The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000 Page: 118

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Texas history, highlights the perennial problem of historical perspective.
Trying to convince Anglo-American Texans that San Antonio Tejanos had a his-
toric culture as viable and worthwhile as their own fell on deaf ears, blind eyes,
and closed minds. Like Lorenzo de Zavala, the Yucatan native who joined the
Texas opposition to Santa Anna in 1835-1836, Navarro's earlier support of lib-
eral republican idealism is lost. Only the "Anglicization" of the two men is rec-
ognized and applauded; forgotten is liberal reform-minded Hispanic history
that ran a parallel course to the Anglo-American colonies' struggle against
Great Britain.
The book includes an excellent introduction explaining the history of
Navarro's account and its appearance in both English and Spanish. Brief bio-
graphical material precedes Navarro's letter to the editor, both of which are
amply annotated. Particularly interesting is a reproduction of the Navarro
account in Spanish, which was published in 1869 by his friends. A number of
suitable illustrations further enhance this valuable publication and a modest
index helps find pertinent topics.
Life Among the Texas Indians: The WPA Narratives. By David La Vere. (College
Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998. Pp. xvii+270. Illustrations, pref-
ace, introduction, epilogue, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-89096-8o9-
8. $29.95, cloth.)
Typically historians seek information on past events in the places where they
occurred. They travel to the South to study cotton culture or to eastern cities to
study urbanization. When archeologist Billy R. Harrison and I in 1979 began doc-
umentary research on the history of the 1874 Adobe Walls trading post, which
operated in the Texas Panhandle, we did the same. We looked in Texas. What
Harrison and I discovered was that the sources for the most part were elsewhere.
The trading post we studied was operated by Kansas merchants to serve Kansas
buffalo hide men, and on June 27, 1874 it became the focus for an attack by
Comanche, Kiowa, and Southern Cheyenne warriors who had come from reser-
vations in the Indian Territory. As archeologist Harrison and I discovered, the
major written sources of information were in the areas to which the protagonists
returned-Kansas and Oklahoma-not in Texas at all.
Historian David La Vere in Life Among the Texas Indians has followed this same
logical thought pattern. Most of the Indians of Texas who survived into the sec-
ond half of the nineteenth century found themselves living not in Texas but in
the Indian Territory. He consequently followed the Texas Indians there in
order to find their remembrances of their former lives in Texas. His clear
thinking has provided us a fascinating window into the lives of Texas Indians
which otherwise would probably remain "lost" in the 113 volumes of oral-histo-
ry interview transcripts preserved in the Indian-Pioneer Papers at the
Oklahoma Historical Society.
For decades specialists in western history have used the Indian-Pioneer Papers
as raw material for studies of life on the southern Great Plains. Undertaken in
1937-1939 as part of the W.P.A. Federal Writers' Project, these "papers" consist



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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000, periodical, 2000; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.