The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 643
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Bexar, Natchitoches, and St. Louis with Santa Fe. To explore and
locate these roads they used Pedro Vial as their principal employee.
Vial blazed trails from Bexar to Santa Fe, from Santa Fe to Natchi-
toches, and from Santa Fe to St. Louis, the road that ironically the
Anglo-Americans later used for the conquest of New Mexico and Cal-
ifornia. To find a shorter route between Bexar and Santa Fe than
Vial had traveled, the Governor of New Mexico sent Jose Mares.
After Zebulon Pike was intercepted inside the borders of Spanish
territory, Francisco Amangual, in command of a sizable military
force, was sent from Bexar to Santa Fe for the purpose of counter-
acting American influence among the Indians.
Although the book is a significant contribution to historical knowl-
edge and no doubt will become a standard reference, Professor Loomis
unduly obscured Vial within a jungle of irrelevant information. The
first 261 pages should be telescoped into fifty to seventy. The details
of La Salle's failure to plant a colony in Texas, of the Nootka Sound
Incident, and of the interest of the people of Kentucky in a water
outlet at Spanish expense are not sufficiently pertinent to justify
inclusion. Except for the maps, the book appears to have relatively
few errors. Much Que (p. 291) is located incorrectly; it is between
Gail and Snyder. Los Adaes is east, rather than west, of the Sabine
River (p. 353) Professor Richardson's initials are R. N. (p. 357)
The routes shown on the maps differ significantly from those de-
scribed in the respective journals and footnotes. Vial, on his return
from San Antonio to Santa Fe, according to Loomis, went via the
Pease River to the "South Canadian River, somewhere north of
present Amarillo" (pp. 282-283). The map (p. 266) erroneously shows
that he followed the Brazos River from northwest of Abilene to
about Muleshoe and that from there he went via Portales and the
Pecos River. Mares crossed the High Plains approximately one hun-
dred miles farther north than the routes shown on the map (p. 292),
and Amangual, rather than going directly across the southern High
Plains (p. 460), went via the Canadian River.
The flaws, however, in comparison to the worthiness of the work
are minor. For the professional historian, the volume provides in
convenient form considerable information, both new and old; for
the layman with a yen for books about the Great Southwest, it
provides delightful and informative reading.
Texas Technological College
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/709/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.