Western Historical Quarterly

Western Historical Quarterly
Mission Statement
The Western Historical Quarterly strives to be a congenial home for the study and teaching of all aspects of North American Wests, frontiers, homelands, and borderlands. Our mission is to cultivate the broadest appreciation of this diverse history.
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Utah State University 
0740 Old Main Hill
Logan, Utah 84322-0740
phone 435.797.1301
fax 435.797.3899

Volume XLV - Number 1
Spring 2014


Donald Worster
"The American West in the Age of Vulnerability"

Biography: Donal Woster is Hall Distinguished Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of Kansas and Distinguished Foreign Expert at Renmin University of China. After earning his PhD at Yale University in 1971, he taught at Brandeis University and the University of Hawai´i, Manoa. His most recent books include A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell (2000) and A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir (2008). His research and writing includes a history of drought and the Dust Bowl, water and reclamation in the West, and the development of ecology.

Rosalyn LaPier and David R. M. Beck
"A 'one-man relocation team': Scott Henry Peters and American Indian Urban Migration in the 1930s"

Abstract: Federal urban relocation programs for American Indians, commonly believed to have been launched in the 1950s, were actually first initiated under the aegis of John Collier’s Office of Indian Affairs. As the case study of OIA Placement Officer Scott Henry Peters shows, federal officials recognized by the early 1930s that significant numbers of American Indians were migrating off-reservation. As an American Indian working for the Indian Office, Peters attempted to provide employment opportunities for young American Indian adults migrating to cities and help them adapt to modern urban life. This study extends the literature on urban American Indian history back in time and reveals some of the contradictions inherent in Collier’s policy initiatives.

Jen Corrinne Brown
"Trash Fish: Native Fish Species in a Rocky Mountain Trout Culture"

Abstract: This article argues that the creation of a Rocky Mountain trout culture and economy proved detrimental to native western fish. In the veneration of the region’s trout, anglers and fish managers overlooked or killed native coarse fish species through the rampant use of fish toxicants and other eradication techniques.

Lorn S. Foster
"First Churches Los Angeles Project: Studying African American Churches in the First Half of the Twentieth Century"

Abstract: This article is an overview of a the First Churches Los Angeles Project (FCLAP), which examines civic engagement in Los Angeles’s African American community before 1950 by focusing on the role played by the African American church. This project relies on previously unused archival records and oral histories as research tools to form a more complete view of parish life in the early to mid-1900s.


Book Reviews:

  • Kester, Remembering Iosepa, Thomas G. Alexander
  • Issel, Church and State in the City, Timothy Matovina
  • Paddison, American Heathens, Abigail Markwyn
  • Walker, Religion and the Public Conscience, Felipe Hinojosa
  • St-Onge, Podruchny, and Macdougall, eds., Contours of a People, Melinda Marie Jetté
  • Columbi and Brooks, eds., Keystone Nations, Joshua L. Reid
  • Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre, Chuck Vollan
  • Utley, Geronimo, Jeffrey V. Pearson
  • Clements, Imagining Geronimo, H. Henrietta Stockel
  • Bachman, Northern Slave, Black Dakota, Kurt Hackemer
  • Farr, Blackfoot Redemption, Ted McCoy
  • Genetin-Pilawa, Crooked Paths to Allotment, Matthew S. Makley
  • Unrau, Indians, Alcohol, and the Roads to Taos and Santa Fe, Thomas J. Noel
  • Marak and Tuennerman, At the Border of Empires, David H. DeJong
  • Valerio-Jiménez, River of Hope, Andrae Marak
  • Hyslop, Contest for California, Iris H. W. Engstrand
  • Hoig, Came Men on Horses, Matthew M. Babcock
  • Dunmire, New Mexico's Spanish Livestock Heritage, Mark Santiago
  • Gitlin, Berglund, and Arenson, eds., Frontier Cities, Coll Thrush
  • Shortridge, Kansas City and How it Grew, 1822–2011, Bradley H. Baltensperger
  • Griffin, Mapping Wonderlands, Michael A. Amundson
  • Amundson, Passage to Wonderland, Robert W. Righter
  • Cosens, The Columbia River Treaty Revisited, Joseph E. Taylor III
  • Potter, Standing Firmly by the Flag, Jeff Barnes
  • Morris, The Perilous West, Chris Allan
  • Bagley, With Golden Visions Bright Before Them, Peter J. Blodgett
  • Floyd, Claims and Speculations, Katherine G. Aiken
  • Shermer, ed., Barry Goldwater and the Remaking of the American Political Landscape, Marshall Trimble
  • Adler, The Man Who Never Died, Evelyn Funda
  • Chamberlain, In the Shadow of Billy the Kid, Kathleen Underwood
  • Wesson, A Death at Crooked Creek, Clark Secrest
  • Patton and Schedlock, Gender, Whiteness, and Power in Rodeo, Leisl Carr Childers
  • Barajas, Curious Unions, Mireya Loza
  • Garcílazo, Traqueros, Peter N. Kirstein
  • Gonzalez, Chicano Education in the Era of Segregation, Arnoldo De León
  • Johnson, Free Radical, Lauren Araiza
  • McDonald, Racial Dynamics in Early Twentieth-Century Austin, Texas, Angela Boswell
  • McCaslin, Chipman, and Torget eds., This Corner of Canaan, Paula Marks


Coming Soon:


Michelle Morgan, "Americanizing the Teachers: Identity, Citizenship, and the Teaching Corps in Hawai‘i, 1900–1941"

Abstract: During the territorial period, elites and administrators in Hawai‘i sought to Americanize their multiracial teaching force. This article argues that administrators applied cultural, legal, and linguistic filters to weigh teachers’ potential to Americanize their students. Teachers’ responses challenged elite notions of American identity and the role of education in a democracy.

James Tejani
, "Harbor Lines: Connecting the Histories of Borderlands and Pacific Imperialism in the Making of the Port of Los Angeles, 1858–1908"

Abstract: The nationalization of space following the U.S. conquest of California became troubled and unconsolidated in its encounter with complex natural land- and waterscapes like the San Pedro estuary, located on the Los Angeles coast. Here a new borderlands emerged beginning in the 1850s, when conflicting land laws and ambiguous surveys entrenched both Mexican and U.S. forms of property, and persisted until the Supreme Court settled litigation in 1897. These land disputes entwined the legacies of continental expansion with the imperatives of imperial expansion into the Pacific world, embedded a local history within national and global scales, and shaped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ transformation of the estuary into the Port of Los Angeles, the modern West’s gateway to the world.

William S. Kiser
, "A 'charming name for a species of slavery': Political Debate on Debt Peonage in the Southwest, 1840s–1860s"

Abstract: Federal deliberations over debt peonage in the Mexican Cession lands during the antebellum era helped to shape perceptions of involuntary servitude within the broader context of chattel slavery in the South. Judicial and congressional analyses of peonage in New Mexico informed future legislative proceedings in the early Reconstruction era that expanded the constitutional ban on slavery to include all forms of coercive labor.



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