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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the seed of distrust of the United States government in Mexican soil. Chapter two
is an account of the Spanish land grants in the counties that Guthrie places in the
Texas Coastal Bend. Chapter eight is a simple summary of nineteenth-century
cattle drives in south and central Texas. Chapter nine covers the "Cart War" of
the late 185os between Anglo and Mexican freighters.
The book is problematic in two major ways. First, there is the lack of a coher-
ent thesis. The only element that links the chapters together is location. And
that is not always true. The author's belief that the Battle of Gonzales and the
siege and storming of Bexar, the fall of the Alamo, and the Battle of San Jacinto
can be considered as battles along the Texas Coastal Bend is quite a stretch.
Second, while the author has used a wide range of well-known primary and sec-
ondary sources, the narrative contains no new evidence of importance.
In sum the book is an unfocused mixture of nineteenth-century history that
offers nothing new to the historiography. Otherwise, Raw Frontier is adequately
written and the format is attractive.
Austin THOMAS RICKS LINDLEY
The Caddo Chiefdoms: Caddo Economics and Politics, i70o-z835. By David La Vere.
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998. Pp. xxi+198. Series editor's
introduction, preface, introduction, map pronunciation key, notes, bibliog-
raphy, index. ISBN 0-8032-2927-5. $45.00, cloth.)
In The Caddo Chiefdoms, French, Spanish, and American archival sources, oral
historical information, and archeological evidence are employed to consider the
development and elaboration of the Caddo chiefdoms after European contact.
In discussing the character of Caddo societies in historic times, the introduction
of epidemic diseases, the deer hide, horse, and gun trade, Osage and Chicksaw
slave raiding, and the different machinations of Europeans are situated within a
detailed account of the political, social, economic, and religious forces that
drove the activities and relationships of Caddoan chiefdoms, their important
leaders, and their "magnificent history" (p. 9).
La Vere's view of the prehistoric archeological record gives a sense of the
power of the ancient Caddo chiefdoms, and the strength of their traditions as
theocratic chiefdoms. These chiefdoms built earthen mounds for the religious
and political elite, carried out long distance trade in exotic items, lived in seden-
tary communities, and depended upon the cultivation of maize for their dietary
needs. His basic premise is sound that the prehistoric Caddo tradition of power-
ful chiefdoms contributed to the Caddo's "sense of unity, destiny, and greatness"
(p. 154). Also compellingly laid out is the apparent reliance of prehistoric and
historic Caddo communities on powerful chiefs, such as Tinhiouen, Dehahuit,
and Jose Maria in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the strength of
reciprocal kinship obligations.
Chapters on "The Horse, Gun and Deerskin Trades," "Challenges to the
Chiefdoms," and "Restructuring the Chiefdoms" comprise the core of the book.
They nicely describe how the political and economic traditions of the Caddo peo-
ples "allowed them to take an active role in shaping European needs to their
advantage" (p. 5). The Caddo chiefdoms did this through kinship relationships

518

April

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 September 2, 2014.