The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998

Book Reviews
JESUS F. DE LA TEJA, Editor
The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain, Vol. II, Part I: The
Californias and Sinaloa-Sonora, I700-z765. Edited by Charles W. Polzer, S. J.,
and Thomas E. Sheridan. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997. Pp.
xi+513. Acknowledgments, volume introduction, introduction, illustrations,
maps, glossary, bibliography, index. LCN 86-13283. $65.00oo, cloth.)
The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain, Vol. II, Part II: The
Central Corrdor and the Texas Comrdor, 700-1765. Edited by Diana Hadley,
Thomas H. Naylor, and Mardith K. Schuetz-Miller. (Tucson: University of
Arizona Press, 1997. Pp. xi+555. Acknowledgments, volume introduction,
introduction, illustrations, maps, glossary, bibliography, index. LCN
86-13283. $65.00, cloth.)
Just over a decade ago the Documentary Relations of the Southwest project
at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, launched an ambitious
series called The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain. The
first volume spanned the period 1570-1700, and it was followed in 1988 by a
special volume on Pedro de Rivera and the Royal Regulations that resulted
from his lengthy inspection of the frontier military establishments between
1724 and 1728. Now comes volume II of the series, issued in two parts, and
both are hefty books.
The first part offers a selection 6f documents pertaining to Baja California
and neighboring provinces of the "Pacific Slope Corridor" between
1700-1765-in other words, before viable settlements were placed in California
proper. These documents offer a glimpse of dictatorial, avaricious captains
whose abuses kept the Indians in almost continual revolt. Approaching midcen-
tury, even the dedicated Jesuit missionaries lost hope that the Indians could be
"reduced" into useful citizens of the realm. The problem, of course, was that the
Spanish invaders were competing with the Indians for essential living space in a
hostile terrain, not to mention trying to destroy their way of life.
Part II of volume II will likely interest our Southwestern readers more, as the
focus is on the "Central Corridor and the Texas Corridor" of the Spanish north-
ward penetration. The Central Corridor deals with the line of advance through
Nueva Vizcaya that reached New Mexico, with equal attention to the eastern
provinces of Nuevo Le6n and Coahuila. Noteworthy among these documents is
Antonio Ladr6n de Guevara's 1739 report on Nuevo Le6n and the territory that

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/. Accessed October 25, 2014.