The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

consideration (and probably class discussion) that link not only to details of the
essay but also suggest ties to other historical events and societal issues. The
book's only noteworthy omission is also in these prefaces, where the inclusion of
a brief sketch of each contributor's background would have clarified her or his
expertise on the subject presented (all essays originally appeared in historical
journals between 1963 and 1996, with over half published during the 1990os).
The three essays in Part I will especially help students appreciate the chal-
lenges of defining the West's boundaries, differentiating between frontier and
region (the Turnerian dilemma), classifying types of frontiers, and understand-
ing the worldwide relationship between empires and frontiers.
The other fourteen essays, arranged chronologically within the book's last
three parts, cover subjects from the predictable (Indians and bison, mountain
men, cowboys, homesteaders) to those emphasizing the West's economic shifts
(the Great Depression, the effects of World War II) and its diversity (women's
property rights, Mormons, miners and ethnic conflict, Japanese American inter-
ment, African Americans from Esteban to Rodney King).
As students read these well-written and carefully documented essays, typically
ten to fifteen pages long, they will learn of the rich variety of experiences that
created today's West and thus will enhance their understanding not only of what
people did there, but why, and with what effect. At the same time, they will have
readily at hand an array of professional models to consult when crafting their
own research efforts into essay form.
Western Carolina Unzversity JAMES R. NICHOLL
Defiant Peacemaker: Nzcholas Trst zn the Mexican War. By Wallace Ohrt. (College
Station: Texas A&M University Press. Pp. ix+19go. Introduction, notes, bibli-
ography, index. ISBN 0-89096-778-4. $29.95, cloth.)
Wallace Ohrt believes that Nicholas Trist, the controversial negotiator of the
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, has been misunderstood and slighted by contem-
poraries and historians despite his service to the nation and friendship with sev-
eral presidents (most notably Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, and Buchanan). This
biographical character study is meant to explain Trist's personality and motiva-
tions and to restore him to his rightful place as the man who secured a good
portion of the southwest for the United States.
The biography is divided into two parts. The first half relates the years lead-
ing up to Trist's fateful mission to Mexico. Born in Virginia in 1800oo, Trist
spent much of his youth in Louisiana. In 1818, he accepted an invitation from
Thomas Jefferson (friend and neighbor of his paternal grandmother) for an
extended visit to Monticello. Jefferson subsequently helped Trist get appoint-
ed to West Point. In 1824 Trist returned to Monticello, married Virginia
Randolph (Jefferson's granddaughter), and studied law under the former
president's tutelage while serving as his private secretary. Trist later acted as
executor of Jefferson's estate. Although a Jacksonian, he accepted a job as a
State Department clerk in John Quincy Adams's administration, mostly to help

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/. Accessed July 30, 2014.