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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 14, No. 4
December, 1936
BOOK REVIEWS

Page 499

The Women of the Confederacy by Francis B. Simpkins and James W. Patton, Richmond and New York. Garrett and Massie, Incorporated. $3.00

The authors have presented here a worthwhile study of an important phase of the internal history of the Confederate States. Its material is based largely on primary sources, much of which is in the form of manuscripts of diaries and letters contemporary with the period dealt with in the book. For these, the authors have gone to the North Carolina Historical Commission, the Confederate Museum of Richmond, the Library of Congress, the Tennessee State Library, the New York Public Library, the University of North Carolina Library, the University of Virginia Library, the Duke University Library, and the State Archives of Richmond; too, they have consulted private collections of letters and papers, thereby contributing to existing knowledge by bringing to the historical reading public some new material. The authors, have used also much printed primary source material, including newspapers, and some secondary sources.

This volume is very readable even to the lay student of history, and to the serious student of Confederate history it should be engaging. It cannot be said that it is written either from the northern or the southern viewpoint, but is rather a splendidly unbiased study. If they reader starts the book with the idea of finding here the romantic tales of the aid which the southern women gave to the "Lost Cause," those he will find, often in the words of the diarists of that day; if he starts with the idea of finding intolerance and unladylike acts and attitudes of the southern women of that day, those he will find.

The authors have given us a picture of the southern Confederate women of all ranks durings the periods just before,

Page 500

during, and immediately after the Civil War. These women, through their aggressive attitude and encouragement, had much to do with bringing on the war. They believed that it was the duty of the men to fight for the southern type of civilization and that it was the duty of the women to supply all of the soldiers' material needs. During the course of the war, the women of all classes in most sections underwent many privations and much suffering, both physical and mental, although in some sections there was a social life which was heightened in gayety and extravagance, probably because of the effect of the war on the people. There were the problems of support, of caring for the sick and wounded soldiers, of keeping the slaves at work, and of sustaining, during the time of blockades, a civilization which had depended upon the outside world for many things. Defeatism and demoralization, supplanting the southern women's high courage, which was not superhuman, were as much responsible for the loss of the Southern cause as were the defeats in battle. From all of this "there arose many hopeful and forward-looking women who were destined to have a vital part in creating the civilization of the New South."

—C. D. M.

———

Fort Gibson, A Brief History, Grant Foreman. Historic Oklahoma, Series, No. 1. Pp. 44; 25 cents. University of Oklahoma Press, 1936.

The University Press has done well in listing this fine little monograph as the "number one" item in its series of Historic Okahoma. It is an auspicious start.

In bold swift strokes, Mr. Foreman has painted a picture of Oklahoma's most famous historical spot from its frontier beginnings down to its belated restoration. It is a picture of soldiers and Indians; artists, authors, and frontiersmen; traders and adventurers; renegades and rascals—all the pageant-like panorama of those famous characters, good and bad, who have given Oklahoma history its picturesque coloring.

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Although hardly more than a synopsis of the subject, it is an invaluable handbook of factual information and worthy of a place in the library of the most critical student of the history of the southwestern frontier.

"The story of Fort Gibson is an epic of the Prairies; a tale of the winning of the great Southwest; an account of the conquest of the fleet warriors of the Plains." (page 43) As usual, Mr. Foreman has told the story well.

—C. C. Bush

———

Down the Texas Road: Historic Places Along Highway Number 69 Through Oklahoma, by Grant Foreman. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1936, Pp. 46.)

———

In this, the second volume of Historic Oklahoma Series, Dr. Foreman presents an interesting and most readable account of the old Texas Road. Originally known as the Osage Trace, this road led from St. Louis across Missouri and into northeastern Oklahoma, where it served to connect French trading establishments. The volume of immigration into Texas a century ago using the Osage Trace which was extended southward into that province caused it to become known as the Texas Road. The general route through the Indian Territory served not only the French traders and Texas immigrants, but Jesuit Priests, Indian delegates and pioneers as well.

The first railroad to enter Indian Territory, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas, followed the same general route as the Texas Road. The trained surveyor with his expensive instruments could not find a better route than that which the instinct of the Indians, the traders, pioneers, and emigrants selected. They adapted their course to the topography of the country and chose the most suitable camping sites and stream crossings.

