The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 550
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
perhaps of some use to future students of this tribal culture. As
a study in culture change as it also purports to be, it is far less
successful. The principal questions the investigator asked himself
were (pp. 16-17) :
(1) How did these Indians achieve unity and integration over a
disrupting period of migration beginning in 1763, when the first
movement from Alabama began, and lasting until 1854, the year
of their permanent settlement in Texas?
(2) What quality of personality or character caused their remark-
ably harmonious association with the independent and proud-spirited
pioneers from the time of the Indians' first entry into Texas in
1807, keeping them at peace and so uniquely winning them a home?
It is apparent that the answers to both questions are more apt to
be found in historic documents than on the reservation. In any
case, neither question is adequately answered. In a concluding
segment, after a good deal of rhetoric (pp. 130-140), the reader
learns that the answer to the first question is (p. 141) :
The early adjustment of the Alabama-Koasati maintenance mores
to the southeastern woodlands environment developed a culture
continuum of such stability that it predisposed them to desire such
an environment later, which by chance or choice they selected in
all their wanderings.
In more intelligible English this seems to say that the Alabama-
Coushatta were used to a woodland environment, and when
forced to migrate they managed to remain in the same kind of
environment. That staying in a familiar environment lessened
the adjustments these Indians were forced to make is obvious.
That it fails to answer the question is also obvious. Though this
is not the place to explain how these Indians managed to main-
tain their integrity and identity while being overwhelmed by
Anglo-American civilization, it might be pointed out that one of
the best ways to encourage the social solidarity of any group is
to attack it. The United States was a divided, bickering nation in
the summer of 1941. Pearl Harbor transformed the country over-
night, it achieved unity and integration, to use Dickerson's
words. Of more pertinence, the same thing happened to many
North American Indian tribes when challenged and then at-
tacked by Anglo-American civilization. That the Alabama-Cou-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/628/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.