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Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

slim volume, handsomely designed, is the first to come from Austin's prom-
ising Madrona Press, for whose future output collectors will be watching.
Indian Exodus: Texas Indian Affairs, 1835-1859. By Kenneth F. Neigh-
bours. (Quanah, Texas: Nortex Press, 1973. Pp. x+ 154. Illustrations,
notes, bibliography, index. $5.95.)
When Europeans first reached Texas they entered a land occupied by a
surprisingly large number of Indians possessing a wide variety of cultures.
These indigenous peoples were later augmented by the arrival of numerous
immigrant tribes dispossessed from the eastern woodlands. Still other groups
of Indians ranged across Texas seasonally to hunt and raid. A special
census in I849, apparently reasonably accurate, revealed the astonishing
fact that Texas still had an Indian population of at least 30,oo. Today
only a few hundred Alabama-Coushattas in the Big Thicket and a handful
of Tiguas in El Paso remain, and neither group is native to Texas. Professor
Neighbours's book traces the tragic events that culminated in the expulsion
of the Indians from Texas. The story should prick the consciences of us all.
The central theme of Indian Exodus is the fruitless struggle of men of
good will, both white and red, to find a means whereby two mutually an-
tagonistic races might live side-by-side in some degree of harmony. The
book makes clear that the fate of unsophisticated Texas Indians-victims
of partisan politics, an insatiable greed for land, and petty jealousy and
bickering among competing Indian agents-differed from the tragic expe-
rience of other American Indians only in degree and in detail.
Although Neighbours's work is obviously the product of patient research
in primary sources, it suffers from a number of faults. There is a paucity of
interpretation; the bibliography contains no item published more recently
than 1949; and there are errors in the index. The main fault, however, is
that Neighbours's style is awkward and annoying. "He fell from a fence
adjoining his house, and dislocated his neck, killing him instantly" (p. I30),
is typical of poorly structured sentences found scattered through the book.
This reviewer found irritating Neighbours's constant use of the expression
"Indians from the United States" to refer to Indians from north of the Red
River, in the period after Texas had been admitted into the Union.
The offset printing job, the poor quality of the illustrations, and the for-
mat in general is guaranteed to offend anyone who loves books for their
beauty as well as for their contents.


Texas A&M University


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 30, 2016.

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