"It was quite natural," says Dr. Foreman, "that a road of such utility, importance, and interest should have become identified with the history of the times and of the country; therefore, it is quite within the realm of fact to state that for two

Page 502

hundred miles of the extent of this great thoroughfare there are more historical locations, features, and associations of historical interest and significance than are to be found on any other highway of even greater extent west of the Mississippi River."

The value of this little book is greatly enhanced by three maps which show in some detail the routes of the Texas Road, the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas railroad, and Highway Number 69. Most of the book is devoted to those places of interest formerly in the Cherokee and Creek Nations. As a matter of fact, the first forty-two pages of the forty-six take the reader only to McAlester. One might be led to believe that there are very few places of historic interest on Highway 69 south of the Canadian River. This writer, however, thinks that such is not the intention of the author.

Space will permit the mentioning of only a few places enumerated by Dr. Foreman. Their mention will, however, call to the reader's mind many others. Beginning at Cabin Creek, the site of two important battles, interesting facts are given about Pryor, Okay, Three Forks, Wigwam Neosho, Fort Davis, Muskogee, Oktaha, Elk Creek, Eufaula, McAlester, Perryville, Boggy Depot, and Preston, Texas.

Dr. Foreman has been a resident of Oklahoma for more than thirty-five years. He is patron of art and letters and is devoted to travel and research. His many valuable contributions to the history of the state of Oklahoma and the southwest are appreciated throughout the region.

The University Press is to be complimented upon its presentation of this series. The booklets are offered to the public at popular prices, but no, sacrifice is made in the fine quality of workmanship associated with its publications.

—Ohland Morton

Page 503

Ayar-Incas, by Miles Poindexter, LL.D., former United States Senator, late Ambassador to Peru, F.R.G.S., etc. 2 Volumes, Buckram; Vol. I. pp. 274, Monuments, Culture and American relationships; Vol. II. Pp. 359, Asiatic Origins, New York City, Horace Liveright. Two Volumes, boxed, $10.00.

———

Based chiefly upon personal, first-hand investigations and observations, this interesting and enlightening publication gives evidence of wide and thorough research among the works of previous writers in the field to which it has been devoted. The author says that the Aryans have influenced the Inca people in the realms of Art and Science. He accepts the hypothesis of an Aryan contribution to the Melanesian race which peopled the island groups of the South Pacific and assumes the arrival of such diluted Aryan elements on the western Shores of Mexico, Central America, and Peru from that source. His mention of migrations, visits, contacts, and cultural exchanges between Inca, Maya, and Nahua-Aztec in ancient times opens up a new field for the student of American anthropology. The readiness, not to say credulity, with which he accepts, as authentic, words of reputed Aryan origin, in various American Indian languages, wherein similarities of sound may be merely matters of strange coincidence, appears to be rather pronounced.

—J. B. T.

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Death in the Desert: The Fifty Years' War for the Great Southwest. by Paul I. Wellman. New York, Macmillan, 1935.

Oklahoma-born Paul Wellman, who has successfully spanned the breach between riding the range and writing for a metropolitan daily, recounts the story of American expansion in the desert southwest and the resultant conflict with the Indian tribes. As a companion piece to "Death on the Plains," an earlier study of the plains wars, the present work is a readable and thoroughly delightful narrative of a few of

Page 504

the outstanding conflicts of the whites with the Apaches, Pueblos, and Navajos. Beneath the main theme, Mr. Wellman sketches the lives of several of the Indian military leaders, particularly, Mangus Colorado, an Apache chief whose defective Spanish name means "Red Sleeves"; his successor, Victorio; and lastly, an Apache more familiar to Oklahomans, Geronimo.

Two chapters, recounting the events of the Modoc war in Oregon during the early seventies are included, though it seemed the space might have been used to greater advantage in the further development of the main narrative. This reviewer, for one, would have particularly enjoyed a greater exposition of the activities of Bent and St. Vrain in the winning of New Mexico.

The work, based almost entirely on secondary sources, achieves a note of scholarship in its unbiased treatment of a difficult and little-known subject. Mr. Wellman did well by following up the Apache atrocities with equally regrettable outrages committed by the whites. In too few chronicles of the west is the Indian shown in a kind light.

