Thomas A. Britten is assistant professor of history at the University of Texas, Brownsville. He is also the author of A Brief History of the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts. He is a specialist in twentieth-century Indian history.
The Lipan Apaches: People of Wind and Lightningby Thomas A. Britten
Despite the significant role they have played in Texas history for nearly four hundred years, the Lipan Apaches remain among the least studied tribal groups in the West. Considered by Spaniards of the eighteenth century to be the greatest threat to the development of New Spain's northern frontier, the Lipans were viewed as a similar risk to the interests of nineteenth-century Mexico, Texas, and the United States. Direct attempts to dissolve them as a tribal unit began during the Spanish period and continued with the establishment of the Republic of Texas in 1836. Forced removal from their traditional homelands diminished their ability to defend themselves and, as they attached themselves to the Mescalero Apaches and the Tonkawas, the Lipans faded from written history.
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