The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

study of the technical side of the industry, and Odie B. Faulk's brief ar-
ticle "Ranching in Spanish Texas" (Hispanic American Historical Review,
XLIV [May, 1965]), which is concerned with the laws regarding ranch-
ing, are the chief predecessors of this work. But unlike them, Los Mes-
tenos is a study of the interaction between mission ranchers and private
ranchers and of the roles played by the colonial government and hostile
Indians in shaping Texas ranching.
In the last chapter of the book Jackson presents a heated rebuttal of
Terry C. Jordan's thesis that western ranching has its roots in the Anglo-
American South and not in Hispanic Texas (Terry C. Jordan, Trails to
Texas: Southern Roots of Western Cattle Ranching [ 1981]). Jackson chal-
lenges Jordan's assertion that because population moved east to west, so
too did cattle culture. Of the contact between Anglos and Mexicans
in the coastal plains below the Nueces River, Jackson writes: "Down
through the years Texans rode into this area for cattle and emerged
wearing chaps, sombreros, bandanas, ponchos, silver-inlaid spurs, and
most of the other trappings that we now associate with the well-dressed
western cowpoke" (p. 61o). It is in this chapter that the author fully
emerges from behind the documents, making a most compelling case.
Los Mestenos is a well researched and thoughtful book. Its scope
extends little beyond the San Antonio River Valley, but Jackson does
manage to weave in the South and East Texas ranching experience.
The nature of the surviving records, mostly legal cases, generally lends
itself well to the simple chronological narrative employed. If at times
Jackson is painstakingly slow in reaching the point, it can be attributed
to his clearly stated goal of letting "the cattlemen speak for themselves"
(p. 6). A great deal of respect is shown in the use of sources, both pri-
mary and secondary, although the footnotes are sometimes insufficient
or entirely lacking.
Los Mesteios, it is hoped, will become what the author intended it to
be-the wellspring of renewed interest in the Spanish colonial legacy of
Texas. The book should also be food for thought among advocates of
the "Southern roots" theory of western ranching origins. Jackson's work
is already a fine memorial to the original Texas rancheros.
Texas General Land Office JEOrs F. DE LA TEJA
Crossing the Border with the Fourth Cavalry: Mackenzie's Raid into Mexico,
I873. By Richard A. Thompson. (Waco, Tex.: Texian Press, 1986.
Pp. xxi+93. Foreword, preface, prologue, illustrations, epilogue,
footnotes, bibliography. $15.95.)
Richard A. Thompson, an ex-Marine Corps machine-gun-squad
leader and history buff, has written a short monograph that describes

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/. Accessed September 21, 2014.