American West and History

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The Spanish Borderlands Frontier, 1513-1821

John Francis Bannon
Illustrated by Ronald Ives

Spain's frontier movement in North America planted Hispanic civilization in much of the future United States beginning with Ponce de Leon's arrival in Florida in 1513. After describing the travels of the conquistador explorers, it continues through three centuries of mission, presidio, and town development in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. As the Anglo-American frontier pushed westward, the Spanish frontier was increasingly a defensive one, and here the clashes between the two are fully explained, as are international rivalries involving the English, French, and even Russian pressures that affected the frontier.


Howard R. Lamar is Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale and a former president of that university.

Martin Ridge is a senior research associate in the Henry E. Huntington Library. He has taught at San Diego State University, Indiana University, and the California Institute of Technology. He is the former editor of the Journal of American History and the past president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and Western History Association. He is the author of numerous scholarly and review articles dealing with the American West. He is the coeditor of Histories of the American Frontier.

David J. Weber is The Robert and Nancy Dedman Professor of History and the Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.


"A scholarly book, a readable book, a valuable contribution, a vibrant study of a little-known part of the American heritage."


Journal of Southern History

"It is the story of the indelible impression left by Spain that Father Bannon brings to life."


The American Historical Review

"Any student of the so-called American expansion effort as well as any interested in the Hispanic tradition in the United States would do well to consult Father Bannon's excellent survey."


The Social Studies

6.13 x 9.25 in. 320 pages 29 halftones, 14 maps