forty-one letters and letter fragments written by two Mexican Texans, Captains Manuel Yturri and Joseph Rafael de la Garza, reveal the intricate and intertwined relationships that characterized the lives of Texan citizens of Mexican descent in the years leading up to and including the Civil War. The letters, translated by José Roberto Juárez and with meticulous annotation and commentary by Thompson, deepen and provide nuance to our understanding of the Civil War and its combatants, especially with regard to the Tejano experience. Historians, students, and general readers interested in the Civil War will appreciate Tejanos in Gray for its substantial contribution to borderlands studies, military history, and the often-overlooked interplay of region, ethnicity, and class in the Texas of the mid-nineteenth century.