The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979

Book Reviews

enced this policy, probably that one, and surely the others. But, except
when disbursing clothing and utensils, the man is rarely observable.
Was he the architect of peace by purchase? Why did the Chichimecas
stop fighting? What did Caldera say to them to persuade them to so
disastrous a change in life style? Powell claims that he has already ex-
plained how Caldera made and kept the peace; but surely there was
more to it than giving away blankets and adzes.
Dramatic events are frequently mentioned in this book; but they are
rarely fulfilled and never dramatically. For example: the "most dra-
matic turn in Caldera's life" is foreshadowed on page 152. There fol-
lows a description of the installation of Tlaxacalans at San Miguel
(surely named for Caldera). Mesquitic which Caldera did not attend,
possibly because he was on his way to Mazaysil to distribute clothing
and beef. But the Indians are beginning to extort gifts through threat
of war, and Caldera will go bankrupt as a result. The "most dramatic
turn" is again foreshadowed (p. 159): Caldera will find a mine and be-
come rich! All of this he will owe to being where he was as a "peace-
Powell has abundantly illustrated that insufficient material exists for
a biography of Miguel Caldera. This book is, as Powell concludes, in
another respect "all speculation, mainly deductions based upon a com-
bination of sparse data and the texture of his times" (p. 202). Caldera
is a fugitive from history and may never be found. However, this book
is not worthless; buried in these tailings the persistent reader will find
a few nuggets.
North Texas State University LEE HUDDLESTON
Correspondence of James K. Polk, Volume IV, 1837-1838. Edited by
Herbert Weaver and Wayne Cutler. (Nashville, Tennessee: Van-
derbilt Press, 1977. Pp. x+692. Preface, index. $25.)
Northern Mexico on the Eve of the United States Invasion. Edited by
David J. Weber. (New York: Arno Press, 1976. Pp. [c. 400]. Intro-
duction. $30.)
Approximately five-sixths of the more than six hundred letters in this
volume of James K. Polk's correspondence are addressed to Polk. The
large amount of mail he received from politically prominent individuals
attests to Polk's rising stature in national affairs during 1837 and 1838.
In the former year he won a seventh consecutive term in the United


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 24, 2015.