The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964

Book Reviews

Even with fact Toepperwein is sometimes careless. He miss-
states both the 186o population of the South and the Gillespie
County vote on secession, for which there is no excuse. On the
first page the editors allowed "surveyor's chair" to get by for
"surveyor's chain," E. J. Davis is called Edward at least once,
and toward the end of the book "1964" slipped in. One will
not read far into the book before he questions the title Rebel in
Blue. Should it not be Yankee in Gray? The helpful map on the
inside covers is marred by labeling Fort De Russy as Fort De
Bussy. Otherwise, the publishers have provided a handsome book.
FRANK H. SMYRL
San Antonio College
Comanche Land. By J. Emmor Harston. San Antonio (The
Naylor Company), 1963. Pp. 2o6. Appendices. $5.95-
The least reliable method of authenticating historical fact
is through the study of folklore or legends. Some grain of truth
undoubtedly exists in many legends, but the separation of truth
from falsehood in such instances is an almost impossible task.
Folklore of races unsullied by modern civilization is often neb-
ulous and highly idealized. Folklore from races "tainted" by
modern civilization is, at best, contradictory and misleading.
J. Emmor Harston has attempted to present a history of the
Comanche Indians by utilizing Comanche folklore obtained
through years of personal contact. The result is a regrettably use-
less conglomeration of twisted facts, verging at times on the
ludicrous.
One of the more firmly established facts in Texas history has
been that the state's name derives from the word "tayshas,"
meaning friends, used as a greeting to allied tribes by members
of the Hasinai Confederacy of the Caddo Indians. The word
"Comanche" is a corruption of the Spanish word "Komantcia,"
taken from the Utes and meaning "enemy." The Comanche
Indians, historic offshoots of the Northern Shoshones, at the
beginning of the eighteenth century resided in eastern Colorado,
western Kansas, and New Mexico. By the middle of the century
they controlled the southern plains, accomplishing their occupa-
tion through an almost continual movement of small family
groups. The largest Texas group was the Penatekas, also called

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed August 20, 2014.