The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 504
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In the "Introduction," when the author refers to what he believes to be the
more reliable Mexican sources on the Texas Revolution, and he counts Jose En-
rique de la Pefia's, Filisola's and Juan Sinchez Navarro's journals as being
among them, he says, "To this I add the journal of General Manuel Fernandez
Castrill6n" (p. ii). Subliminally, the idea that a Castrillon journal exists slides
quietly into the reader's mind. By peppering legitimate accounts with invented
ones, as he does throughout the "Introduction," the "Translator's Notes," the
"Epilogue," and the "Afterword," the author's intent to manipulate the reader's
If we were to find a lapse in this book, it would be in the "Introduction," when
Mr. Kaufman asks us to "revisit the volatile history of Mexico." He writes, on p.
iii, "For the North Americans, Texas was an open, unsettled land, waiting for an
industrious hand to turn the soil." Given that "industrious hands" had been
"turning the soil" in Texas for quite some time, this is quite a slip of mind and
pen. "Industrious hands" had built townships, homes, presidios, and mission
complexes that included granaries. By the time the North Americans came to
Texas, "industrious hands" had dug and lined acequias for watering farms and
in San Antonio had built churches and an aqueduct that are still in use today.
"Industrious hands" had forged trade routes to and from Saltillo, Mexico City,
and New Orleans, had been driving cattle to those points, and had been bring-
ing back commercial goods to sell in their own communities. North Americans,
when they came, adapted, enhanced, and transformed what was already estab-
lished and functioning, expanding the achievements of the previous Hispanic
society, and giving life as it had existed, a new language and a different dynamic.
Maybe it was the thinking of the North American settlers rather than that of Mr.
Kaufman, but as part of the introduction it only serves to perpetuate the myth
that Texas was purely the product of Anglo American hands.
Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
DORA ELIZONDO GUERRA
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/572/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.