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The Caddo Indians: Tribes at the Convergence of Empires, 1542-1854 (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University) Paperback – June 1, 2000
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The Caddo Indians: Tribes At the Convergence of Empires 1542-1854 is the story of how a people who from the beginning strove to maintain peaceful and profitable relations with the white settlers fell victim to disease, alcohol and the duplicity of many of those whom they trusted. But it is also the tale of bravery, perseverance and unity in the face of all the forces of history that conspired against them.
The reader will see how the accidents of geography and the vagaries of events beyond the control of the Caddo nations brought them down from a tribe numbering in the hundreds of thousands, to a rump nation of just a couple hundred members today whose headquarters now sits on a meagre 37 acres in Oklahoma. You will meet good men and scoundrels on both sides and you will see how the scoundrels among the white nations (Spain, then Mexico, Texas and then the United States) eventually gained the upper hand. Of the white colonists who dealt with the Caddo tribes over the centuries, only the French come away largely free of the stench of dishonor.
The story of the Caddo Nation is yet another sad chapter in the history of Euro-American interaction with the Native peoples. It is doubly sad for the Caddo tribes as they took an actively friendly stance from the start.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in history as it pertains to the Indians. F. Todd Smith gives the reader a fine, easy reading overview of an important but overlooked tribe and a little-known era in what was then a remote section of the frontier.