U.S. - Mexican War artifacts on display at new San Jacinto Museum of History exhibit
The new special exhibit of the San Jacinto Museum of History, "A Destined Conflict: The U.S. - Mexican War," will open on Saturday, July 4, 2015, with prints, political cartoons, photographs, art, artifacts and newspapers relating to that decisive war which occurred from 1846 to 1848.
The first armed conflict involving the United States that was chiefly fought on foreign soil, the official cause of the war was both the American annexation of the Republic of Texas and the border dispute whether the national border was the Rio Grande or the Nueces River. Texas claimed the Rio Grande, Mexico the Nueces. By the war's end, Mexico lost nearly half of its territory and the United States became a continental power.
In "A Destined Conflict: The U.S. - Mexican War," a wide array of contemporary artifacts - from newspapers and prints, to documents and artifacts written and owned by many of the key players in the conflict - will be on display and grant some insight into how those in charge, the men in the field, and the press back home viewed the series of engagements in a conflict that saw many more soldiers dying from disease than battle.
From the first engagement in Palo Alto, Texas, to the Halls of Montezuma in Mexico City, the exhibit chronicles this decisive and divisive conflict. "This war pitted a politically divided and militarily unprepared Mexico agains the expansionist-minded administration of U.S. President James K. Polk, who believed the United States had a manifest destiny to spread across the continent to the Pacific Ocean," says Larry Spasic, President, San Jacinto Museum of History Association. "A border skirmish along the Rio Grande started the fight and was soon followed by a series of U.S. victories. War costs exceeded $100 million and more than 13,000 combatants lost their lives, making it, as a percentage of those who served, second only to the Civil War as the bloodiest conflict in American history."
When the war ended, Mexico had lost a significant portion of its territory, including nearly all of present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the conflict, marked the end of a war and the beginning of a lenghty U.S. political debate over slavery in the acquired territories, as well as continued conflict with Mexico over boundaries.
Tickets and Hours:
Admission to the special exhibit is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 11. Combo tickets for the new special exhibit, Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto multimedia presntation, and the elevator ride to the Observation Level are available. Seniors, children and groups of 10 or more enjoy a discounted rate year-round. Members of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association and the Military (all active duty military personnel and their families, and retired military personnel) receive free admission year-round to all attractions within the Monument.
Beyond these attractions there is plenty to do free at the Monument: the San Jacinto Museum's permanent gallery exhibiting books to bayonets; the San Jacinto Battleground and its "Walking Tour Interpretive Trail Guide;" picnic tables, grills and water faucets; and the 1,210-foot long marsh trail and boardwalk that provides views of the native prairie, tidal marsh and bottomland forest as it appeared at the time of the historic 1836 Battle of San Jacinto.
The San Jacinto Museum of History is operated by the San Jacinto Museum of History Association - a non-profit organization - in association with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The Museum of History owns the collections of artifacts and documents inside of the Monument and staffs the multimedia presentation, library, exhibition spaces and elevator ride to the observation floor.
TPWD operates and maintains the 1,200-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, which consists of the San Jacinto Battleground, San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas. The San Jacinto Battlefield and the Battleship Texas are both National Historic Landmarks; the monument is a National Civic Engineering Landmark.< Back to News and Events