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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999

Book Reviews

volume scholars and the public now have at their disposal sources which depict
both the derogatory and laudatory comments and feelings of "Anglo" America
regarding this "problem."
There are many examples of conflicting attitudes throughout, but one in-
stance will suffice in illustrating the shifting editorial policy of the Times board.
In the "Chiefs," chapter, one column, dated August 11, 1877, used glowing
terms such as "gallant," "tireless," and "brave" to describe the exploits of Chief
Joseph and the Nez Perce (p. o109). Surely, these writers assert, Americans
should work to incorporate such noble men, women and children into the fab-
ric of mainstream society. Yet on September 4, less than three weeks later, an ed-
itorial entitled "An Impudent Indian" presents readers with the following
introduction: "The North American Indian is utterly and irredeemably bad" (p.
11 o). For individuals interested in Texas subjects, the editorials dealing with
Santanta provide a similarly stark contrast (pp. 96-99 and o16-1o8).
This compilation of Times editorials attests to the complexity of the intercourse
between whites and Native Americans in the years after the Civil War. While it is
obvious that "crass self interest" was part of Anglo/Indian relations, Hays's work
demonstrates that for military men, government bureaucrats, and newspaper edi-
tors (as Utley states) "the evidence of highminded motivation is simply too over-
whelming to be buried .. ." We know that the native peoples of the American
West were not monolithic in their responses to the "invasion" of their lands. The
value of this work is that it demonstrates the diversity of "white" attitudes and
thought toward the "Indian problem" of late-nineteenth-century America.
Texas Tech University JORGE IBER
The Alabama-Coushatta Indians. By Jonathan B. Hook. (College Station: Texas
A&M University Press, 1997. Pp. xvi+152. Illustrations, preface, notes, bibli-
ography, index. ISBN 0-89096-782-2. $29.95, cloth).
The subject of this monograph is a Native American group situated on a fed-
eral (formerly state) reservation in Polk County, north of Houston. The author,
of part-Cherokee ancestry himself, has prepared an engaging and sympathetic
portrait of the Alabama Coushattas. They formed part of the Creek confederacy
in Alabama before 1763 but migrated by stages to Louisiana and ultimately to
the Big Thicket region of East Texas. There, in the early nineteenth century,
they received lands and goods from the Spanish authorities, who relied on these
and other friendly Amerindians to serve as a defensive buffer against Anglo-
American intruders from Louisiana. Later, however, some of them participated
in the Mexican struggle for independence, and Alabama-Coushattas also ren-
dered valuable noncombat services to the embattled republican Texans in 1836
and to confederate Texas during the Civil War. Hook devotes most of his atten-
tion to the less dramatic but far more crucial episodes of Alabama-Coushatta his-
tory since the 186o's, such as the near disappearance of tribal government
under both state and federal auspices, and the struggle to maintain and, when-
ever possible, enlarge a depleted reservation land base, currently just under



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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