el morro national monument history

This more inclusive interpretation does more than bring the monument's history "up to date." He would later resign, join the Confederacy and die in the Civil War. However, erosion and weathering continue to pose the ultimate challenge to the National Park Service mission of preserving cultural resources in perpetuity while allowing natural processes to occur. National Monument New Mexico. I adopt a visitor's point of view, concentrating on the visitor center at El Morro, a two-mile trail that provides access to the monument's cultural resources, interactions with interpreters, and textual material available at the monument or on the park service website. Lieutenant James H. Simpson of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, and Richard Kern, an artist from Philadelphia, were part of the expedition, and on their way back to Santa Fe they made a detour past El Morro. It's allowing park officials to assess the rate of erosion for the first time. Some, but by no means all, of these groups were Native American. See Thomas H. Guthrie, Recognizing New Mexico: Heritage Development and Cultural Politics in the Land of Enchantment (University of Chicago, Ph.D. dissertation, 2005).

They also demonstrate that the park service can effectively and successfully pursue more self-reflexive interpretation. In addition, my scholarship has shaped and been shaped by my own political inclinations, particularly my critical view of colonialism and my tendency to sympathize with colonized peoples. El Morro lay on the route between Acoma and Zuni Pueblos. (Figure 4) Many of those Puebloan, Spanish, and American people who were attracted to this place because of its water left their mark on the rock. David M. Wrobel and Patrick T. Long (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001). Juan de Oñate established the first Spanish colony in New Mexico in 1598, north of Santa Fe.

Their participation in history was thus subordinate to their documentation of history. (41) Visitors might begin to call into question their own assumptions, and those of the government, about "history" and the government's management of historic sites. El Morro began to fall off the map when the Santa Fe Railroad bypassed it in the 1880s. The effect of the older interpretive elements I discussed in the previous section (all of which are still in use) will not be easy to overcome. After all, alternative histories could be gleaned from the rock if the inscriptions were left jumbled. The first logical step in this process, already underway at El Morro, is to do away with the historical bracketing I described above and to include the management of the park in the historical narrative conveyed to visitors. Yet the fact that this interpretive pattern comes on the heels of American conquest is significant. It was only then that the explorers found, "canopied by some magnificent rocks and shaded by a few pine trees, the whole forming an exquisite picture, ...a cool and capacious spring—an accessory not more grateful to the lover of the beautiful than refreshing to the way-worn traveler" (see Simpson, 128). 25. Doing so might revive a more vibrant, living kind of history at the monument, a history in which we participate as active agents, an open-ended history that is not yet finished or determined. Although El Morro and the western Pueblos were on the periphery of Spanish colonial activity in New Mexico (which centered on the Rio Grande), the rock became a record of Spanish colonization both before and after 1680. No longer a significant oasis for cross-country travelers, it soon entered its modern historical period.
The visitor's center at El Morro National Monument in northwest New Mexico which provides shelter for travelers just as the sandstone outcrop did for explorers, Army troops and emigrants long ago. Or should we allow nature to take its course?

"You try and do something that you think will last, will help at the time and will continue to last and will do as little harm as possible. We think it was Oñate who made the first written inscription on the rock, upon his return from an expedition to the Gulf of California in 1605. El Morro has been working with the University of Pennsylvania on preservation since the early 1990s.

I have also talked about interpretation with the monument's superintendent and the chief of visitor services. The fourth page explained several major alterations to the pool in the 1920s: "The first custodian enlarged the catchment basin to provide more water for area ranchers and their stock, and erected a dam which would help retain water otherwise lost in runoff."(31). (Figure 8) Four of the eight new signs focus exclusively on park history and management (including the topics noted above) and a fifth mentions them. He wasn't the only person to visit El Morro more than once. "He was here three times before he left his name.".

Even the famed pool could be damaging inscriptions around it. In the classroom, I believe that my most important task is not to provide information to my students but to encourage them to think critically about the world in which they live (especially about present-day social arrangements).

"That's a question we want to get at ... how fast are they eroding at different places," Baumann said. Since 2006, the Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson, Arizona, has used a laser to scan inscriptions, offering much more detail than photographs. (3) Political and economic conditions in the region provide ample evidence of this point. Thus began the second colonization of New Mexico. I approach monuments and historical sites with an academic eye. As El Morro became an officially designated historic site, it was taken out of history, its historical significance fixed in the past. (Even references to the Puebloan, Spanish, Mexican, and American "periods" in the Southwest reinforce this sequential, progressivist narrative.)


