The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981

Book Reviews

The immensity of the data and the persuasiveness of the author's
explanation of the fate of the religious and military establishments,
however, make for an excellent contribution to the history of Coahuila
y Tejas. Almarz's monograph augurs well for the series of reports and
essays that will follow from the archaeological and ethnohistorical in-
vestigations by the Center for Archaeological Research at the Univer-
sity of Texas, San Antonio.
Angelo State University ARNOLDO DE LE6N
Queen of the Missions: A Documentary History of Santa Barbara.
Compiled and edited by Msgr. Francis J. Weber. (Los Angeles:
Archdiocese of Los Angeles Archives, 1979. Pp. x+244. $10o.)
There seems to be some disagreement among mission historians as
to which religious edifice of the Spanish colonal period in the Ameri-
can Southwest should be called "Queen of the Missions." Father
Marion Habig (San Antonio's Mission San Jose [San Antonio, 1968],
65) claims the name for the Texas mission of his title, citing as justifica-
tion a 1797 observation by Fray Juan Agustin Morfi.
Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786 as California's tenth, is the
"Queen of the Missions" of Monsignor Francis J. Weber's book here
under review; it has been called that at least since 1927 (p. 191).
Queen of the Missions, unfortunately, falls short of the "documen-
tary history" described in the subtitle; it is more like a scrapbook, a
collection of sixty-five previously published (with two or three excep-
tions) articles and excerpts, presented without transition. The criteria
used in making the selection are difficult to discern.
Nor is there perceptible logic in the organizational scheme. Arrange-
ment is chronological by the year, 1769 to 1977, with the date given in
the heading of each item. Those dates, however, appear to have been
chosen arbitrarily; they may represent either an occurrence mentioned
in the text or the year in which the item was first published. Grouping
by subject-architecture and restoration, Indians, mission bells, ar-
chives-would have made more sense. The chaff, fitting no category,
might then have been winnowed.
While not a documentary history itself, the book does suggest (on
pages 34 and 239) where documents relating to Santa Barbara's color-
ful past may be found. Otherwise, its chief contribution to the mission's
real history seems to lie in the suggestion that it has one.


Austin, Texas


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed February 8, 2016.