The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951

Book Reviews

Corle freely interprets the events recorded with what appears to
the reviewer to be little or no supporting evidence or with evi-
dence taken from one source only. For instance, he deglamorizes
mission life in California with finality, and in the process follows
only one source, La Perouse (Le Voyage de la Per6use Autour
du Monde-Paris, 1797) who spent only ten days in California
(p. go). The discriminating reader might accept this interpreta-
tion with a feeling of reluctance, but he would most certainly
demand additional evidence to support the interpretation of the
highly controversial question of James K. Polk's attitude toward
war with Mexico. Corle says that Polk included four possibilities
in his plan for the acquisition of California, the fourth being a
declaration of war against Mexico and an immediate military oc-
cupation of the coveted area. The proof to support this indictment
of Polk, Corle dismisses with the statement that it "is proved by
the Commodore Jones 'affair' under Tyler in 1842," three years
before Polk became President of the United States. In another
chapter (pp. 265-279) but in the same critical vein, the author
compares the activities of the American and of the United States
government in California to those of the bandits Juan Flores,
Tiburcio Vasquez, and Joaquin Murrieta, but by comparison
the three appeared as amateurs. In brief, he says that the motto
of the bandit was "your money or your life" but that the gringo
was worse. He took both. "The government at Washington,"
he said, "had found a way to rob you legally and profession-
ally." On these controversial issues it would not appear to be
unreasonable to expect the citation of complete evidence.
The book is well organized, pleasing in style, reasonably au-
thentic, and always interesting and provocative. If one wishes
to enjoy, vicariously, a tour along U. S. Highway loi no better
way may be found than to read a copy of Corle's The Royal
Highway.
CLAUDE ELLIOTT
Southwest Texas State Teachers College
Kaskaskia Under the French Regime. By Natalia Maree Belting.
Urbana (University of Illinois Press), 1948. Pp. 140. Illus-
trations. $1.50.
In the mad race for colonial empire in the seventeenth century

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed July 12, 2014.