The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941

Book Reviews

Teodoro de Croix and the Northern Frontier of New Spain,
1776-1783. By Alfred Barnaby Thomas.
Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1941. Pp.
xiii, 273. $3.00.
This book is a translation of a report on the Interior Prov-
inces prepared by Don Teodoro de Croix, the first commandant
general, on October 30, 1781. The report makes a detailed
analysis of Indian relations in each of the Interior Provinces-
Texas, Coahuila, New Mexico, New Vizcaya, Sonora, and Cali-
fornia. It gives an account of the number and types of settlers,
soldiers, and Indians of each province, together with valuable
data on the location, range, practices, and psychology of Indian
tribes with which Spaniards had to contend in the southwestern
portion of the United States and northern Mexico. The trans-
lator has written a historical introduction of sixty-one pages
which, he says, is an "attempt only to define the conditions that
influenced the solution of Croix's main problem: the defense
of the interior provinces from Indian attack."
Croix did not solve his problem: he did not find a way to
defend the provinces from the marauding Indians. It is true
that he worked zealously and untiringly in reorganizing the
frontier line of presidios and recommending many changes.
His efforts, like those of many other frontier governors and
commandants-general, were only temporarily fruitful. In view
of the scope of the Indian problem-which was parallel with
that of foreign aggression-and the fact that Croix was the
first commandant-general of the Commandery-General of the
Interior Provinces, a brief account of the background, develop-
ment, and organization of this new administrative unit would
have made a profitable addition to the book.
Many failures had preceded Croix's administration and many
more followed him. The serious work of attempting to check
Indian depredations commenced in earnest soon after the New
Mexico rebellion of 1680. By a royal cedula dated September
22, 1686, Charles II ordered the establishment of three mili-
tary posts on the frontier. In 1702 several other presidios
were established. On March 14, 1732, a new administrative
unit, the Gobernaci6n de Sonora y Sinaloa, was organized in
the northern provinces. After the Marqu6s de Rubi submitted
a report, in 1768, of his inspection of the frontier provinces,
a new line of presidios was established. In 1770 Don Hugo


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed October 13, 2015.