Gray Robes for Black
The Archreformer Backs Down
Tumacácori or Troy?
The Course of Empire
The Promise and Default of the Provincias Internas
The Challenge of a Reforming Bishop
A Quarrel Among Friars
"Corruption Has Come Among Us"
A Trampled Guarantee
Many years ago the great Borderlands historian
Herbert Eugene Bolton wrote a classic essay on the Spanish mission as a
frontier institution, and he encouraged others to examine missions as
multifaceted agencies of conquest, colonization, and governance of the
Indian peoples. Even though a respectable number of his colleagues and
his disciples did follow Bolton's lead, few in-depth studies of
individual missions based on extensive archival documentation have
A generation of pioneersJohn Tate Lanning,
France V. Scholes, Eleanor B. Adams, Fray Angélico Chávez,
Maynard Geiger, Peter M. Dunne, Charles E. Chapman, Bolton himself, and
othersmade distinguished contributions to mission history in
several areas of the Southwest and Southeast, but somehow Arizona and
parts of Texas were neglected. In the present generation of Borderlands
scholars, Robert S. Weddle's intensive studies of Texas missions have
been paralleled by John L. Kessell in meticulously researched and
graphically written histories of individual Arizona missions.
Kessell takes a realistic and unromantic view of
mission affairs on the Arizona-Sonora frontier, and he bases his account
on masses of manuscript materials drawn from the archives of Spain,
Mexico, and the United States. His important work in local Borderlands
history points the way for yet another generation, because local
historymicro-history as some scholars are now calling itis
essential if we are ever truly to understand the processes of
acculturation and the ethnohistory of the Southwest.
In this vivid documentary dozens of missionaries,
presidials, and bureaucrats, nameless in histories until now, emerge as
living, swearing, praying individuals. A few of the early episodes are
familiarthe explorations of Francisco Garcés, Anza's
expeditions, and the Yuma massacrebut most are not: the epic
struggle between Bishop Reyes and Father President Barbastro; the
missionary scandals of 1815-18; the bloody victory of Mexican civilian
volunteers, La Sección Patriótica, over Apaches in
Arivaipa Canyon in 1832.
Certain themes run through the book. Over and over on
this unmoving frontier the expansionist saw his plans dashed, by Yumas,
Apaches, unwilling military officials, or lack of financial support. The
mission as an institution was anything but secure. Reformers championing
civil rights for the Indians time and time again challenged the friar's
jealous and exclusive jurisdiction over his mission wards.
Friars, Soldiers, and Reformers brings into
sharp focus for the first time that long blurry interval between Jesuit
Sonora and Territorial Arizona.
RICHARD E. GREENLEAF