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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 19, No. 2
June, 1941
BOOK REVIEWS

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A Pathfinder in the Southwest. By Grant Foreman. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1941. Photographs, drawings, and a map. 298 pages.$3.00. )

Thanks again, Dr. Foreman! This time for editing with discriminating scholarship the journal of Lieutenant A.W. Whipple kept during his explorations for a railway—demanded by the goldseekers—from Fort Smith to Los Angeles in 1853-54. The old, long-forgotten account of that young topographical engineer's absorbing experiences could not have fallen into better hands for resurrecting.

In this book, as in the two Marcy journals of exploration he edited and made available to the general reader, Dr. Foreman has shown how deeply indebted we are for our western literary backgrounds to scientifically trained men, army engineers, botanists, surveyors, astronomical observers, and others. Of writing men and historians who ventured into the largely unmapped stretch from the Arkansas border to the Pacific following the fur traders we recall readily only Irving and Parkman—and except for his previously earned reputation, Irving's Tour on the Prairies would not have attracted more than passing comment. In fact, the Yankee Commissioner Ellsworth's account of the same experience is more vivid.

From July 14, 1853, to March 24 of the following year, from 153 camps stretching from Fort Smith to the vicinity of San Pedro, California, Whipple wrote of the intimate, every-day life of the expedition, of his contacts with Indians and whites, of the mishaps and good luck that befell him and his men. Almost incidentally, so far as this journal-narrative is concerned, he wrote of his main purpose, the survey of a practicable route for the railroad for which Senator Benton, Jefferson Davis, and others with statesman-like—and-sectional—enthusiasm were clamoring. That part of the job, fortunately, was taken care of in the voluminous notes and reports made by Whipple's scientific staff.

In twenty pages of introduction, and in the running commentary of footnotes, Mr. Foreman has adequately set the scene of the exploration, identified it on modern maps, and pointed out its relation to previous surveys and expeditions. Particularly in the Oklahoma section, where Whipple had to "shake down" his outfit and where he was really pioneering, is the editor's work thorough and illuminating.

John Oskison

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Women Tell the Story of the Southwest. Compiled and edited by Mattie Lloyd Wooten. (San Antonio, Texas: The Naylor Company, 1940. XVII + 394 pp. $3.50.)

The folklore of the Southwest is well represented in Mattie Lloyd Wooten (comp. and ed.), Women Tell the Story of the Southwest,

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sixty-four intriguing stories written by Southwestern Women. In these are found colorful details on every phase of border life, e.g. the Spanish Americans, travel, Indians, the cattle industry, home life of the Anglo-American pioneers, early courts, stagecoaching, border posts, and dudes of the last frontier. Some of these narratives are familiar folk-tales; others, such as Sister M. Lilliana Owens, "Our Lady of Light Academy, Santa Fe," and Lota M. Spell, "Music Teaching in New Mexico in the Seventeenth Century," are new, well documented, and reveal historical technique. All carry considerable reader interest.

The value of the book would have been enhanced by organization. A rough grouping of subject matter, such as Indian Relations, Early Life in Texas, etc., would have been better. Moreover, the glossary is hardly justified. The few words needing explanation could have been handled by parentheses; and others like Apaches, block house, cactus, cowpony, Jawhawkers (sic!), Jesuits, Mormon, and stampede are so commonplace as to make unnecessary their inclusion. But on the whole the book represents a worthy accomplishment, and its theme suggests a much needed study on the Southwestern border woman.

Carl Coke Rister

University of Oklahoma

Hot Irons. By Oren Arnold and John P. Hale. (New York: The Macmillian Company, 1940. VIII + 242 pp. $2.50.)

Arnold and Hale state their purpose in writing this book:

"1. To establish a reference work, an 'authority'.
2. To be entertaining about it."

No reader will question their achievement of the latter goal: even the chapter headings are diverting. Despite the fact that Hot Irons is not burdened with intrusive citations and lacks bibliography and index, the authors have labored to make this an accurate book and a reasonably comprehensive one. But if this is to be a reference work, an "authority," the casual reader would appreciate an index; the more serious reader, a bibliography; and a student of southwestern history, citations.

Those who have used or have seen used a branding iron may be wearied by some of the elementary and irrelevant reminiscences, but all will be entertained by the excellent writing that has caught the spirit of the ranch cattle industry.