The deeply incised, printer-like inscription of "P. Gilmer Breckinridge, 1859 Virginia," is marred by a chip biting into the C in his last name and edging up to the 9 in the date. For example, visitors to El Morro today learn about Edward F. Beale, who supervised an experiment to see whether camels could perform well in the desert Southwest. Recent scans can be superimposed on earlier ones, highlighting changes. This historical bracketing has two effects. The race has long ago passed away, and left no representative of Spanish blood behind them. Rather, I urge the NPS to continue in the direction it has charted in recent years, interpreting the monument's own history, historicizing preservation, and moving toward self-exposure. Both Indians and Hispanics have accommodated, adapted to, and resisted American authority in complex ways. Brochure (2005) available at http://www.nps.gov/elmo/naturescience/upload/Monitoring%20and%20Preservation.pdf. Over the centuries, those who traveled this trail stopped to camp at the shaded oasis beneath these cliffs. The implicit message of American supremacy I hope to illuminate at El Morro is the subtle (even subliminal) effect of practices that have sedimented over time and therefore cannot simply be attributed to individuals and their deliberate efforts.

These first, well intended though intrusive attempts to preserve the inscriptions ended in the 1930s. At El Morro, I believe that 20th-century American colonialism is no less significant than the history of Puebloan occupation, Spanish colonization, or 19th-century American exploration. 15. For instance, historical geographer Richard Francaviglia has noted the importance of map making in the Spanish colonization of the Southwest, highlighting the relationship between representation and power. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo brought an end to the war in 1848 and the cession of a vast territory including New Mexico to the United States. The interpretation of slavery at Civil War battlefields, Indian massacres, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the history of racism and the Civil Rights Movement, and women's history are a few examples. Probably the most interesting feature of El Morro, though, is the rock itself, which Americans dubbed "Inscription Rock" because its base contains more than 2,000 petroglyphs and inscriptions. Simpson's journal makes it clear that the discovery of this "accessory," as significant for its aesthetic as its practical value, was of secondary interest. The significance of El Morro for ancient and modern Pueblo peoples, as well as how these groups transformed the rock, is an important topic that deserves careful consideration, but my analysis begins with Spanish colonization. In the course of this ill-advised project many valuable inscriptions were erased, and the beautiful sandstone was so disfigured as to draw questions, from the most casual visitor, as to what happened. Erased sections are indeed evident all over the rock today (Figure 9), and in my experience the park service acknowledges and explains them(38) but does not interpret the process of erasure or treat the erased sections as an educational opportunity.

Copyright © 2010 Paddock Publications, Inc. EL MORRO NATIONAL MONUMENT: Located near Ramah, New Mexico, off New Mexico 53, 42 miles (68 kilometers) south of Grants from Interstate 40; www.nps.gov/elmo or 505-783-4226. The Pueblo Revolt is one of the most important and successful indigenous uprisings in North American history, and Pueblo peoples today consider it an essential first step toward their cultural survival. Boulders available for inscription outside the visitor center. The following analysis, then, does not represent neutral, disinterested social science (which I doubt exists, despite our best efforts at objectivity). (Is anger ever an appropriate emotion at national monuments?) In fact, I would like to see the park service pursue this kind of open-ended interpretation even further, focusing critical attention on not just the techniques but also the philosophy of preservation. El Morro has already begun to demonstrate this potential by pursuing a more self-reflexive interpretative program. (4) This historical detour will eventually lead me back to park service interpretation. In the context of this recent interest in more critical approaches to history, the park service must also begin to interpret its own place in the history of American national expansion and its own institutional power. Preservation efforts aren't new. In fact, I want to suggest that the first English speakers to visit the rock inaugurated a new way of establishing colonial authority in New Mexico.
Specifically, these new policies and procedures effectively fixed the meaning of the monument as a historical record. 26.

The final panel discusses 19th-century military campaigns against the Navajo and Apache, concluding, "in time all of the tribes were conquered. The National Park Service is fortunate to have a dedicated and intelligent work force, from its central offices to its most far-flung units. Keeping in mind that the park service has been a part of American history reminds us that it is and has been an agent of the Federal Government, for better and for worse.

In addition, not all visitors will spend time talking to interpreters, which underscores the significance of textual and visual interpretation. The park service has also been responsible for more subtle, often unintentional, forms of domination.

First, New Mexico's Indian, Hispanic, and territorial "periods" are firmly fixed in the past.

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