hocking-2-internetDoug Hocking is an Arizona Humanities Road Scholar.

That means Doug is available as a speaker on some talks from Arizona Humanities. They will pay an honorarium and travel expenses on those talks to Arizona non-profit organizations. Find out more at Arizona Speaks on





Westerners International recognized Doug as an excellent speaker with the Philip A. Danielson Award for 2015.


The Black Legend of Lieutenant George Bascom (1 hour, 40 minute talk, 20 minutes Q&A)

The availability of willing ‘old timers’ and the lack of primary documentary resources led early historians to form a view of Bascom that wasn’t grounded in reality. The way we first heard the story is hard to dislodge. Today many primary sources are available and historians are slowly forming new opinions but among the public, the old stories persist. The true story of what happened at Apache Pass is presented along with the origin of many falsehoods.

hocking-5-internetThe Life and Times of Tom Jeffords, Friend of Cochise (1 hour, 40 minute talk, 20 minutes Q&A) The book is available on for pre-order. Due out May 2017 from TwoDot. This talk is available through AZHumanities

Tom Jeffords grew up in Ashtabula, OH, without much education and was promoted to lake captain in his early twenties. The lure of making his fortune called Tom west to the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, the San Juan Rush and to the Colorado River. He scouted and was dispatch rider for the Army during the Civil War and was present at its bloodiest battle. After the war, he prospected, scouted and helped start Tucson’s mail service. Along the way, he met Cochise, then the most feared Apache chief, and the two became friends so that he was able to guide General O.O. Howard to the chief and negotiate the peace. As Indian Agent he was admired by Apache and white alike. Afterwards, he returned to prospecting an mining owning shares in Tombstone’s mine, the Copper Queen and Brunckow Mine to name a few. He engineered Tucson’s first water company and retired to his mines at Owl Head Buttes where Alice Rollins Crane came into his life.

Arizona in the 1850s (1 hour, 40 minute talk, 20 minutes Q&A)

Arizona was a very interesting place in the 1850s. It was violent and lawless but the First Nations weren’t yet as violent as they later became. Boundary Commissions passed through twice and the Oatmans made their way toward the Promised Land. Paddle boats came up the Colorado and gold was discovered. The First Dragoons took possession of the land and founded forts to protect the new mines. The Butterfield Overland Mail tied the country together, and Arizona’s the first newspaper was founded. Tubac and Tucson were violent, lawless and isolated. This was an exciting era when every man was a hero just for surviving. In 1861, the situation was so bad that almost everyone left and the Apaches ambushed the last wagon train east.

Fandango at Fort Massachusetts, Fourth of July 1856 (30 min) – General Garland, future Confederate General Richard Ewell, Kit Carson, Lucien Maxwell and a future Archbishop all made it to a Fourth of July fandango at the remotest post of the United States Army. Honest.  

Two Roads to New Mexico: the High Road from Taos to Santa Fe and the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail (1 hr) – The high road from Taos explores the spread of Spanish culture into the Rio Arriba and what it became there. The Santa Fe Trail brought American culture to New Mexico. Informed travelogue.

Bloody Doubtful Canyon in Cochise County (1hr) – The canyon has been a crucial watering and grazing spot on many trails since ancient times. The Butterfield Overland Mail had a station here. But the canyon was dangerous, a great place for an ambush.

Massacre at Point of Rocks – Death on the Santa Fe Trail 1849 (1hr) – The Jicarilla Apache kidnapped a woman and her child after killing her husband and traveling companions. Kidnapping Mexican and Pueblo women was a commonplace, but Mrs. White was an Anglo and a lady, almost the only one in New Mexico. Pursuit came from all directions but it took Kit Carson to find and follow a trail already a month old. This is the historic background to the historical novel, Massacre at Point of Rocks, the real story.

Padre Antonio Jose Martinez and 19th Century Religion in New Mexico (1 hr) – For more than 300 years New Mexico was a Franciscan mission field and her people, other than Indians, an afterthought. With the Mexican Revolution in 1821 that changed and the Franciscans were expelled leaving the land with only one priest. Padre Martinez performed wonders, trained priests and led the Penitentes only to have much of his work undone by a French bishop who didn’t understand the culture.

Mysteries of the Southwest (1hr) – Beyond the Lost Dutchman and Adams Diggings to Chaco Canyon, Treasure Falls, ancient Israelis and tiny Welshmen, the Southwest is full of mysteries and amazing stories, many of them true.

Black Powder Weapons and Tactics, Demo and talk (1hr) – How black powder weapons were loaded and fired and the tactics that went with them from the Revolutionary War thru the Mexican War and Wagon Trains to the Civil War.

The Mexican American War (2hr)

Causes and Lead In to War (1hr) – Tracing the history of ownership of the lands taken from Mexico back to the first explorers and then goes on to the attempts to negotiate an southern border for the U.S. while showing the pressures on the country from Great Britain, France, Spain and Russia to settle that boundary with or without Mexican help showing how the troubled condition of Mexico’s border states raised large security issues for the U.S.

The War for California and New Mexico (1hr) – The Santa Fe Trail, General Kearney’s expedition to New Mexico and granting of citizenship to New Mexicans, Doniphan’s Expedition to Mexico, the self-applied laurels of the Mormon Battalion, the Taos Revolt and murder of Governor Bent, the multiple quests for California.

The War in Mexico: The Great Battles and Victories (1hr) – Nothing but victories: Resca de Palma, Monterey, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Mexico City and the Army that fought.

Jicarilla Apache Ceremonialism: Go Jii Ya, Adolescence Ceremony, the Bear Dance Holiness Ritual (1hr) – Three ceremonies comprise Jicarilla religion: one balances the forces of nature, one assists entry into adulthood and the third is for healing and balancing one’s relation to nature. All are about community, clan and family.

Civil War in New Mexico: Valverde, Glorieta Pass and Picacho Butte (1 hr) – In 1861 the South had a shot at winning the Civil War by taking New Mexico. Her collapse might have given the Confederacy access to specie and to Pacific ports that the Union could not have blockaded. Status as a ‘continental power’ might have led to European recognition. All this changed at Glorieta Pass where the Union almost lost.

The Battle of Cieneguilla and its Aftermath (1hr) – Jicarilla Apache were victorious over the U.S. Dragoons, in the last stand of the 1850s. A force of less than 100 Apache fought 60 dragoons losing only two of their own. How a big lie became history and what really happened. The fight was followed by the Battle of Ojo Caliente and two years of war in pursuit of the Jicarilla.

Fort Massachusetts, 1852-1858, most isolated Army post: archaeology, history and campaigns against the Jicarilla and the Ute (1hr) – Fort Massachusetts was a tough place to be assigned but played an important part in operations against the Ute and Jicarilla. Its recent excavation has implications for historical archaeology and how the two fields interact and why that interaction is problematic and more difficult for historians than archaeologists.

Fee Arrangements:

Negotiable Honorarium plus all travel expenses.

Doug is also available for TV, Radio and Documentaries

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