Virtual Lecture: “Comanches, Captives, Germans: Transactions on the Texas Frontier, 1847”

This event has passed.

Virtual Event
@ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

February 9, 2023, 6:00 pm Central Time
Email Antje Petty ( to receive a Zoom link.
(Links will be emailed the day before the event)

In 2021, three finely worked sketches dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century were brought to the attention of scholars studying the relationship between German settlers and Comanche Indians. Seemingly the work of one artist, and (with one exception) never published, the drawings provide a detailed and unique view of encounters between Germans and Comanches in the Texas Hill Country. Two of them depict the dramatic transfer of a captive girl from the Comanches to the Germans. Who was the girl? Who were the Comanches involved? Who were the Germans? Where and when did this exchange take place? What do we make of the rich Indian and German cultural details that the artist includes? And, of course, who was the artist, and how important is his work? Trying to find answers to these questions, the presenters will examine the drawings in detail and decode information placed by the artist.

Christopher J. Wickham received his Ph.D. in the UW–Madison German Department.  After 25 years of teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio, he retired in 2017.

Daniel J. Gelo, is Dean and Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he taught for 31 years.

The two presenters co-authored Comanches and Germans on the Texas Frontier: The Ethnology of Heinrich Berghaus, (Texas A&M University Press, 2018) which has been reviewed in the Max Kade Institute Newsletter, Fall 2022 issue.