The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 636
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
women on the frontier. Their opinions about trade, their struggles against hos-
tile Indians, their squabbles among themselves, and their disgust with the ineffi-
ciency of Mexico's military establishment are all here, expressed with honesty
These documents, which Madis has been collecting for forty years, cover the
period 1815-1865. They amount to a litany of complaints (by Mexicans) against
the poverty, political instability, and ultimate failure of Mexico to defend itself
against the aggressive norteamericanos. In the process, we gain an appreciation
of why the foreign colonists in Texas felt obliged to separate themselves from
Mexican rule/misrule. Why Mexico suffered from such continual problems,
however, is not answered by these documents, nor does the author provide an
explanation. The accounts mostly bemoan shortage of funds, internal chaos,
military uprisings, Indian raids, and other setbacks to the nation as if they were
facts of life that could not be avoided. Everyone seemed to know that the "sys-
tem" was flawed, but few Mexicans could agree how to fix it. Thus, year after year
the frontier remained impoverished and unstable.
The commentary is enriched with Mexican War accounts by U.S. soldiers, as
well as by Mexican onlookers. The author's observations are not always reliable,
such as when he says that Capt. Jose Juan Sanchez was captured at San Jacinto
with Gen. Martin Perfecto de Cos and both were released "in a matter of
months" (p. 79). Cos was held prisoner for over a year, and Sinchez didn't make
it to the battle from San Antonio. Another gaff comes on page 97, where it is
stated that land titles were issued to various immigrant Indian tribes in Texas un-
der Mexican rule. They were not, despite the wishes of General Mier y Terin.
Other errors of fact might be noted. Nonetheless, readers will benefit from
Madis's interwoven documentary history and perhaps conclude, as I did, that his
title should have been "The Losing of Texas."
Austin Jack Jackson
Schemers and Dreamers: Fzlbusterng in Mexzco, 1848-192z. By Joseph A. Stout Jr.
(Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 2oo2. Pp. xvii+148. Preface,
notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-87565-258-1. $27.95, cloth.)
Joseph A. StoutJr. undertook an interesting task in writing this book: to exam-
ine the armed expeditions launched by American freebooters from the end of
the Mexico-United States War to the final years of the Mexican Revolution. In
doing so, he faced not only the challenge of locating primary source materials
for events occurring over a broad period of time and space, but of placing them
within a larger historical context.
Stout proceeded splendidly in the first of these objectives. A close reading of
his bibliography confirms the impression gained from the book. He thoroughly
examined the archival resources in both nations and then meticulously reviewed
the relevant journals of the day. The thoroughness with which he searched the
records of Mexico's Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores merits special praise.
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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/m1/714/ocr/: accessed December 11, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.