The authors are residents of Arizona and devote a major portion of their narrative to that region. They trace the history of branding from its earliest beginnings and occasionally intersperse the story with tall, lusty tales of ranch life and happenings and origins: a particularly virile, robust fable that rival any of the fabliaux chanted by the Jongleurs of the thirteenth century appears at the beginning of chapter thirteen (pp. 204-206)

The Spaniards introduced ranching to the Southwest and with it the age-old art of branding. This heraldry of the range was de-

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veloped and fashioned by their American successors and protected by state law and registration. Despite the expert and, incidentally, legal use of the running iron and the stamping iron, registered brands and registered ear-marks, ear tagging or tatooing, and the formation of protective stock associations, the authors assert that "in 1939 more range cattle were being stolen than at any other time in history" (p. 110). The use of small, pick-up trucks has replaced former rustling methods.

Interesting accounts are given of the great King ranch in Texas, the famous XIT brand, and the Terrazo rancho grande. But most of the narrative is about smaller, lesser known holdings centered in Texas and Arizona. The average Oklahoma reader will like the statement that the "best branded ranch in history perhaps was Miller Brothers' Outfit in Oklahoma" (p. 170); he will be intrigued by the description of the dogiron brand of this state's famous cowboy-humorist (p. 137); he will recognize at once the distinguished coat of arms of Barbecue Campbell (p. 133); he might question the statement that "a group of Oklahoma cowpunchers once branded a man. . ." (p. 71); he will certainly wish that more of the important personalities and significant brands well known in Indian Territory were mentioned.

The format of the book meets the usual high standards of the Macmillan Company. Illustrations of brands are as excellent as the context that explains them.

J.S. Clark

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

As Our Neighbors See Us: Readings in the Relations of the United States and Latin America, 1820-1940. Edited and compiled by Thomas Harrison Reynolds. (Stillwater, Oklahoma: Published by the editor. VIII + 317 pp. $2.50. )

This volume consists of a preface, table of contents, and sixty-three documents or selections. A little more than the first third of the book is devoted to the Monroe doctrine. The volume is a companion to Dr. Reynold's study on the Economic Aspects of the Monroe Doctrine which appeared in 1938.

The sixty-three documents or selections are nearly all translated from Hispanic-American sources, and show how our neighboring nations to the south have regarded Monroism, the "Big Stick" attitude of Theodore Roosevelt, the "Dollar Diplomacy" of Taft, and the "Good Neighbor" policy of the second Roosevelt. Some of the sources include official documents, technical and trade journals, books based on research, and official and private correspondence. One source is a letter of three pages from Homer Brett, American Consul General, Lima, Peru, to Dr. Reynolds setting forth the reaction of that country to the various aspects of the Good Neighbor policy, such as the Cordell Hull trade program.

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Although the book is well prepared, some alterations can be suggested. Critics may complain that so many of the sources are of such recent origin that the first date in the sub-title is misleading; and a few slips may be found as evidenced by the name "Bushnell Hart" (p. 99).

This book brings not only to students of Latin-American History, but to laymen, a collection of primary sources which have been skillfully selected from divers places, and which are mainly translations showing how Uncle Sam has been regarded by his southern neighbors since the days of James Monroe. Thus to the specialist and layman Dr. Reynolds has rendered a valuable service in bringing into one volume and into the English language the prevailing attitudes of Latin America toward the United States. The publication of the volume is timely, appearing when our national authorities are trying to solidify the Western hemisphere against aggression by nations in the Eastern hemisphere.

One cannot listen to the sixty-three voices which Dr. Reynolds echoes from Latin America without realizing that the Monroe doctrine in its multitudinous shapes is and has been regarded primarily as a doctrine by and for the United States. In the interpretation of this doctrine Latin America has observed that the two bases thereof, absolutism in Europe and isolation of the United States, no longer exist; but that if the government of the United States finds itself forced to conclusions not pleasing to its policy, it reacts by forsaking former premises and adopting conclusions which seem best. To cooperate with nations of Latin America we must know how the United States has been regarded by those nations. As Our Neighbors See Us is recommended for economy of time and clarity of understanding.

Berlin B. Chapman

Exchange Professor, City College, New York.