The citations reveal a marked dependence upon a few studies. An adequate bibliography accompanies the work, giving the reader some idea of the source material that formed the basis of the present study. A sketch map of the region showing the location of the principal engagements, and a number of rare photographs make a more attractive format. An index facilitates the book's use as reference material.

Mr. Wellman's book is a substantial addition to the field of western history.

—Gaston Litton

Page 505

———

Civilization As Told To Florence Drake. By Thomas Wildcat Alford. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1936. Pp. xiii, 203. $2.50.)

Here is a book of valuable and fascinating material which should have wide usefulness for students who are interested in the civilization of the American Indian. The volume is short and arresting, with human interest in every chapter. Civilization is more than an autobiography of Thomas Wildcat Alford, the great-grandson of Tecumseh, for it is an account of the whole sweep of Shawnee Indian culture and of the assimilation of one of the Shawnee's notable sons. Mr. Alfred is still living, an honored citizen of Tecumseh, Oklahoma. In his life are mirrored the story of the white man's civilization and the influence it had on the Indian, from an Indian's viewpoint.

The reader sees before him in rapid succession the veering role of the Indian in the Civil War; the social and tribal status of Indian women; courtship and marriage customs; dietary practices and child life; notions regarding religion and education; the vexing land problem and allotment system; the problem of governmental relations; the opening of Oklahoma; differences in attitude between the whites and the red men; misunderstandings and inevitable conflicts of two contrasting civilizations. The clash must be blamed upon unavoidable differences of viewpoint, bad faith, on the part of the unscrupulous white man, and vascillating policies advanced by the American government with its disastrous spoils system. Throughout this remarkable narrative the reader has a picture of the absorbing character of Mr. Alford's early training, his education at Hampton Institute, his services to the Indian as teacher, advisor, interpreter, translator of the Gospels, and surveyor, and above all his efforts to be of service to his race in the struggle of assimilation. The unselfish devotion of this man to his country and to the Indian problem should be an inspiration to any reader.

Page 506

Those of us who are concerned seriously with the study of the Indian and with his social history are often puzzled when we are asked to recommend a trustworthy book in that field, either for the general reader or for the student. But The Civilization of the American Indian series, to which Alford's book adds the thirteenth volume, furnishes us with the answer, for it is authentic and delightfully readable.

This volume, however, does not comport with the literary style or high standard of scholarship found in some of the other volumes in the series. To the reviewer a few defect's are conspicuous. Structurally the material is marred by lack of organization. There are thirty-two chapters, many of them but three to six pages in length. This bewildering array of short chapters in so slender a book is destructive of unity. An index would add greatly to the value of the book. One may cite the colloquial uses of "so" (pp. 31, 79, 94, 112, 115, 180), and the monotonous vocabulary (as illustrated in the tiresome repetition of the word "another," pp. 37, 38). The misuse of "due to" (opening paragraph, p. 82) is a common grammatical error. In the opinion of the reviewer the long sentence in the last paragraph on page 200 is very poorly constructed. These may be regarded as comparatively slight blemishes; but they do detract from the literary level of critical workmanship. To historically-minded students the citation of first accomplishments of the Shawnee Indians is a welcome contribution, but there is a question about the statement that "The Shawnee Indians were the first body of people to advocate prohibition" (p. 48). The dates given are 1733-34. Students of the history of Maryland, Connecticut, and Virginia can cite evidence to the effect that action was taken in these colonies on the prohibition problem as early as the seventeenth century.

There are, on the other hand, many commendable details. The style has a natural, easy flow. The tone is sympathetic, but not blindly indulgent. There are eleven illustrations of varying importance. The Appendix on the Absentee Shawnee

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Indians contains some very valuable information. This volume is, furthermore, a model of bookmaker's art. It is composed on the monotype in twelve point Baskerville, as the printer explains. The format is admirably artistic in plan and workmanship.

Thomas Wildcat Alford may not be considered by historians as an Indian of first importance, but in the picture of his life and character we have an honest story of a vanishing Indian culture and a valuable study of the assimilation problem.

