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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Book Reviews

and the abrogation of its constitution by Centralist forces that sub-
stituted a dictatorship for democracy."
Connor tries admirably to bring Texas history to the present-
an effort which results in the weakest part of the work. Content,
synthesis, and cohesion decline, not so much because of a lack of
authorial competence, but because of the increased difficulty of main-
taining an historical perspective. Moreover, notwithstanding some
noteworthy exceptions, the state's historians generally have given
twentieth-century Texas scant attention. Until this deficiency is recti-
fied important interpretations (as suggested by Connor) and real
understanding of contemporary Texas will remain beyond our grasp.
West Texas State University FREDERICK W. RATHJEN
Chief Bowles and the Texas Cherokees. By Mary Whatley Clarke.
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971. Pp. xvii+154.
Illustrations, footnotes, bibliography, index. $6.95.)
This is a relatively brief but very informative and well-documented
summary of what is known about a small group of Cherokee Indians,
less than 1,ooo in number, who in the early nineteenth century lost
their lands in the southern Appalachians and migrated westward to
Missouri. Later they moved to Arkansas, and finally to the area of
present Cherokee and Smith counties in eastern Texas, which at that
time was still under Spanish-Mexican control. In this book Clarke
concentrates on their twenty-year sojourn in Texas. This complex
period of rapid social and political change (1819-1839) included the
demise of the Spanish colonial regime, some of the early Mexican
revolutions, the Texas revolution, and the early years of the Texas
The subject of this history is the continual struggle of the Cherokee
leaders, especially the aged but astute Chief Bowles, to acquire legal
titles to their lands from each new political regime and to maintain
physical possession of those lands in the face of a rising tide of Anglo-
American immigrants. Ironically, the very same people who dis-
possessed the Cherokees in the first place caught up with them in
Texas and dispossessed them again. In 1839, after defeat by a Texan
armed force and the death of Chief Bowles, the Texas Cherokees
moved northward into the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. But
as Clarke notes in her final chapter, the descendants of the Texas


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 30, 2014.