TALK: Matt Walter, Sul Ross State University
Curator of Collections, Yana and Marty Davis Map Collection
Museum of the Big Bend, Sul Ross State University
FREE & open to the public
There were three separate phases of ENTRADAS, or entries and exploration of the Big Bend region, by the Spanish. The first was accidental, in 1535, when Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and his three companions became the first Europeans to enter the American West. The second phase was exploratory, and consisted of a trio of expeditions in the 1580s and 1590s led by Spanish Conquistadores to find out what wealth might be present in the region they called “El Despoplado.” The third phase of entradas began in 1683 with the purpose of establishing a permanent Spanish presence in West Texas. Using maps from Yana and Marty Davis Map Collection at the Museum of the Big Bend, curator Matt Walter will give an overview of these now mostly-forgotten Spanish expeditions into West Texas.
Matt Walter is the Curator of Collections at the Museum of the Big Bend, on the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Matt spent 20 years (1976-1996) in the United States Coast Guard, and then got a BA (2000) and an MA (2002) in History from Sul Ross. Matt has been with the Museum of the Big Bend since 2003, and he also teaches history classes at Sul Ross.