—C. W. Patton

Oklahoma Baptist University

———

A Rider of Tine Cherokee Strip. Evan G. Barnard (E. E. Dale, editor). Boston, 1936. Pp. 233. $2.50.

The author of this story is the son of a Presbyterian minister who with a family of four children moved over the area from Pennsylvania to Iowa. Whatever "the typical preacher's son" may mean, the author was that. He learned soon to take care of himself and ride freight trains. Finally, when life became drab for him, he left Iowa, for a ranch in Texas. (His brother, George Grey Barnard, was attracted to the cultural art of sculpture and became foremost in this field.) In Texas "Parson" Barnard served time as a tenderfoot, but soon became an experienced cowhand, riding well, shooting straight, roping expertly, and riding a line to the satisfaction of his employer.

The grass land in Oklahoma offered opportunity for thousands of head of cattle where ranchmen sent their herds, and among the drivers was "Parson." Here he rode as in Texas and had he been alone on the line he would have grown lonesome, but Oklahoma was filled with company—plains Indians, soldiers, and outlaws. Of these he could make no choice. Each day was eventful as he ranged from the Washita to the village of Tulsa. His story as a cowhand has equals, but few surpass it. He saw the transition from a plains country roamed by

Page 508

Indians to a cattle country which in turn gave way to the Boomers and the "opening" to white settlement.

Like hundreds of cowboys out of a job he "took a claim," tried to learn farming along with others who knew nothing about it. No better story has been told of the transition from a farming frontier to the established agricultural life of the great wheat areas of northwestern Oklahoma. Crude social life and economic hardships constituted the bill of fare until railroads, towns, and schools were built. Finally, as a successful farmer he tried politics which proved harder to ride than the wild cow pony.

In the late afternoon of his life "Parson" Barnard has recorded his experiences—1865 to the present. It has many parallels, but few men have stopped long enough to tell a story of this scantily written about period in Oklahoma history. He has done it well. Adventure, danger, tragedy, and humor cut across the pages to the delight and interest of the reader. It is an excellent tale of the old West that has disappeared. This generation, in progress, is so far removed in a few short years from a bygone day that it is startling to think that one man's life spans such an epoch. It is a valuable contribution to Oklahoma history.

The editor, E. E. Dale, of the University of Oklahoma, deserves much credit for helping to salvage this epic. His service in this field is a contribution of importance.

—M. L. Wardell.

———

The Chisholm Trail and Other Routes, by T. U. Taylor.—800, cloth. illus. Pp. 220-8. The Frontier Times, publishers, Bandera, Texas. $2.00.

The Chisholm, Trail, by Sam P. Ridings. — large 800, cloth. Illus. Pp. 592-6. Co-operative Publishing Co., Guthrie, Okla. Price, $3.50.

Page 509

The Chisholm Trail waited a long time for accurate definitive and descriptive literary interpretation by writers who were inspired by a desire to preserve the story of its place in the history of the range cattle industry in the pioneering period of the Southern Plains Region. By strange coincidence, two writers, whose environmental associations, experiences and observations had served to give to each a large measure of personal interest in the theme were contemporaneously working upon it, wholly independent of, and unknown to each other. Andy Adams' Reid Anthony, Cowman and Hubert Collins' War Path and Cattle Trail had depicted some of the scenes of life on the historic wilderness highway while the lyric lines of Earl A. Brininstool's "Upon the Chisholm Trail" and those of like vein from other bards and minstrels of the Southwest had given hint of real historical background. And it so happened that the two books came from the publishers within a single week and the local literature and history of Oklahoma is the richer for their respective efforts.

Professor T. U. Taylor, who had but recently retired from many years' service as the premier dean of the College of Engineering in the University of Texas, a native of Tennessee, who was reared in the great "Lone Star" state, became inspired with a desire to write the story of the Chisholm Trail because of the fact that attempts were being made to expropriate its name and apply it to another trail 100 miles distant. Dean Taylor objected to, such a change for the reason that part of his boyhood life had been lived adjacent to the other trail, and he knew the application of the name Chisholm thereto would be a misnomer. Incidentally the author discusses the history of the overland drovers' industry from its beginning, back in the days of Mexican sovereignty, when herds of cattle were driven from southern Texas to a market at New Orleans.

