Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain: A Documentary History, Volume One: 1570-1700.
Edited by Thomas H. Naylor and Charles W. Polzer. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1986. Maps Illustrations. Index. 756 Pages. $50.00.
This is the first of projected two volume collection of documents on the northern frontier of New Spain, 1570-1760. Although the material in the book (and the one yet to come) will precede in time the settlement of San Diego, the project is still of considerable interest to local scholars. The experiences of Spain on its northern frontier in the years before 1769 provided many of the precedents, methods and means for the later settlement of California. Thus this documentary history is an important source for the roots of Spanish California. The book is the result of ten years work at the Arizona State Museum, and it contains excellent introductory material, documents in Spanish and English translation, annotations, and a thorough index. This is clearly a project for the specialist and the scholar and not for the general reader. For the scholar, it becomes one of the major cornerstones for the study of northern New Spain.