Book Reviews and Notices
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES
Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, 1519-1936. Prepared under the
Auspices of the Knights of Columbus of Texas. Paul J.
Foik, C. S. C., Ph. D., Editor. Volume I, The Finding of
Texas, 1519-1693, and Volume II, The Winning of Texas,
1693-1731, by Carlos E. Castafieda, Ph. D. (Austin, Texas:
The Von Boeckmann-Jones Company, 1936. Pages xvi,
444; xiv, 390. Illustrations and folding maps. Price $5.00
These sturdy volumes are more than a history of the Catholic
Church in Texas for the two hundred years that they cover. They
are a connected, continuous story of the military-missionary explo-
ration of Texas and of the approaches thereto from the time of
Pineda and Cortes to the arrival of the Canary Island colonists at
San Fernando de B4xar (San Antonio) on March 9, 1731.
The Spanish-French period of Texas history has furnished a
field of active and extraordinarily fruitful study for the past
thirty years. The University of Texas, the University of California,
and the Library of Congress have collected hundreds of thousands
of pages of transcripts from the archives of Mexico and Spain;
a dozen scholars have exploited portions of these manuscripts in
books and articles of monographic character; but prior to this
time no scholar has attempted to write a unified history of the
period. This task Dr. Castafieda has very skillfully performed.
He is thoroughly familiar with all the earlier detached studies,
but he has done his work from the sources, adding much to what
others have done, correcting some errors that were inevitable in
pioneer studies, and developing illuminating chapters upon topics
previously ignored by investigators or only casually mentioned.
As he himself summarizes this portion of his work: "The tra-
ditional eight or ten expeditions into Texas up to 1731 have been
enlarged to ninety-two, and the list of missions expanded from
an equal number to more than fifty." He informs us that Cortes
had it in mind to occupy the mouth of the Rio Grande; he modifies
Davenport's reconstruction of the route of Cabeza's march from
Texas; he tells the story of an expedition similar to that of Narvaez
and Cabeza de Vaca shipwrecked (on Padre Island, he thinks) in
1553; he offers an explanation for La Salle's sailing past the
mouth of the Mississippi to the coast of Texas; he summarizes
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/. Accessed May 5, 2015.