Browse Exhibits (5 total)

Social Graces on the Texas Frontier: The Lizzie Johnson Papers

Warne Cover.pdf

Welcome to a special exhibit featuring highlights from the incoming correspondence of Lizzie Johnson, "Cattle Queen." Spanning approximately 1860-1886, the items in this exhibit appear in the Johnson Family Papers (1842-1963) housed in Southwestern University's Smith Library Center Special Collections. Although no photographs or outgoing correspondence survive, the collection highlights exhibited here provide remarkable insights into the young-adulthood of this dynamic female entrepreneur, whose legacy occupies a unique chapter in 19th-century Central Texas history. Over the course of her career Johnson was a schoolteacher in the Austin area, a bookkeeper for cattlemen, and a cattle investor with her own registered brand; upon her marriage to Hezekiah G. Williams in 1879, Johnson implemented a prenuptial agreement stipulating that she would continue to manage her own property and financial affairs.

The items featured here bear witness not only to Johnson's independent spirit; they also provide broad perspective on the social forms and conventions that helped shape life on the Texas frontier. In order to contextualize the items in terms of the social norms and expectations they reveal, each page of the exhibit includes supplemental materials from The Ladies' Model Letter Writer (187-?) and Gaskell's Compendium of Forms (1882), both 19th-century etiquette resources housed in SU's Special Collections. 

Republican Campaign Rhetoric Then and Now: The John G. Tower Senate Collection

Tower Statement to Mexican-Americans.pdf

John G. Tower was a Republican Senator representing the state of Texas from 1961 to 1985, and a Southwestern University alumnus. When he died, a large collection of his personal papers and correspondence was donated to the school, and now resides in Smith Library Center's Special Collections wing. The collection includes many statements and speeches issued, or at least drafted, by Tower and his speechwriters for use in his political campaigns. These artifacts demonstrate both how startlingly unchanged "current" political issues are – immigration from Mexico, for example – and how the rhetoric of the Republican party, and what it means to be a Republican, has shifted over time, as can be seen in Tower's speech on environmental protection. In Peter N. Carrol's It Seemed Like Nothing Happened: The Tragedy and Promise of America in the 1970s, Carrol deconstructs the term "The New Right," describing it as "dismissing" the quandary many Conservatives face: trying to "conserve" a nonexistent social order. Carrol quotes from Paul Weyrich, the founder of the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, who described the New Right as "radicals who want to change the existing power structure" (Carrol 326). This exhibit contrasts campaign statements that Tower made in the early 1970s with current Republican discourse drawn from the 2016 electoral race in order to highlight reccurence and question notions of "newness."

Narratives of the Frontier: Views on Settler Colonialism


This exhibit was created by "English 10304: Digital Frontiers in American Literature" at Southwestern University.  In our class, we read several texts and put them in conversation with each other, with historical narratives, and with primary sources in the Digital Texas Heritage Resource Center.  Click the exhibit pages to learn more about how our class interpreted views on settler colonialism in course texts and archival findings.

A Visit to the Battle Creek Sanitarium (1914)

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The Battle Creek Sanitarium was a health resort established in 1866 in the Michigan town that bears its name. Originally called the Western Health Reform Institute, the sanitarium was an effort of the Seventh-Day Adventists who had earlier settled in the area and regarded health reform as an essential element of people life’s in the search of physical and moral development. Ellen G. White, founder of the Seventh Day Adventist church, and her husband ran the institute during its first years, using “natural” approaches to healing in a time when mainstream physicians still used harsh therapeutic interventions such as bloodletting, strong botanical remedies, and calomel (a mercury-based remedy that severely affected the body constitution but its effects were physically expressed in the gums). However, during the last two decades of the nineteenth century, American doctors started to professionalize medical training and services, incorporating doctors who had studied the most recent scientific discoveries that impacted human health in medical facilities. The Seventh Day Adventists of Battle Creek followed this trend. They supported John Harvey Kellogg’s medical training and hired him as director of the institute. Once head of the medical facility, Kellogg used it to impose a religion of health based on the traditional non-naturals that doctors considered the basis for good health: an adequate environment suitable for the patient, a good balance of exercise and rest, the ingestions of food and drinks according to the patient’s constitution, an adequate amount of sleep, regular excretions, and finally, the selection of social and personal events that may produce strong passions and emotions in the patient. Dr. Kellogg remained in the Sanitarium for the rest of his life and transformed it into a health resort with up-to-date diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that attracted hundreds of middle- and upper-class Americans from all over the nation, who sought relieve from the demands of an increasingly urbanized and industrialized society in Dr. Kellogg’s natural approaches.

Using the documents in the Claude Carr Cody Collection at Southwestern University, Students of the History course “Popularizing Science” created this exhibit. Through Carr Cody experience at the Sanitarium, students explored different aspect of the patients’ experience with health and medicine in the mid-1910s. Students analyzed Dr. Kellogg’s approach to health in his own patient manuals, exercise regimes at the Sanitarium through a daily program, dietary regimes through Cody’s Diet Prescription, medical diagnosis and diagnostic technologies through Cody’s Urine Examination, and the cost of health through Cody’s expenses at the Sanitarium. Click the exhibit pages to learn more about Dr. Kellogg, the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and patients’ experiences with health and medicine during the US Progressive Era. 


Dr. Jethro Hernandez Berrones

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World War I At Southwestern University: The Student Army Training Corps


During the last year of World War I, the U.S. War Department created a national program to be implemented at colleges across the country called the Student Army Training Corps. Southwestern University was one of the schools with an SATC chapter. Combining general curriculum with military lectures and practical instruction, the SATC was designed to train young university students to join the armed forces after graduation. The War Deparment hoped to fill the military's ranks with well-educated and highly prepared young men, thereby improving the overall quality of American troops. However, World War I ended in November of 1918, rendering the SATC's purpose moot. The chapter at Southwestern was active for less than one semester. Also founded during WWI, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) replaced the SATC as the premier collegiate officer training program in the country. 

The World War I Collection at Southwestern University's Special Collections includes a vast amount of documents and correspondence related to the organization and administration of the college's SATC chapter. A great deal of effort was involved in the implementation of the SATC, indicating the immense value that was placed on its mission. Although preparation for a military career was the goal for each chapter member, the SATC authorities stressed that military instruction should be considered subordinate to academics. Explore the exhibit to see how these organizational expectations compared to the realities of the Student Army Training Corps at Southwestern.

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