Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Fall 1989 Page: 25
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Continued problems with Mexico and
with Indian tribes plagued the young state,
threatening its very existence. Less than
two months after the victory at San Jacinto,
Indians from a half-dozen tribes
united to attack Fort Parker in Limestone
County, killing five settlers and carrying
off two women and three children. One of
these children, Cynthia Ann Parker, lived
to become one of the most celebrated of
Indian captives in Texas history. The killings
at Fort Parker galvanized the reactions
of the Texas settlers to the Indians and
were to have a marked effect on Indian
policy for decades to come.
The 14th volume in McLean's "Papers
Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas"
addresses this critical period, from March
18th, the day after the signing of the Republic
of Texas Constitution, to July 22nd,
one day before David G. Burnet's call for
elections to be held in the new republic the
This compilation of documents details
the events of this period, including the
battle of San Jacinto, the Texian attempts
to gain Washington's recognition of the
new republic, the settlers' fears of Indian
uprising, and General Gaines' crossing the
Sabine with U.S. troops to fortify the U.S.
garrison at Nacodoches. McLean weaves
the disparate threads of narrative into a
picture of Texas at the time, presenting a
series of documents which fleshes out the
details of the history.
Continuing in the tradition of the previous
volumes of this series, Volume XIV
makes available an important series of
documents on 19th century Texas. Like
the other volumes, it should be an indispensible
reference to scholars of the period.
More than this, however, it presents the
history of Texas in the words of the people
who were making that history. For anyone
who wants to see the early Texas republic
in a way that few other history books have
presented it, this book is a must.
Hasinai: A Traditional
History of the Caddo
Hasinai: A Traditional History of the Caddo
Confederacy.By Vynola Beaver Newkumet
& Howard L. Meredith. Texas A&M
University Press. 1988. $16.95 cloth.
Review by David 0. Brown
This little book presents, despite its
name, a nontraditional history of the Hasinai
people. Part history, part oral history,
and part ethnography, it paints a picture of
the Caddo Indians which is not obscured
with precise chronological sequences or
archival references. Using twelve Caddo
dances as themes, the authors tell of the
Hasinai confederacy through their oral
traditions. At the heart of the book are
traditional stories and lore as seen through
the eyes of the late Vynola Beaver
Newkumet, a Hasinai active in tribal affairs
and working with the Hasinai Cultural
Center in Caddo County, Oklahoma.
The Hasinai Confederacy was historically
composed of several Caddo-speaking
communities in East Texas and Louisiana,
including the Haish, Hainai, Yona, Kechai,
Nadaco, Nasoni, Kadohadacho, and
Natchitoche. Village agriculturalists with
strong religious beliefs and a highly
evolved political system, they were forced
from their lands after the Anglo settlement
of Texas and eventually settled in eastern
Oklahoma. This book is accurate, albeit
brief. One historical quirk: Meredith and
Newkumet refer to the Hasinai as Indians
of the southwest, while in fact all historical
and anthropological literature suggests
that East Texas and the Hasinai are part of
southeastern cultural traditions.
More important to this book are the
lifeways of the Caddo. Chapter headings
tell the tale: Origins; Hunting, Agriculture,
Architecture, Clothing, Family Relationships,
Tribal Relationships, Foreign
Relationships, Health, Language, Contemporary
Affairs, and Historical Perspectives.
Woven into the narrative is the spirit
of the Indian people which their Anglo
conquerors were unable to break. Although
its short format does not allow it to
treat any topic in great depth, it provides an
excellent introduction to the world of the
Caddo. For anyone who has wondered
what the Indians of East Texas were like,
and why they maintain such pride in their
heritage, this book is a great place to start.
Austin * Texas
Joni Mundey, owner
HERITAGE * FALL 1989 25
Lunch at the
Operated by the
Heritage Society Guild,
an All Volunteer Organization.
116 E. 6th St.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Fall 1989, periodical, Autumn 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45433/m1/25/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.