The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

sion and confederation. These remedies were not good, we know,
and many Georgia leaders doubted them at the time.
Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas
Paraguayan Interlude. By Willard H. Smith, with the collabora-
tion of Verna Graber Smith. Scotdale, Pennsylvania (Herald
Press), 1950. Pp. 173. Illustrations. $2.25.
Early in 1944, Willard H. Smith, professor of history and
social science, and his wife, Verna Graber Smith, instructor of
Spanish, both at Goshen College, commenced a two-year resi-
dence in Paraguay. Professor Smith served in this tiny republic
as head of the Mennonite Central Committee, a relief agency of
the Mennonite church which for many years has aided Mennon-
ite colonization in Paraguay and elsewhere. The purpose of the
book is to give an accurate picture of conditions and activities
in the Paraguayan Mennonite settlements.
The coming of the Mennonites to Paraguay arose out of a
fortuitous meeting in 192o between President-elect Gondra and
Mennonite representatives. Within a year Paraguay had enacted
the famous Privilegium guaranteeing religious freedom and
exemption from military service to Mennonite immigrants. A
translation of the laws comprising the Privilegium is included as
an appendix to the work. In 1928 the first group of settlers
arrived at the 139,000 acre tract of land which had been pur-
chased in the Chaco for the colony. Its number was enlarged
by new arrivals in 1930, 1947, and 1948. The Mennonites are
now the largest Protestant group in Paraguay. They have estab-
lished settlements not only in the Chaco but also in East Para-
guay. Recently they have opened a center in Asunci6n for those
of their faith visiting or living in the capital city.
With the aid of Central Committee funds, the Mennonite
communities carry on social work in Paraguay. In addition to
their attempts to convert the Indians, which recently have met
with some success, the Mennonites have provided milk for school
children, introduced a hookworm control program, and have
taken steps to found a leper asylum.
Interspersed throughout the book are sections dealing with


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 29, 2015.