The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000

Book Reviews

Mission Dolores research center. Some remarkable finds emerged as he can-
vassed the major archives of Spain and Mexico, as well as key collections in
California, Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana.
The resulting catalog lists in chronological order all materials in the
Collection, separately categorized as Manuscripts and Maps. For maximum
accessibility, the documents are cross-listed under three headings: descriptive
entries; original source; items citing Mission Dolores. A pithy analysis of the
development and demise of Mission Dolores and its historical meanings appears
as Appendix A.
As anticipated, documents specific to Mission Dolores were sparse. However,
Benavides gleaned a wealth of material on its contexts: economic, political, mil-
itary, social, environmental. Some of the material bears as significantly on
neighboring provinces and on imperial administrative policies and practices as
on Texas.
Hence, any scholar of the Borderlands, whatever his areas of interest, may
profit by this archivist/historian's concluding evaluation of resources and his
recommendations for future research.
Austin ELIZABETH A. H. JOHN
Defending Mexican Valor in Texas: Jose Antonio Navarro's Historical Writings,
1853-857. Edited by David R. McDonald and Timothy M. Matovina.
(Austin: State House Press, 1995. Pp. 123. Illustrations, preface, introduc-
tion, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-880510-31-6. $24.95, cloth.)
Until now, Jose Antonio Navarro of San Antonio, one of three Hispanic sign-
ers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and also the lone Hispanic dele-
gate to the 1845 convention that approved annexation of Texas to the United
States, has remained relatively "voiceless" to those interested in his early activi-
ties. Labeled an "Americanized Texan" by Jacob de Cordova, himself an
Anglicized Jewish immigrant, in his 1858 book about Texas, and as an
"Anglocized Mexican" in Joseph Martin Dawson's 1969 biography, this interest-
ing man is admired only for his seeming adaptation to Anglo-American culture.
The editors have provided historians and the public a convenient resource of
Navarro's writing that reveals his own experience and attitudes during the early
struggle for Mexican independence from Spain between 181o and 1821.
Written when he was almost sixty years old and without convenient resources for
checking dates and facts, Navarro detailed how San Antonio Tejanos responded
when Bernardo Gutierrez and Augustus Magee led republican volunteers into
Texas to capture Nacogdoches, La Bahia (Goliad), and San Antonio from the
Spaniards in 1813. Within a short time, the Spanish army recaptured San
Antonio, sending volunteers and many local sympathizers fleeing toward
Louisiana. Many Tejanos were killed and those who survived suffered great
humiliation. Navarro notes that Mexico never recognized the heroism of Tejano
patriots, and worse, how Anglo Texans failed to understand that Texans of
Mexican descent had a republican patriotic history of their own.
Navarro's lengthy letter to the editors of the local newspaper in 1853 com-
plaining about inaccuracies in a recently published Anglo account of early

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed August 30, 2014.