Stephen F. Austin State University

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Stone Fort Museum to host Black History Month lecture

February 18, 2010 - Amy Roquemore
Avocational archeologist Tom Middlebrook will present, "Raphael D'Ortolan, an African Creole on the El Camino Real de los Tejas," in a March 1 luncheon lecture at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Hosted by the Stone Fort Museum as the second in a series celebrating Black History Month, the lecture is co-sponsored by the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture and will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Temple Forestry Building, Room 117.

A light lunch will be served free of charge to those with reservations. To reserve your seat, contact the museum at (936) 468-2408, or send an e-mail to stonefort@sfasu.edu.

D'Ortolan was a man of African descent who was born into slavery near Natchitoches, La., but lived almost half of his life as a freeman on a Spanish rancho in western Nacogdoches County. Recent archeological work by Middlebrook has brought to light clues about D'Ortolan's residence of 42 years.

Middlebrook is an archeological steward with the Texas Historical Commission and has authored numerous presentations and journal articles dealing with Caddo and Spanish Colonial archeology in East Texas, including, "The Middle Caddoan Period in East Texas: A Summary of the Findings of the East Texas Caddoan Research Group," which he co-authored with Timothy K. Perttula in 1997.

He also is the founder and current president of the East Texas Archeological Society and the co-founder of both the East Texas Caddo Research Group and the East Texas Archeological Conference.