The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 618
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But here-as with other documents-Hansen seems not to be aware that among
the Pefia Papers at the Center for American History there is a copy of Pefia's ac-
tual campaign diary in his own hand. It is quite different than the longer, pub-
lished version that was translated by Carmen Perry. Why was it not given, or at
least mentioned? Even though Pefia says nothing about the storming of the
Alamo (no entries for March 6 or 7), that in itself is relevant to the authenticity
debate about the longer narrative, is it not?
Likewise, John Sutherland's lengthy, outraged attack on Reuben Potter's
186o pamphlet The Fall of the Alamo is presented but not the document that in-
spired it. Hansen says that the 186o Potter publication was "not found" (p. 694).
This is rather amazing, because a company in Bryan reprinted the pamphlet in
1979 and it was on sale for years at the Alamo gift shop! Why include Potter's
longer 1878 article (which Hansen regards highly) without his "first draft" for
comparison? Especially since so much space is devoted to Sutherland's challenge
of Potter's reliability in 1860o? And why not give John S. Ford's turn-of-the-centu-
ry pamphlet on the Alamo, or the articles published by James T. DeShields
shortly thereafter? All of these sources were in the realm of possibility and have a
bearing on Hansen's subject, making it hard for this reader to determine his se-
But the real weakness of Hansen's book is with manuscript archival sources,
for there is little evidence that he concerned himself with the hard grubbing
necessary to uncover them. It is one thing to assemble a collection of printed
documents (scarce or otherwise), but it is quite another to assemble "new"
Alamo documents from depositories far and wide. Two examples will suffice. As
his document 2.4.6, Hansen has a very significant Mexican muster roll of offi-
cers, by battalion, taken at San Antonio in March 1836. It appears that the mi-
crofilm copy he obtained from the UC Bancroft Library was so bad that his
translator could not read it at all. I managed to obtain a copy of the same list
from microfilm at NPS Brownville-which they got from UC Bancroft-that is
very clear and legible; all the names can be read. It is important information that
Hansen should have presented in complete form or not at all. Secondly, the mil-
itary service records of Alamo veterans at the Mexican War Department (Cance-
lados section) contain a great deal of new, untapped information on the siege
and fall of the Alamo. None of it appears in this compilation, just material that
has already seen print.
Is Hansen's book worth buying and having in your reference library? Yes-as
long as it is not regarded as a complete or definitive work, despite its bulky size.
Austin, Texas Jack Jackson
Taking Indian Lands: The Cherokee (Jerome) Commission, 1889-1893. By William T.
Hagan. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003. Pp. x+279. Preface,
photographs, maps, epilogue, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN o-8o61-
3513-1. $39.95, cloth.)
William T. Hagan has produced a fine body of American Indian history. His
books, which I know more than his articles, are all carefully done, thoroughly re-
searched, and thoughtfully written. The six most recent ones treat post-Civil War
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/696/?rotate=90: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.