The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988

Book Reviews

The study indicates that the presidio had roots in both the Roman
period and in the reconquest of Iberia from the Moors. On the north-
ern frontier, the presidio became important as early as 1580. Initially a
protective unit for trade routes and neighboring settlements of the
silver area, the presidio evolved into an Indian-control institution-a
peace agency with a duty to protect Indian rights and to punish native
malefactors.
Subsections, each with supporting documentation, deal with "The
Chichimeca War and Peace (1576-16o6)"; "Early Rebellions in the Sie-
rra Madre (606o- 1618)," treating the uprisings of the Acaxee, the Xixi-
mes, and the Tepehuanes; "Mid-Century Challenges and Realignment
(1640-166o)"; and "Northern Rebellions and New Presidios (1681-
1695)," which avoids the 168o Pueblo Revolt of New Mexico but treats
related activities, some of which concern El Paso. The latter section also
details the extended campaign against the Pima Indians in 1695.
St. Mary's University DONALD C. CUTTER
Most Excellent Sir: Letters Received by Sam Houston, President of the Republic
of Texas, Columbia, 183 6- I 83 7. Edited by James L. Haley. Foreword
by Dorman H. Winfrey. (Austin: Duncan & Gladstone, 1986.
Pp. xii+75. Foreword, preface, acknowledgments, reproduction of
original letters. $48, cloth; $125, deluxe edition.)
As president, senator, and governor, Sam Houston was a prolific
writer. Most of the speeches, messages, and correspondence of his ca-
reer have been collated and published, filling at least twenty volumes.
Houston's major biographers have capably used this wealth of material.
Until 1973, however, a major collection of Houston papers was gener-
ally unknown. This collection of 4,300 letters written to Houston had
been preserved by his son, Andrew Jackson Houston, and donated by
A. J. Houston's daughters to the Archives Division of the Texas State
Library. This volume is composed of nineteen letters from the Andrew
Jackson Houston collection, selected, transcribed, and annotated by
James L. Haley.
Haley clearly states his reason for editing and publishing a selection
of these papers: "to show the nature and proportions of the papers that
flowed to President Houston's office ... [and to] get other Texas histo-
rians into this collection" (p. xi). The letters selected do offer a cross-
section of the type and variety of mail that Houston received during his
first few months as president in the capital of Columbia. Correspon-
dence from office seekers, land speculators, concerned soldiers' wives,
and upset army officers reveals much about the tumultuous early days
of the Texas Republic. Concern about individual welfare, the condition

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/. Accessed November 20, 2014.