The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971

Book Reviews

are numerous areas remaining, unresearched and generally unknown
to the average Texana buff. Joseph Martin Dawson, former president
-of the Institute of Texas Letters, has rescued Jos6 Antonio Navarro,
the "Co-Creator of Texas" and the man for whom Navarro County
was named, from such anonymity.
Born in 1795, Navarro witnessed many significant events in nine-
teenth-century Texas history. He wrote brief accounts of the Mexican
revolution against Spain. He was one of the leaders of Texas inde-
pendence, and lived through the period of the Republic, the Mexican
War, the Civil War, and a portion of Reconstruction. He died in 1871.
Dawson, faced with an amazing paucity of documentation consider-
ing Navarro's eventful and productive life, has combed sources in
every part of the state to present this highly readable and favorable
account of the "White Dove," as Navarro often was called. He
obviously cares for his subject. Navarro, the man, was patriotic,
loving, loyal, wise, and courageous. He was enlightened on such
controversial issues as the Mexican War (disagreeing with the ex-
ponents of Manifest Destiny who pushed the Texas border to the
Rio Grande) and the Civil War (feeling that slavery was barbaric),
but he faltered momentarily in such well-known instances as the ill-
fated and poorly advised Santa F6 expedition, serving as one of its
There are some generalizations that raise questions, such as Daw-
son's casual reference to the army of General Cos as "a thousand
assassins." There are some statements that beg for citation of sup-
porting evidence, such as the continual speculation as to what Na-
varro's attitude was on a given subject or situation. And there are
a few outright errors or misstatements: General Scott did not replace
General Taylor during the war with Mexico (p. 87).
Still, Dawson has presented a smooth narrative that firmly places
Jose Antonio Navarro and his contributions to Texas in perspective.
Given the material he had to work with, this was no easy task.
Amon Carter Museum of Western Art RONNIE C. TYLER
Frontiersmen of the Faith: A History of Baptist Pioneer Work in
Texas, I865-1885. By Zane Allen Mason. (San Antonio: The
Naylor Company, 970o. Pp. ix + 219. Appendices, bibliography.
This book surveys Baptist beginnings in colonial Texas, when
religious freedom did not prevail, and continues through the eras


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed January 25, 2015.