From Dominance to Disappearance


From Dominance to Disappearance

The Indians of Texas and the Near Southwest, 1786-1859

F. Todd Smith

320 pages


January 2006


$35.00 Add to Cart

December 2008


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

From Dominance to Disappearance is the first detailed history of the Indians of Texas and the Near Southwest from the late eighteenth to the middle nineteenth century, a period that began with Native peoples dominating the region and ended with their disappearance, after settlers forced the Indians in Texas to take refuge in Indian Territory.
Drawing on a variety of published and unpublished sources in Spanish, French, and English, F. Todd Smith traces the differing histories of Texas’s Native peoples. He begins in 1786, when the Spaniards concluded treaties with the Comanches and the Wichitas, among others, and traces the relations between the Native peoples and the various Euroamerican groups in Texas and the Near Southwest, an area encompassing parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. For the first half of this period, the Native peoples—including the Caddos, the Karankawas, the Tonkawas, the Lipan Apaches, and the Atakapas as well as emigrant groups such as the Cherokees and the Alabama-Coushattas—maintained a numerical superiority over the Euroamericans that allowed them to influence the region’s economic, military, and diplomatic affairs. After Texas declared its independence, however, the power of Native peoples in Texas declined dramatically, and along with it, their ability to survive in the face of overwhelming hostility. From Dominance to Disappearance illuminates a poorly understood chapter in the history of Texas and its indigenous people.

Author Bio

F. Todd Smith is an associate professor of history at the University of North Texas. He is the author of several books on Texas Indians, including The Caddo Indians: Tribes on the Convergence of Empires, 1542–1854, The Wichita Indians: Traders of Texas and the Southern Plains, 1540–1845, and The Caddos, the Wichitas, and the United States, 1846–1901.


"Here we have, at last, the first really comprehensive survey of the history of all Indians of Texas, including tribes that spilled over into Louisiana and Oklahoma. . . . This book is a valuable reference source."—Richard H. Dillon, True West

"This important study based upon published and unpublished Spanish- and French-language sources makes a major contribution to Native American, borderland, and Texas history. . . . Essential."—Choice

“A straightforward chronological reference . . . significant and much-needed.”—Daniel J. Gelo, Journal of American History

“An ambitious study.”—Hispanic American Historical Review

“Smith’s careful review of French and Spanish archival materials adds a welcome new dimension to the information generally available for this era. . . . In relating this tale, Smith effectively shatters the schoolbook myth that Indians were a barrier to American advancement in the west, showing instead how the Indians of Texas and the Near Southwest sought continuously though (though often imperfectly) to work out arrangements whereby they could coexist peacefully with colonists and settlers.” —George Sabo III, Arkansas Historical Quarterly

“A comprehensive narrative of the interactions that occurred between American Indians, these three European powers, and the United States. . . . Smith’s account is breathtakingly complex, and clearly reflects his painstaking research in primary sources written in three languages. . . . Encyclopedic in scope, this book is a must read for any serious scholar of American Indian History.” —Byron E. Pearson, Western Historical Quarterly

"From Dominance to Disappearance: The Indians of Texas and the Near Southwest, 1786-1859 is a skillfully written, captivating history on this understudied and often overlooked topic in southern history."—Journal of Southern History


2006 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
2005 Friends of the Dallas Public Library Award, finalist, sponsored by the Texas Institute of Letters