Day 1, begins with an opening reception orientation and a docent-led tour of the following three vessels within the San Diego Maritime Museum collections.
The Star of India, launched in 1863, is both a state historical landmark and recipient of the World Historic Ship Award. The world's oldest active sailing ship, she is the museum's flagship and the image of the museum's logo.
The 555 USS Dolphin, the deepest diving submarine in the world, is responsible for many "firsts," but is not primarily associated with any specific historic event or time frame during her nearly forty years of service. Rather, it is her unique, extreme deep-diving capability that sets her apart and has continually placed her at the forefront of undersea naval research during her entire career.
The Berkeley is an 1898 steam ferryboat that operated for 60 years on San Francisco Bay and is now a California State Historic Landmark, and a National Historic Landmark. Berkeley designed in the Victorian Age has a unique historical and architectural significance. She is the finest example of a 19th century steam ferryboat still afloat.
Day 2, begins with an opening lecture-discussion, “Sailing with Cabrillo from a Medieval World to the Modern World: How Maps Changed the World View by Changing the View of the World,” led by Dr. Ray Ashley, who specializes in the relationship between sea power and the development of the modern scientific establishment in the age of sail. Dr. Ashley’s discussion will cover early voyages along what are today the west coasts of the U.S. and Mexico and the emerging understanding of a “Pacific world” characterized by seaborne connections across vast oceanic space and fantastic and fanciful geographical constructions.
The group will then travel to the site of the San Salvador, a replica of the 1542 ship of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to chart the West Coast. NEH Summer Scholars will tour the Native American Kumeyaay encampment, the ship building courtyard, and the many demonstration stations. They will visit interpreters from Cabrillo National Monument, which commemorates the first landing of Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States. The group will then travel to the monument to take advantage of the many teacher resources it has to offer.
“First Peoples and their Cultures: Contacts between Native Peoples and Europeans: Cortez, Ulloa, Cabrillo, and Coronado,” the second lecture-discussion of the workshop, will be led by Steve Colston, Ph.D., associate professor of history at San Diego State University, whose specialties include early Mesoamerica and the Spanish Borderlands. Dr. Colston will examine early Spanish contacts with native peoples in Mexico and the Pacific Coast and lead participants on an exploration of translations of original accounts of these first contacts. The extraction of native voices from these firsthand narratives will be achieved through textual analysis, which will include the use of ethnohistorical and ethnographic analogs (for example sixteenth-century Nahua textual and pictorial accounts of the Cortez expedition). This lecture will be followed by a presentation by a National Parks Service education interpretation specialist. Workshop participants will then have time to explore the National Monument.
Day 3, “The Pacific deciphered” continues the narrative with a presentation by Dr. Jim Cassidy, who will discuss Native American seafaring and look at prehistoric migration along the Pacific Coast. Dr. Cassidy will also examine recent excavation in the Channel Islands and talk about the recently uncovered artifacts, which participants may view during the visit. They are believed to be the earliest artifacts found anywhere in the Americas. In addition, Dr. Ray Ashley will discuss the migration and navigational capabilities of indigenous Pacific peoples that allowed them to cross vast oceanic distances unaided by instruments.
Following the morning's discussions, NEH Summer Scholars will have a presentation activity entitled "Who are the Kumeyaay?" Instructor Stan Rodriguez from the local Kumeyaay College will present a hands-on activity weaving elements of Kumeyaay language, tool making, and traditional foods.
The afternoon's lecture-discussion begins with, “Cracking the Code of the Winds: How the Quest for Empire Devolved into the Quest to Learn the Oceanography and Climatology of the Pacific and the American West Coast” led by Professor Emeritus David Ringrose of the University of California San Diego, the author of numerous books on the history of the Spanish colonial empire. Participants will discuss how the vast Pacific Ocean initially posed a seemingly impossible barrier to finding a route to the Indies. This lecture will not only review the fundamentals of early oceanographic exploration but look at climatology in a historical perspective to help teachers make connections to current issues and the expansion of past empires.
Day 4, “The Pacific rationalized” begins with “The Voyages of the Enlightenment and the Founding of California,” a session led by Professor Kevin Sheehan, who specializes in Spanish maritime enterprise in the Pacific during the eighteenth century. This lecture will tie the Spanish decision to colonize California, more than two centuries after its discovery, to events taking place across the expanse of the Pacific and to the loss of Spain’s monopoly on Pacific seafaring to other European powers during the Enlightenment period.
Later in the day, Dr. Sheehan will discuss “California both as an Island and as an Administrative Extension Of New Spain.” Participants will investigate how imaginative geographies arose from the quest for fame and fortune on the part of European explorers. For two hundred years cartographers presented an impression of California as an island, one of the greatest geographical misconceptions in history.
NEH Summer Scholars will then take a guided history tour of Old Town State Historic Park, where a mission and fort were built in 1769.
Day 5, “The Pacific contested” will begin with a trip up to the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala which was the first Franciscan mission in the Las Californias Province of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was founded in 1769 by Spanish friar Junipero Serra in an area long inhabited by the Kumeyaay Indians. NEH Summer Scholars will be led by Dr. Iris Engstrand, professor of history at the University of San Diego, who specializes in the history of the Spanish borderlands, Pacific exploration, and California. We will travel back to the museum for the first lecture discussion session, “Empires In Collision: The Nootka Sound Crisis," which emphasizes the pivotal role played by indigenous peoples in the European quest for empire on the Pacific coast.
Our final formal lecture-discussion will be “Americans in the Pacific: From the China Trade and the Search of Furs to the Maritime Role of California in the U.S. Civil War,” led by Captain Bruce Linder, USN (ret). Captain Linder’s lecture will constitute a re-imagining of U.S. history and continental expansion from a Pacific and maritime perspective: the story of a nation drawn westward by the maritime lure of the Pacific rather than pushed westward by the continental pressures of the Atlantic world. Dr. Linder is a widely published author and historian specializing in the relationship between naval power and the development of seaport communities.
Day 6: “The Pacific remembered” Unique to this workshop will be the culminating activity which will be conducted aboard the official state tall ship, Californian, a 140-foot topsail schooner and replica of the ships that patrolled and defended the West Coast between the Gold Rush and the Civil War. NEH Summer Scholars will take an active role in sailing the ship: raising sail, standing a watch on the helm, and firing a broadside from her battery of guns. Sailing ships were the technology that linked the early modern world. They were the first large scale innovations of the modern world and first in which people, cargo, power, and ideals all traveled in the same package. The voyage on the Californian will supply experiential understanding of both the power and limitations of this once revolutionary technology. The program will conclude with the distribution of stipend and discussion.
Equal Opportunity Statement Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, write to NEH Equal Opportunity Officer, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. TDD: 202/6068282 (for the hearing impaired only).
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in Empires of the Wind: American Pacific Maritime Beginnings teacher workshop do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.