Teodora de Croix sand the Northern Frontier of New Spain, 1776-1783. By Alfred Barnaby Thomas. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1941, XIII + 271 pages. Illustrations and Index. $3.00. )

Don Teodoro de Croix was indeed a "trouble shooter" for the Spanish King. On May 16, 1776, King Charles III appointed him as comandante general (commander general) over the border provinces of Mexico (known as the Provincias Internas) embracing Nueva Vizcaya, Sinaloa, Sonora, the Californias, Coahuila, New Mexico and Texas. Croix's orders were to unify and organize the northern frontier so that it would be saved from a threatened collapse. But in pursuit of these objectives, the commander general met with rebuff and criticism at the hands of Viceroy Bucareli and self-seeking Creoles. Still he was not daunted, in spite of the fact that the entire border was aflame with Indian wars. In the past, Apaches, Seris, Comanches and other marauders had devastated the provinces from Louisiana

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to California and from Santa Fe to Durango. Shortly after Croix's arrival, a semblance of order appeared out of the chaos. The new administrator dismissed inefficient officers and appointed others of merit; he recruited, trained and adequately equipped presidial troops; he put a mobile patrol in operation between Texas and Arizona; and he revamped the whole scheme of border defense. In doing this, however, Croix had made enemies who finally succeeded in ousting him. Creole landowners, like the Marques da Aguayo and Don Lucas de Lasage, complained that their border haciendas were imperiled because of troop inactivity, and jealous neighboring officials made false representations. But Croix had laid a firm foundation upon which his successors builded.

This, indeed, is the absorbing story brought to us by Professor Thomas in his new book, Teodoro de Croix and the Northern Frontier of New Spain, 1776-1783. The book is divided into two sections. Part One is a scintillating, well written introduction of sixty-five pages and of three chapters ("Geography, Indians and Spaniards"; "The Administration of Teodoro de Croix, 1776-1780"; and "Disappointments and Achievements, 1781-1783"), revealing the short-comings of viceroyalty control of the frontier provinces, Croix's comprehensive reforms and his measure of success. Part Two, 202 pages, consists of Croix's reports (1781) on the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Sinaloa, Sonora, the Californias, Coahuila, New Mexico and Texas, documents made available to Southwestern students for the first time. Both parts of the study are excellently documented and the editorial work on the second leaves little to be desired. The volume should find a place on the shelf of every collector of Western Americana.

Again the University of Oklahoma Press has scored a hit in book craftsmanship. The paper is antique wove; the type is set in eleven point linotype Old Style, Number Seven; and the jacket design is beautifully appropriate. A good map, comprehensive tables, and three interesting half-tones are additional useful features.

Carl Coke Rister

University of Oklahoma

Western America: The Exploration Settlement, and Development of the Region Beyond the Mississippi. By Leroy R. Hafen and Carl Coke Rister. (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1941. XXIV + 689 pp. Illustrations and maps. $4.65.)

This scholarly and timely volume is a history of the exploration, settlement, development of the region beyond the Mississippi as its subtitle indicates. The authors have presented a comprehensive survey of the political, economic, and social growth of this important section. In these pages one finds the story of explorers, trappers, traders, farmers, miners, railroad builders, school teachers, and ministers. The casual reader may reach the conclusion that the history of Texas occupies a disproportionate amount of space, but a careful

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reading will convince even the most skeptical that the other territories and states have been carefully and judiciously treated.

The treatment of Hafen and Rister leans toward the cultural and social. It is a good book and a considerable contribution to the literature in this field. This volume is adapted for use as a textbook as well as for a work of reference.

The reader is impressed with the encyclopaedic and sweeping treatment. Among the outstanding chapters are those entitled "Range Cattle and Sheep Industries" and "Evolution of Western Culture." The authors should be commended for their judicious inclusion of maps which throw light upon the accompanying text. A comprehensive index adds much to the usefulness of this work. The bibliography listed at the close of the different chapters should prove useful to the student, although here and there titles have been omitted which should have been listed. Greater use might have been made of the state historical journals published in certain of the states under review. The reviewer is gratified to note the references to the works of Foreman, Dale and Gittinger.

Here and there may be noted misspelled words which may be classified as typographical errors to be left out in later editions. The publishers have made a real contribution in providing an attractive format and pleasing typography.

James W. Moffitt

Oklahoma Historical Society

Zachary Taylor; Soldier of the Republic, by Holman Hamilton. (Indianapolis, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1941, XIV+ 335 pp. Frontispiece. $3.50.)

Readers of the Chronicles will be particularly interested in Mr. Hamilton's scholarly work because of the part that Taylor played in the history of Oklahoma.

During the interlude between wars in which Taylor was engaged, he was sent in 1841 to succeed Gen. Matthew Arbuckle in command of the Second Department of the Western Division, with headquarters at Fort Gibson. When Taylor reached his new post, he was so displeased with the run-down condition of the establishment that he returned down the river to Fort Smith and made his headquarters at that part of what is now the city of Fort Smith that then bore the name of Fort Belknap. From here he exercised the authority of his command over the present Oklahoma and contiguous territory.

