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Guest lecturer to discuss Republic of the Rio Grande

During the second year of the Republic of Texas, another republic began in some of the land that eventually became part of the state of Texas. The Republic of Rio Grande existed for only two years, from 1838 to 1840, before most of it was reabsorbed by Mexico and the remainder annexed by the United States.

Austin attorney Beatriz de la Garza, who was born on one side of the Rio Grande in Ciudad Guerrero, Mexico, but grew up in Laredo, will discuss the history of the region for the 13th Commemorative Lecture in Mexican American History. The free lecture, “The Republic of the Rio Grande: A Historical Orphan,” begins at 4:30 p.m. March 25 at Wooten Hall, Room 122.

It is being presented by UNT’s Mexican American studies minor, the Department of History and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Garza will use information from her latest book, “From the Republic of the Rio Grande: A Personal History of the Place and the People,” to describe 200 years of history of the region, beginning in the mid-1700s. In the book, she uses the perspectives of individuals who were involved in the recounted events, and opens most sections with one person’s observation or experience that leads to a central motif of shared identity of the region’s inhabitants, their pride in their biculturalism and bilingualism or their deep attachment to the land of their ancestors.

“From the Republic of the Rio Grande” received the 2013 Jim Parish Award from the Webb County Heritage Foundation. De la Garza is also the author of “A Law for the Lion: A Tale of Crime and Injustice in the Borderlands” and two works of fiction for children and young adults.

A practicing attorney in Austin, de la Garza served on the Austin Independent School District Board for six years, becoming the first Latina to serve as board president. She has held several visiting professorships in Spanish language and literature and in legal principles at Austin Community College, Texas State University in San Marcos and the University of Texas at Austin. De la Garza received her bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and law degrees from UT-Austin.

  • Contact: the Department of History at 940-565-2288


Posted on: Tue 28 January 2014

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