The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934 Page: 224
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The blazing of trans-Plains trails, the diminishing buffalo
supply and the resultant concentration of many tribes on smaller
ranges accompanied a gradual breakdown of tribal authority, and
contributed to growing confusion that neither successive federal
treaties nor uncertain annuities could control. Feeble efforts at
curbing Comanche raids into Mexico: the more whole-hearted yet
futile attempt at reservation settlement in Texas; bi-partisan
efforts to maintain peace during the Civil War; other treaties
re-defining Comanche rights and prescribing narrower boundaries,
after; the Quaker policy of moral suasion; and its abandonment
for more rigid discipline on, and the use of lead and powder off,
the reserve; these topics complete, in broadest outline, the his-
toric saga of the wild Comanche.
Dr. Richardson has carefully sifted the voluminous partisan
sources and has contributed to the historical field, not another
tedious catalogue of many battles, but a treatise on the relation-
ship of two strong races through a hundred and fifty years.
And though, properly, the author emphasizes the important dip-
lomatic incidents rather than those of war, the story is full of
heroism for both red and white. Conservative and comprehen-
sive, it carries the pathos of the downfall of a simple, chaste,
proud and powerful people. And even those who yet hear first-
hand stories of an awful savage vengeance may be humbled by
reading that the Comanches loved this soil with a wild yet whole-
some zest unexcelled by the men who took it from them.
"You said that you wanted to put us upon a reservation
,[Chief Ten Bears rejoined in council], to build us houses and
make us medicine lodges. I do not want them. I was born upon
the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to
break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no en-
closures and where everything drew a free breath . . . I
lived like my fathers before me and like them I lived happily
. . . So why do you ask us to leave the rivers and the sun
and the wind, and live in houses . . . The white man has
the country which we loved, and we only wish to wander on the
prairie until we die."
That is nobler sentiment and finer appreciation of the cost of
cultural ideals than is manifested by the multitude of writers
who now blithely herald the complete downfall of individualism.
J. EVETTS HALEY.
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Texas State Historical Association & Barker, Eugene C. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 37, July 1933 - April, 1934, periodical, 1934; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101094/m1/243/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.