He was responsible for the location and establishment of Fort Washita for the protection of the people in the Chickasaw Nation. After receiving the necessary authority from Washington, he left Fort Smith, September 25, 1841, with a military escort, and traveling by way of Fort Gibson and Fort Towson, ascended the Washita River to inspect a site previously recommended by Captain Ben-

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jamin D. Moore, which General Taylor approved, and where Fort Washita was subsequently built.

Fort Wayne had been established in the Cherokee Nation near the Arkansas line, but as Taylor considered it of no military value, he ordered it abandoned. The garrison evacuated the place on May 26, 1842, and marched to a site on the Marmiton River where the soldiers located another establishment which was named Fort Scott. While this was a wise move, the people of neighboring Arkansas protested, and demanded that the garrison be returned. Taylor stood firm however, and prevented the bringing of the troops back to a neighborhood that was apparently interested only in selling whisky to them.

General Taylor, on May 15, 1842, attended the grand council, representing seventeen tribes, that convened near the site of Eufaula. Here a vast concourse of representative Indians was addressed by General Taylor and others, who gave good advice to the wild Indians at the meeting on the subjects of peace, and returning captives taken in Texas. From here he proceeded to Fort Washita to observe the construction of the new army post which was to be occupied by the Sixth Infantry.

The next year in June, Taylor attended the celebrated Grand Council at Tahlequah, where the Cherokees and representatives of many other tribes assembled to confer on subjects of common interest and benefit. During the same summer Taylor at his Fort Smith headquarters was called on to exercise his authority to restrain belligerent Cherokees engaged in disorders at polling places during an election for national officers. Soon after, in September 1843, he was engaged in trying to capture the notorious Starr gang of bandits who had recently committed an atrocious murder within what is now Sequoyah County.

In connection with Mr. Hamilton's scholarly account of Taylor's services to Oklahoma, he has introduced the reader to another interesting officer, Capt. William W. S. Bliss, also identified with Oklahoma history. Captain Bliss accompanied General Taylor as his aide at the Tahlequah Grand Council. "Courtly, accomplished, master of six languages, Bliss was one of the most brilliant scholars ever to grace the American Army. He had entered the Military Academy at West Point as a lad of thirteen, had been graduated at seventeen, and already his amazing range of information incorporated the philosophy of Kant with the poetry of Goethe, as well as the technicalities of military science and a first-hand study of the habits of the Cherokees. The captain was less than thirty years of age, when he became aide to Taylor," to whom he rendered invaluable service.

War department records identify Bliss as Assistant Adjutant General of the Second Military Department, with headquarters at Port Wayne, Indian Territory, in 1842. It is a singular historical

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fact that Fort Wayne in eastern Delaware County, of which not a vestige now remains, was for a time the headquarters of a military department having jurisdiction over all the territory south of the thirty-seventh degree of north latitude from the Mississippi River to the frontier, and including the present states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Southern Missouri. With the personal charm and magnetism attributed to Captain Bliss, it is small wonder that he won for his wife General Taylor's daughter, Mary Elizabeth ("Bettie"), while her father was stationed at Fort Smith, and who later presided as mistress of the White House.

In this connection the reader is further indebted to Mr. Hamilton for again exploding the myth that "Bettie" Taylor eloped from Fort Gibson with Jefferson Davis, who did indeed marry a daughter of Taylor, but it was not Bettie. Her name was Sarah Knox Taylor, and she never saw Fort Gibson. After Davis, a young lieutenant, resigned from the army in 1835, at the end of a brief service at this western post, he went to Kentucky where he was married to Sarah Knox Taylor, an older daughter of the general, at the home of her aunt.

Those who persist in believing the yarn about the imaginary elopement of Miss Taylor with Jefferson Davis may be interested in knowing that according to local tradition the same identical elopement took place at Fort Smith, also at Vincennes, Indiana, and local guides will point out the location in each of these places whence the young couple took their departure. If they still persist in cherishing this yarn, they would do well to read the true story of this romance as told by Mr. Hamilton, to whom the lovers of authentic history must be indebted for his honest efforts to put our history in its true light.

While this review emphasizes the connection of Zachary Taylor with Oklahoma history, Mr. Hamilton's book covers his full career in a manner never before attempted. It is a fascinating story, written in simple, graceful style, based upon a prodigious amount of research and study. Mr. Hamilton is an editorial writer on the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Journal Gazette, to which post he succeeded the historian, Claude G. Bowers, whose introduction to the book prepares the reader for the treat that is in store for him.

Grant Foreman.

Muskogee, Oklahoma

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