The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Lamar's comprehensive research on the overland trails has produced sources
convincing him that the southern routes have been neglected in comparison to
the extensive study of the central route. His insights presented in these lectures
will cause Western American historians to await eagerly his book on all the over-
land trails.
The University of Texas Press has lavishly illustrated this volume with photos
and maps to match the quality of the lectures. The book also contains compre-
hensive notes, an index, and suggestions to professional historians for further
reading.
University of California, Davis W. TURRENTINEJACKSON
Through Fire and Flood: The Catholic Church in Frontier Texas, 183 6-zgoo. By James
Talmadge Moore (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992. Pp.
xiii+284. Preface, acknowledgments, black-and-white photographs, table,
notes, bibliography, index. $39.50.)
Texas Catholics during the Spanish and Mexican periods were under the juris-
diction of dioceses whose bishops resided south of the Nueces River. These ties
to diocesan authority ended with the revolution of 1836, the concluding year of
Carlos Castafieda's monumental history of Texas Catholicism. At this point
James Talmadge Moore takes up the story "to chronicle the reestablishment of
ties" temporarily broken between Texas Catholics and the Catholic world and to
treat the "mosaic of events forming around wave after wave of immigration that
ultimately produced phenomenal growth and development" (p. xii) of Texas
Catholic life. The volume ends in 1900, a year without significance for the story.
Leaders' activities and institutional foundings are Moore's focus. From the
creation of the prefecture apostolic of Texas in 1839, with the Vincentian priest
John Timon as prefect, the author narrates the advancement of the Texas
church to vicariate apostolic status in 1841 under Jean Odin, who became bish-
op when the diocese of Galveston was created in 1847. Catholic growth, aug-
mented by immigration, led to the formation of additional jurisdictions: the
diocese of San Antonio and vicariate apostolic of Brownsville in 1874 and the
diocese of Dallas in 1890.
Relying on printed and manuscript sources in the Catholic Archives of Texas
in Austin, Moore introduces a large cast of players in the making of nineteenth-
century Texas Catholic life. For the antebellum period, the interaction of
Catholic figures and political leaders will interest students of Texas history.
Throughout the story, the author describes the varied challenges of fires and
floods, Comanches and Know-Nothings, the Civil War, and frontier hardships.
The level of narrative detail diminishes in describing relations with the Holy See,
whose actions are unfortunately attributed to a vague "Rome" without naming
the Roman curia's specific officials and departments.
Moore's aim to chronicle precludes defining a Texas Catholic ethos. Even
without an interpretive framework, the narrative would be easier to understand

598

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed August 20, 2014.