The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 58

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

and learns with a touch of incredulous amusement that soldiers
stationed at El Paso in 1765 wasted too much of their uncertain
pay on powder puffs sold by their provident commander.
The most original, if not the most important, contribution of
the volume to the history of eighteenth century Texas is the
story of the Rio Grande settlements, lower and upper. Jos6 de
Escand6n was the hero of the lower Rio Grande. The author
reveals a real admiration for Escand6n, but to the reader he
remains a rather shadowy figure. It is only in the brief instruc-
tion to the short-lived San Xavier missions that Dr. Castafieda
breaks away from the documents for a moment and permits us
to glimpse the drama of human beings struggling against insur-
mountable obstacles:
"For eight years the faithful sons of St. Francis labored to
bring the comforts of religion to a motley crowd of Indian nations
gathered here from a wide range that extended down the Trinity
to the coast. In vain they tried to teach them not only the
Christian faith but the customs and habits of civilized life. For
a while the little valley was alive with the activity of mission life.
The woods were felled, the irrigation ditch was built, the fields
were tilled, mission buildings were erected, and over a thousand
souls were gathered who were gently instructed by the Padres and
called to their daily tasks by the mellow tones of the mission bells.
But constantly harassed by the fierce and relentless Apaches, in
whose pathway to the south they stood, hounded by misfortune in
the selection of unsympathetic and indiscreet military officers,
and opposed by contending selfish interests of officials they were
abandoned after a few years. Oblivion drew its kind mantle
over the desolate ruins and shrouded them with its restful peace."
One could welcome more generalizations of this sort, but they
will come later. We have the facts here from which to make them.
There are thirty pages of bibliography, only three of which
are given to printed works.
The University of Texas.
The No.-Gun Man of Texas. A Century of Achievement, 1835-1929.
By Laura V. IHamner. (Amarillo, Texas: Privately pub-
lished, 1935. Pp. viii, 256. Illustrated.)
The introduction of this interesting book is written by R. W.
Hall, Chief Justice of the Seventh Court of Civil Appeals of

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. ( accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.