Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
HERBERT E. BOLTON
Herbert Eugene Bolton, retired professor of history and a major pioneer in Spanish borderlands studies, died on January 30, 1953. He was 82.
Professor Bolton was born on July 20, 1870, in Wilton, Wisconsin. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1895. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1899. He was a Harrison Fellow while at Pennsylvania.
Professor Bolton taught at Milwaukee State Normal School from 1899 to 1901. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1901, remaining until 1909, when he accepted a position at Stanford University. He later taught at the University of California at Berkeley, retiring from that institution in 1940.
Professor Bolton began his pioneering work on the Spanish Borderlandsan area that begins in Florida and extends along a "crescent shaped" land mass between Georgia and Californiawhile a professor at UT Austin. Starting in 1902, he undertook several research trips to Mexico to examine archival materials relating to the United States. In 1913, under the sponsorship of the Carnegie Institute, he published a report on the availability of research sources on American history in Mexico, "Guide to Materials for the History of the United States in the Principal Archives of Mexico." While at UT Austin, he also served as associate editor of the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association (later the Southwestern Historical Quarterly).
His first significant publication was a textbook coauthored with Eugene C. Barker, With the Makers of Texas: A Source Reader in Texas History (1904). After studying the history of native peoples in Texas for the United States Bureau of Ethnology, he wrote more than 100 articles for the Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. He continued to publish works about Texas after he left the region for California. Among these were Athanase de Mézières and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768-1780 (1914) and Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century: Studies in Spanish Colonial History and Administration (1915). Professor Bolton's research resulted in nearly 100 works, including approximately 24 books he either wrote or edited.
He was offered the presidency of the University in 1914 but declined it. He remained at the University of California at Berkeley for the rest of his career, developing the case for studying United States history in the context of both American continents.
Professor Bolton was president of the American Historical Association in 1932. His presidential inaugural speech to the group"The Epic of Greater America"reflected his thesis for the study of American history.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History Center and the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996.