The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 638
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
that American courts considered Mexican land laws antirepublican and that the
United States wanted an end to the Mexican feudal land system that still operat-
ed in the American West as a result of the original grant. She argues that the ba-
sic issues involved in the Maxwell Land Grant case were the attempts by Anglos
to extend market capitalism to the area and whether or not usufructuary rights
would be accepted by the American legal system.
The history of the Maxwell Land Grant began in 1841 when the Mexican gov-
ernment gave the land to Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda. The couple
sold the property about seven years later to Lucien and Luz Maxwell who contin-
ued the Mexican system of allowing settlers on the property if they paid rent to
the Maxwells. That system, according to Montoya, was reminiscent of a feudal so-
ciety. Montoya analyzed the American government's efforts to do away with the
patron/peon relationship that had long operated under the Mexican system
once the land became part of the United States under the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo. Another change that occurred after 1848 was the loss of property
rights for Mexican women due to American coverture laws.
Montoya then examines the dealings of the British and Dutch investment
companies who purchased the land in 1869 and 188o respectively. In particular,
she analyzes the British and Dutch owners' efforts to remove the settlers from
the land through legal and extra-legal means. During the tenure of the land
grant, the settlers worked together through the courts and through violence to
maintain their homes and lifestyles despite their racial, ethnic, and class differ-
Although sometimes repetitious, Montoya presented a complex issue in an un-
derstandable fashion, providing clear definitions, and a good mix of economic,
legal, and social history of the region. Her analysis goes beyond a simple region-
al study of New Mexico and Colorado, as her conclusions are also applicable to
Texas and California, regions intimately connected to the Mexican land grant
system. Montoya might have developed the lives of the Hispano settlers more
thoroughly instead of presenting them as an amorphous group that opposed the
European owners of the grant. The book is an excellent addition to the land
grant literature and clearly demonstrates the need for more scholars to take re-
gional studies seriously.
University of Missouri-Rolla Diana L. Ahmad
Savage Frontzer: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, z835-1837. Volume I.
By Stephen L. Moore. (Plano: Republic of Texas Press, 2002. Pp. vii+335.
Prologue, epilogue, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-55622-
928-3. $19.95, paper.)
Texas is well blessed with amateur historians who frequently outdo the profes-
sionals at rediscovering our past. One of the most prolific of this tribe is Stephen
L. Moore of Flower Mound who has penned two other histories with Texas
themes and a third on the Second World War. Savage Frontier, his current offer-
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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/m1/716/ocr/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.