The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Book Reviews

Mier y Terin's diary suffers from comparison with the other accounts of the
same expedition. It is not as perceptive, detailed, or well written as Berlandier's
journals, nor is it as inclusive as Morton's biography. All of which begs the ques-
tion: Did readers really need an edited translation of this diary?
Absolutely! Jackson's copious notes bring clarity to what most readers would
otherwise find a morass of minutiae. Wheat's translation is lucid, incisive, even
elegant, but never eclipses Mier y Terin's voice.
Would that the folks at the University of Texas Press had done their jobs as
well as the editor and translator. Illustrations include numerous lithographs
from Claudio Linanti's Costumes czvils, militaires et rdligieux du Mexique (Brussels
1828). The editor also employed Lino Sanchez y Tapia's contemporaneous wa-
tercolor sketches, now housed at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. The originals
reveal the vibrant colors of period Mexican costume, but the press opted to re-
produce them in banal black and white. What a waste. Color illustrations would
have gone a long way to justify the book's hefty $40.00 price tag, which even by
the standards of scholarly monographs seems excessive.
Even so, Jackson and Wheat's Texas by Terdn has earned a place alongside
Berlandier's Journey to Mexzco during the Years 1826 to 1834 and Morton's Terdn
and Texas. Any serious student of the period will find this volume indispens-
able.
The Victoria College Stephen L. Hardin
Tejano Empire: Lzfe on the South Texas Ranchos. By Andr6s Tijerina. Illustrations by
Ricardo M. Beasley. Detail drawings by Servando G. Hinojosa. (College Sta-
tion: Texas A&M University Press, 1998. Pp. xxx+159. Preface, introduction,
epilogue, notes, glossary, bibliography, index. ISBN o-890o96-834-9. $29,95,
cloth.)
In six concise chapters and an epilogue, embellished with ten illustrations and
eighteen exquisite drawings by the late Ricardo M. Beasley, the author has done
an excellent and meticulous job of explicating how the Spanish and Mexican
heritage gave character and identity to the Tejano ranching empire in South
Texas. Using a topical approach, which lends itself better to the development of
the story than a chronological sequence of events, the author gracefully en-
chances the neatly packed historical narrative by placing Spanish concepts ap-
propriately throughout the text. The Tejano families, utilizing their vast land
grants, established the rancho as the cynosure for the social, economic, cultural,
educational, and religious traditions to take place.
The roots of the Tejano ranching empire were firmly planted in the mid-
eighteenth century by the colonization efforts of Don Jose de Escandon, who
brought families to settle the five villas del norte; namely Laredo, Revilla, Mier,
Camargo, and Reynosa. From this strategic geographical location along the
border, the intrepid pioneers expanded their ranching and farming enterprises
towards the north and northeast part of the state. For example, Encarnaci6n
Garcia Perez and Martiana Perez de Garcia, settlers from Mier, established the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed August 27, 2014.