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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ger of the English-speaking frontiersmen and "higher officials recommend-
ed building more forts, patrolling the Mississippi with gunboats, befriend-
ing Indians, and occasionally inviting Americans to settle on Spanish
lands" (p. i 18). Spain suffered from a hardening of her political and
economic arteries, however, and refused to see Spanish Louisiana as any-
thing but a buffer to protect New Spain. Thus, Spanish officials adhered
to a classical mercantilism and her profit-starved merchants could not
compete with Anglo-American traders. In the end, her lands were to be
inundated with Yankee frontiersmen.
This interesting story is skillfully told, all of the pertinent sources are
utilized, and maps help orient the reader to the vast territory under dis-
cussion. A work such as this is indispensable to anyone interested in Border-
lands History or even of the Spanish colonial period.
California State University, Fullerton WARREN A. BECK
The Plains Indians. By Francis Haines. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell
Company, 1976. Pp. 213. Illustrations, maps, biblography, index.
The Plains Indians by Francis Haines will make light late night read-
ing for those unfamiliar with the Native American people of the Plains
region. Students of the subject will find the book pretentious and mildly
offensive. The dust jacket advertises Haines's book as a "dramatically new
interpretation of the history of the Plains Indians." The once-over-lightly
treatment of the subject makes its dramatic character questionable and
the interpretation is decidedly not new. A quick glance at the author's
brief footnotes and selected bibliography indicates that he drew upon fa-
miliar secondary sources most of which have been available for over twenty
Haines's book is a debunker of fictionalized accounts of the Plains In-
dians found in television and movie dramas. Destroying the strawmen of
fictional stereotypes undoubtedly provided the author with a great deal
of fun, but is hardly the basis for a new and dramatic interpretation. The
information contained in the book while attractively presented is "old hat"
and often reflects a lack of familiarity with the latest research on the
The author covers most of the highlights in discussing the migration
patterns on the Plains and the development of Plains Indian culture. It
will not come as any surprise to most readers that the horse, gun, and the
buffalo were central to the life styles of the Plains Indians. The achieve-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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