The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935

Book Reviews and Notices

Advancing the Frontier. By Grant Foreman. (Norman: Civ-
ilization of the American Indian Series, University of
Oklahoma Press, 1933. Pp. 363. Illustrations. $4.00.)
It has been the habit of historical writers to think of the Indian
Territory as an island of aboriginal life artifically protected against
the advancing waves of white civilization that were flowing over
the surrounding country. Grant Foreman writes this book from
an opposite, but more accurate premise: that when the Southern
Indians were driven from their ancient homes and established
beyond the frontier, they brought civilized institutions to a wild
region in advance of the fringe of western settlement.
The book follows the author's Pioneer Days in the Early South-
west and Indians and Pioneers, and is a direct sequel to his Indian
Removal. It deals with the period of Oklahoma history between
the settlement of the Five Civilized Tribes and the Civil War. It
gives a detailed history of the forts that were established by the
federal government to protect this new frontier. It shows the
relations between the civilized immigrant Indians and their new
neighbors, and gives an especially interesting account of the pic-
turesque inter-national councils that exerted such a steadying in-
fluence upon the wild native tribes. It discusses the abortive
attempt to unite the tribes into an Indian territory or state, a
plan impracticable in execution, but cherished by the federal gov-
ernment, and supported equally by sincere friends of the Indians,
who wished to strengthen them through union, and the land-
hungry frontiersmen, who hoped for ultimate allotment and con-
sequent white control of the Indian country. It describes the
institutions established by the civilized Indians in the remote
frontier to which they had been driven.
It was a confused period of depredations and raids by the wild
Indians, perplexities and hardships of the recent immigrants, en-
croachments of a lawless white element, and a government policy
that was vacillating and inconsistent. Perhaps it is this circum-
stance that makes the reader feel that the book lacks unity and
thoroughness of organization. There is too much undigested ma-
terial in the footnotes, which often carry a narrative entirely un-
related to the text. The writer has not been as successful as he

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed June 1, 2016.

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