The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS
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 III, The Missions
at Work, 1731-1761, by Carlos E. Castafieda, Ph. D. (Austin,
Texas: The Von Boeckmann-Jones Company, 1938. Pages
viii, 474. Illustrations and folding map. Price $5.)
Five groups of missions and missionary activity furnish the
theme of this third volume of Dr. Castafieda's work. The loca-
tions are San Antonio; the lower Rio Grande valley from Laredo
to Brownsville; the upper Rio Grande from Laredo to El Paso;
the central region of Texas, near modern Rockdale; and the San
Saba valley, the site of the ill-fated effort to Christianize the
Apaches. Other historians have pioneered portions of this field,
including Bolton and Dunn; but the author has used much new
material and has woven a narrative of detailed facts that must
serve as the starting point for all future work in the field. This
is the value of the book-its detailed factual character. It fur-
nishes the bibliography and the objective information which will
enable some future writer to cut loose from the bondage of metic-
ulous documents and paint a living picture of the zealous lives
of the missionaries, ever disappointed and ever renewing hope, of
the backsliding neophytes, the marauding Apaches, the bickering
military chieftains, and the squalid frontier villas, all directed
and regulated in part by the king in distant Spain.
This is not to say, however, that the volume ignores the social
and economic life that went on in and around the missions. It
contains the most complete census of the San Antonio missions
that has ever been published, setting forth the number of baptisms
down to 1745, the number of congregated Indians in each estab-
lishment, the disciplines taught, the fields cultivated, and the
number of cattle, sheep, and goats. San Antonio de Valero (the
Alamo) was the richest in possessions and good works. It had
under its direction, in 1745, 311 Indians, had baptised 981 con-
verts, and had performed 685 Christian burials. It owned 2,000
head of cattle, 1,317 sheep, 304 goats, 40 horses, and 23 yoke of
oxen, not to mention farming tools, carts, and blacksmith and
carpenter shops. One catches glimpses of commerce and prices,

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed April 27, 2015.