Considerable space is devoted to biographical data pertaining to leading ranchmen and trail drivers of Texas. When the first histories of Oklahoma were printed and published, thirty years ago, some Texans then resident in Oklahoma were

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inclined to be caustically critical because, of the statement that the Trail had been named for Jesse Chisholm, asserting that it was so designated in honor of John S. "Chisum" a Texas ranchman who was alleged to have driven the first herd northward to Kansas in 1867. This version was quickly disproven by investigation among Texas authorities, however, The author settles this matter by submitting the story of the real life of John S. Chisholm, or "Chisum," which is in itself very interesting.

The author draws heavily on the book Historic Sketches of the Cattle Trade in the Southwest by Joseph G. McCoy, the man who dreamed the dream of the cattle trail and then made it come true, as well as other documentary references, including especially The Trail Drivers of Texas by George W. Saunders and Marvin Hunter. Much of McCoy's narrative of the opening of the Abilene cattle market is included. One of the most interesting features of the volume is the "Calendar of the Trail," which presents in chronological order a list of owners and herds which were driven up the trail each year until it ceased to be used for that purpose. It is probably far from complete, yet, even so, it is exceedingly interesting. In addition to the biographies of leading cattle men, there is an appendix which contains the names of over 2000 trail drivers, in alphabetical order. Also a whole chapter is devoted to "The Ladies of the Trail" who helped to make some of the long drives.

The volume of which Mr. Ridings is the author is not only larger, but, is otherwise more pretentious in its proportions and contents than that of Dean Taylor. For one thing it is much more fully illustrated. Like the other volume, this one devotes due space to a biographic sketch of Jesse Chisholm. There is, likewise, a chapter devoted to John S. Chisholm or "Chisum" who is believed to have been a kinsman, possibly not, many degrees removed, of the illustrious frontierman for whom the trail was named. There are a number of chapters devoted to biographic sketches of other men who were promi-

Page 511

nently connected with the range and drovers' industries, though not all of these had a great deal to do with the trail. Among these may be mentioned Oliver W. Wheeler, Charles Goodnight, C. C. Slaughter, Joseph G. McCoy—who proposed the first cattle trail—William E. Malaley and Ben F. Williams. A chapter is devoted to U. S. Indian Agent, Brinton Darlington, and his Quakers, another to the Darlington Agency (Cheyenne and Arapaho) and two chapters to "Indian tribes familiar to the trail"—pertaining more particularly to the Arapaho and Cheyenne—and a full chapter to the Cherokee tribe which owned the Outlet, over which the Trail passed and that was leased to cattlemen for grazing purpose. The Wichita and affiliated Indian tribes forms the subject of another chapter, as does "the cattle industry in the Indian Territory," and also, the Cherokee Strip Live-Stock Association, very naturally forms the theme of another chapter. "The Cowboy" is treated in a separate chapter as also is "Tales of the Cow-camp and Breaking in a Cowboy." "A Day on the Roundup and Days on the Lone Cow Trail" each fill allotted space, likewise "Mexicans as Trailmen and their Habits." Nor would such a list of themes be complete without one entitled "Horses of the Frontier." "The Freighter" comes in for graphic depiction also.

Tragedy stalked the old Trail, as related in a chapter entitled "Pond Creek Ranch and Graves near the Same," and another entitled "The Death of Pat Hennessey." "A Romance and Tragedy of the Plains" fills one chapter, "The Killing of Ed Short and Charley Bryant," another, while "The Talbot Raid," "Hendry Brown" and "The Capture of Frank Swaggart by the Indians" furnished titles for others.

"Cowboy Capitals" and "Government Openings for Settlement along the Trail" and County Seat Fights and "Railway Wars" tell of the years after homestead settlement. "Matters of Sundry Interest" and "Preserving the Name and Location of the Trail" bring the volume to its conclusion.

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Each of the volumes described in the foregoing is well indexed. Errors in statement as to, dates or other details, or typographical mistakes are few and far between. That the work of research and compilation of each of these volumes has been a labor of love for the authors is evident on almost every page. Both works bear evidence of thorough and patient research and will doubtless prove of great interest to general readers as well as to students of local history throughout the region traversed by this historic old trail.

—Joseph B. Thoburn.

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