The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977

Book Reviews

to resume political power through violence and misrepresentation. Although
topical balance in the volume is generally sound, the significance of the
black church and the emphasis by freedmen on stabilizing their family
life seem slighted to varying degrees.
The Deep South, from South Carolina across to Louisiana, receives
greater representation among the documents, which is perhaps a reflec-
tion of population concentration. Yet even the selections for other states,
such as Texas and Arkansas, include new material which should stimulate
interest among professional historians as well as general readers. In edit-
ing this first documentary history of black people during Reconstruction,
Dorothy Sterling has provided a less analytical but more dramatic volume
which compliments the narrative accounts by Lerone Bennett, Robert
Cruden, and W. E. B. DuBois.
Texas Tech University ALWYN BARR
Borderland in Retreat: From Spanish Louisiana to the Far Southwest.
By Abraham P. Nasatir. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
Press, 1976. Pp. 175. $12.).
Most writings on the Spanish Borderlands have concentrated on the area
in the Southwest contiguous with Mexico. Nasatir's excellent study treats
Spanish Louisiana, that region from the Mississippi River westward, and
Spain's effort to retain title to it against the advance of the French, and
then the more rapacious Anglo-Americans. The author wrote his doctoral
dissertation on Spanish Illinois and has been writing about the area for
the past half-century. The first frontier is well defined but concentration is
upon the years from the American Revolution to the last years of Texas
and New Mexico under Spanish rule.
In the eighteenth century, France was the first threat to Spanish hege-
mony in the vast region known as Louisiana and that nation's traders made
the Indian conscious of the advantages of trade. More importantly, the
French showed that Spain's defenses could be easily breached. It would
later be French descendants who would guide British and American trap-
pers and traders into the territory. And it was the Anglos who constituted
the real threat as one official clearly saw in 1797: "If Upper Louisiana
falls into the hands of the English or Americans, Santa Fe will be pillaged
and ravaged, along with the surrounding country, because those two na-
tions will always be in accord as long as it is a question of making money"
(pp. 92-93).
The Madrid government never underestimated the approaching dan-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed September 16, 2014.