Synopses & Reviews
Lieutenant Jose Cortes of the Spanish Royal Corps of Engineers was a keen observer of the native peoples of the Northern Borderlands of New Spain. Especially fascinated by the Apaches whom he observed at frontier presidios in the 1790s, he gleaned all possible information from veterans of the frontier service, and in the process grew from sympathetic inquirer to virtual advocate. Recognizing the strategic importance not only of the Apacheria but also of Indian peoples in the farthest reaches of New Spain, the zealous officer combed available archives, summarizing data reported over a quarter century by the closest observers of New Spainand#8217;s frontier peoples from the Mississippi to the Pacific. Setting that information in a global strategic context, he paid particular attention--both admiring and cautionary--to the new Anglo-American republic, stressing the demographic factors making the United States such a dangerous neighbor to New Spain.
His resulting Report on the Northern Provinces of New Spain provides the most closely informed, best organized understanding of Apaches available at the end of the eighteenth century. It also provides a rare glimpse of a sophisticated Spaniardand#8217;s grasp of the dangers boding the end of Spanish empire in America.
Lieutenant Jose Cortes of the Spanish Royal Corps of Engineers was a keen observer of the native peoples of the Northern Borderlands of New Spain. His REPORT ON THE NORTHERN PROVINCES OF NEW SPAIN provides the most closely informed, best organized understanding of Apaches available at the end of the eighteenth century.
About the Author
Elizabeth A.H. John, of Austin, Texas, is an independent historian engaged in research and writing, consultation, and lectures. Her primary interests lie in the history of the American Indian, the Hispanic Borderlands, and the interplay of Indian and European cultures. She has taught at Sacramento State University and at the University of Oklahoma, where she received her doctorate in history. She is the author of Storms Brewed in Other Men's Worlds: The Confrontation of Indians, Spanish, and French in the Southwest, 1540-1795 and numerous articles on Indian topics. She is the editor of José Cortés's Views from the Apache Frontier: Report on the Northern Provinces of New Spain, 1799 (University of Oklahoma Press).