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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

A final treat for the reader of Lancers for the King is the "Fac-
similes of Documents," an exhibit of the raw materials of history.
In fine, a Texan must confess that they are doing things over
there in Arizona. The confession may stimulate fellow-Texans
and others to look for this artistic new book on the Spanish
St. Edward's University
Kalita's People: A History of the Alabama-Coushatta Indians of
Texas. By Aline Rothe. Waco (Texian Press), 1963.
This rather brief book is a curious assemblage of materials per-
taining to the Alabama-Coushatta Indians, two closely related
Muskhogean-speaking groups who migrated to eastern Texas in
the early part of the nineteenth century and who presently live
on a state-administered reservation in Polk County. It purports
to be a history of these Indians, but well-documented historical
facts are relatively few and far between. It is obviously not the
product of rigorous research; instead it is a loosely organized sum-
mary of some of the more readily available sources on these In-
dians and their former culture. It is presented in a somewhat
patronizing manner that may antagonize these and other Indians.
The author clearly has great affection for the Alabama-Cou-
shatta, but that is no substitute for scholarship. An historian of
any ethnic group should critically evaluate and analyze all the
sources he can find, no matter where they are, and his search
should be wide-ranging and imaginative. Rothe's research does
not measure up to that standard. For example, her bibliography
omits a number of well-known basic sources on the Alabama-
Coushatta, and no attempt seems to have been made to exploit
fully the primary Spanish, French, and English colonial sources,
the unpublished official documents in Washington, or the rich
local-history resources of Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, the
three states with which these Indians have been most intimately
associated. It is safe to say that a definitive history of the Alabama-
Coushatta Indians has yet to be written.
For those who know little or nothing about the Alabama-
Coushatta, this book may be useful for purposes of general ori-
entation; but for scholarly purposes other sources also should be
consulted. For descriptions of the former culture, one should


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 4, 2016.

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