The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 112
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
frontiers against the projected encroachments of the French but
against the inroads of hostile tribes that continually swept down
from the north. As a means of protection Spanish officials ex-
plored regions beyond New Mexico far to the north and east and
missionaries tried to convert to Christianity the new and menacing
foes, attracting them to the fold of the Church and taming their
After summarizing the character, extent, and purpose of the
various expeditions undertaken by Spanish officials and mission-
aries beyond New Mexico in a comprehensive and readable intro-
duction the translator presents the documents which constitute
the original sources of the various enterprises listed from Governor
Vargas in 1696 to the ill-starred expedition of Villasur in 1720
and the subsequent investigation of French designs on New Mexico
to 1727. Several years of painstaking research in the archives of
Mexico, Spain, and New Mexico were necessary to gather the
scattered sources of the incidents so fully portrayed in this invalu-
able account of a forgotten chapter in the history of the northern
expansion of New Spain. But the most significant fact revealed
by these new sources, in the opinion of the reviewer, is the intimate
connection between the expansive movement to the north and east
of New Mexico and the advance into and ultimate occupation of
Texas. The Aguayo expedition and the Villasur venture were not
only contemporaneous undertakings but they were the result of
the same motive force and were in reality different phases of the
same movement, the attempt of the viceroy of New Spain to check
the advance of France in America west of the Mississippi.
Dr. Thomas has made a marked advance in editorial technique
since his publication of Forgotten Frontiers. The selection and or-
ganization of the materials presented in After Coronado reveal a
much deeper understanding of the field covered, his translation has
improved, and his annotations contribute much to the text and the
geographic knowledge of the regions explored. After Coronado con-
stitutes a real contribution to the history of the Spanish advance
northward. To quote from the Introduction: "Pike was not a
pioneer explorer. In the vanguard of the Anglo-American movement,
he entered areas already crisscrossed and named by the successors of
Coronado. Every landmark, stream, and mountain range of impor-
tance honored Spanish saint or deity long before Pike began his
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/120/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.