The Forgotten Diaspora's sweeping title expresses Travis Jeffres's broad interests in Mesoamerican soldiers, settlers, migrants, and workers throughout the region that would later become the US-Mexican borderlands. However, in practice, most of the project focuses on a much narrower set of historical cases: the Chichimec wars of the sixteenth century, the subsequent Tlaxcalan settlement of San Esteban (in today's Coahuila), and the later seventeenth-century Mesoamerican migrations to New Mexico. Readers in the field will be especially interested in Jeffres's use of Nahuatl-language documents to examine the origins of Tlaxcala's northern diaspora and the development of San Esteban.

The book's opening two chapters propose that the Guerra Chichimeca, a 40-year period of frontier warfare, should be reframed as the “Guerra Tolteca-Chichimeca.” Though historians are unlikely to adopt this neologism, Jeffres is making an important point. The Indigenous warriors who made up the majority of the fighting forces on both sides...

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