A translation of Spanish documents pertaining to mission nuestra senora del rosario
While working for the Texas Archeology Salvage Project
(now Texas A rcheological Survey) as an undergraduate Spanish
major at the University of Texas at Austin, I was asked to translate
a mid-eighteenth-century Spanish document relating to a historical
arche ological site. I was able to read part of this transcribed document,
but If ound I did not have the Spanish background nor the
academic maturity to translate the entire document. Neve rthe le s s ,
the idea of translating primary sources pertaining to Spanish exploration
and colonization fascinated me.
Twelve years later I entered Texas Woman's University in
the graduate Spanish program, generally to review the Spanish I
had learned earlier, but with the idea of becoming fluent enough to make a second atternpt at translating old documents. Relearning the vocabulary and grammar was difficult, but I was challenged by the goal I had set for myself. A historical archeologist Dr. Kathleeen K. Gilmore gave me suggestions, translated documents to study, and the enthusiasm to meet the challenge. Drs. Woolsey and Gonzalez, in the Texas iii Woman's University Spanish Department, offered their support and approval for these translations for my thesis topic. In March of 1974 I contacte d Dr. Kathleen K. Gilmore, with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; the State Archeologist, Mr. Curtis Tunnell; Dr. Tom R. Hester at the University of Texas at San Antonio; Dr. T. N. Campbell at the University of Texas at Austin; Dr. H.F. Gregory at Northwestern State University at Natchitoches, Louisiana; and Miss Jean Carefoot, the Texas State Archivist for suggestions as to what documents would be relevant to a historical project and interesting to translate. All of these people were most helpful in offering their ideas, time, and support for my project. By June, I had decided to translate documents relating to Mission Rosario, near Goliad, Texas, which is currently being excavated by Dr. Gilmore. I spent sever al weeks in June and July in Austin at the State Library, at the Barker Texas History Center, in the Bexar Archives, and in the Latin American Library at the University of Texas, as well as in the Texas Parks and Wildlife offices researching the documents that had been translated and locating documents and manuscripts that had not been translated. When I read the transcribed documents, I knew I had undertaken a difficult task; but when I first attempted to read the handwritten iv two-hundred-year-old manuscripts, I was afraid I had attempted an impossible task. Thus, what began as a review of Spanish has turned out to be a less on 1n patience, perseverance, and a true learning experience.