Despite their having fought the longest North American war of resistance against Euro-American imperialism, from the 1600s until September 1886, Apaches—along with their history, particularly in the Spanish colonial era—have remained underappreciated by historians. Matthew Babcock’s Apache Adaptation to Hispanic Rule helps close this gap, but it is best appreciated when paired with Mark Santiago’s Jar of Severed Hands (2011). Both books examine Spanish Indian policy on Spain’s northern frontier (overlapping chronologically from 1786 to 1810) and focus on two distinct, but interrelated Spanish Indian policies. Both are well documented with material from the Archives of the Indies in Seville, and other Spanish depositories, as well as material from major southwestern American universities; the University of California, Berkeley; and the Huntington Library. Taken as a set, Babcock’s and Santiago’s works place this historic era under twenty-first-century scrutiny.

Santiago studied one claw of...

You do not currently have access to this content.