The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

of the writing about the American West has been preoccupied with
the "environmental-radical theories" of Frederick Jackson Turner.
Most western historians will agree and thus appreciate the present
work for what it is, namely, "a smattering of the available theses
from which to examine western experience."
One minor criticism or observation by this reviewer: Joe Frantz's
Gail Borden: Dairyman to A Nation is one of the most fascinating
biographies that I have ever read. But it bears little or no relationship
to western agriculture, as the editor implies in footnote 15, page 134.
University of Toledo W. EUGENE HOLLON
Pedro Vial and the Roads to Santa Fe. By Noel M. Loomis and
Abraham P. Nasatir. Norman (University of Oklahoma Press),
1967. Pp. xxv+569. Illustrations, maps, bibliography, index.
$8.95.
In the production of this book Professor A. P. Nasatir furnished
the archival material, did most of the translations, and checked the
final version; Professor Noel M. Loomis did the writing. Although
Pedro Vial, a French frontiersman who for twenty-six years served
the Spaniards as an explorer, emissary, and interpreter, is intended
to be the central theme, almost one-half of the book unfortunately is
in reality an extended introduction, detailing the Indian, French,
British, and Anglo-American activities that to the Spaniards appeared
to threaten Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico. The last half of the
book contains the translated accounts of the exploration for roads to
Santa Fe. This collection of journals includes those kept by Vial, by
Jos6 Mares, by Santiago Fernandez who accompanied Vial from
Santa Fe to the Taovayas villages, by Francisco Xavier Fragosa who
was with Vial from Santa Fe to Natchitoches and on his return trip
to Santa Fe, and by Francisco Amangual who led a military expedi-
tion from Bdxar to Santa Fe. Each journal is annotated and prefaced
with an introduction, the various copies are collated, and throughout
the book a great amount of related official correspondence is in-
corporated.
By 1787 Spanish officials frantically feared that the aggressive
Anglo-Americans might penetrate Spanish territory and win over the
powerful Comanche Indians with whom the former had concluded
peace. To block foreign intrusion and to retain friendship and trade
with the Indians, the Spanish decided to open roads that would connect

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed August 1, 2014.