Papers in Illinois History and Transactions for the Year, 1939. (The Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield, 1940. ix. + 179pp.)
In this collection of papers is one by Dr. Grant Foreman of 44 pages, which has close relation to Oklahoma history. This paper entitled, "Illinois and Her Indians", deals with the Potawatomi, Sauk and Fox, Piankeshaw, Miami and Kickapoo in the early decades of the nineteenth century, before these Indians found homes in Indian Territory. The paper, written after extensive and careful research, sheds new light on the earlier land holdings of the tribes mentioned. It was an address delivered by Dr. Foreman at the Illinois Day Meeting of the Illinois State Historical Society in Springfield on December 4, 1939.
The Potawatomi were the most conspicuous tribe in the history of Illinois. They clung to the land of their nativity with greater tenacity than any other tribe, and wrote the last chapter of Indian negotiation and occupation in the State. Reference is made to devices, not always of highest commendation, often used by officers of the federal government in securing treaties with Indians.
A map of Illinois with an accompanying legend shows thirteen land cessions from 1803 to 1833, covering the entire State. Attention is given to participation of Illinois Indians in the War of 1812, and to the treaty of Ghent, "in which our domestic Indian relations were dominated by a foreign government." On insistence of the British government, the United States agreed to restore forthwith to the Indian allies of Great Britain, all the possessions, rights, and privileges, which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in 1811. There is a readable account of the councils at Portage des Sioux in 1815, and an illustration of treaty making at Prairie du Chien in 1825. Account is taken of the passage of the Wyandot, Shawnee, Seneca, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Cherokee across parts of Illinois in conformity with the policy after 1830 of removing Indians to lands west of the Mississippi river.
Other papers in the series are: H. Gary Hudson, "The Compensation of an Historian"; William J. Petersen, "Floating Namesakes of the Sucker State"; Mary Earhart Dillon, "Frances Willard as an Illinois Teacher"; Lynn W. Turner, "The United Brethren Church in Illinois"; and Edwin David Davis, "The Hanks Family in Macon County, Illinois (1828-1939)". There is a good index.
Berlin B. Chapman
Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College
Elias Boudinot, Cherokee and His America. By Ralph Henry Gabriel. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1941. xv and 190 pp. Appendix and Index. $2.00.)
Mrs. Carolyn Thomas Foreman presented the romance of Elias Boudinot and Harriet Gold to readers of The American Indian (Tulsa, July, 1929), in a page long article and included excerpts from one or two letters that apparently were not used by Professor Gabriel but his book length account is fully justifiable and competently handled. Aside from a well-written introduction that traces the native religion of the Cherokees, and closing chapters based upon governmental documents, Gabriel built his story around the Vaill Manuscripts, letters of members of the Gold family. The Yale professor uses the letters to show the influence of Puritanism in shaping the career of Elias Boudinot.
Through the influence of the head of the Foreign Mission Society the Indian boy entered school at Cornwall, Connecticut in 1818. He had been a student at Spring Place school kept by the Moravians in Georgia. John Ridge, a cousin of Boudinot, followed him to Cornwall a year later. Being a sufferer from a hip disease, Ridge was quartered in the home of John P. Northrup, steward of the school, and was nursed by Mrs. Northrup. He married their daughter, Sarah Bird Northrup, in 1824.
Elias followed suit by falling in love with Harriett Gold, the daughter of one of Cornwall's most prominent families, and the disturbance that succeeded disrupted the school as well as society in the town. When Ridge married Miss Northrup, it was suggested that "the girl ought to be publicly whipped, the Indian hung, and the mother drown'd." When the engagement of Miss Gold and Boudinot was announced, the agents of the Foreign Mission School, led by Lyman Beecher, issued a report in which they stated that "we regard those who have engaged in or accessory to this transaction, as criminal; an offering insult to the Christian Community; and as sporting with the sacred interests of this charitable institution." Even Harriett's family added their voices to the communal cry.
Boudinot returned to Cornwall in March, 1826, and the marriage was performed in the home of Harriett's parents by a minister from Goshen since the home pastor refused to officiate. "All the bells of Cornwall tolled the loss of Harriett Gold." Three years later her parents visited the Cherokee country and were surprised to find that the Boudinot children were as handsome as any in the North and would pass for full-blooded Yankees.
Gabriel traces the rise to importance of Boudinot among the Cherokee, first as a missionary-teacher and later, as editor of the government controlled press, The Cherokee Phoenix. The author builds a strong case in showing that Boudinot made his decision for the removal treaty within a framework of Puritan thought. This reviewer believes that Gabriel has used postulations rather than facts: facts of Boudinot's Indian heritage, political machinations, and the influence of his kinsmen. The author, likewise, appraises
the influence of John Ross in the light of the accomplishment of Boudinot.
The director of the University of Oklahoma press will receive many compliments on the make-up of this book, the twentieth in the Civilization of the American Indian series.
J. S. Clark
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
With Custer's Cavalry. By Katherine Gibson Fougera. (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1940. 285 pages. $3.00.)
The author has written her mother's (Katherine Gibson's) biography in the first person. The effect, since it is well done, is to place the reader immediately in the life and spirit of the times. It makes real people seem real, which is more than history accomplishes in too many instances. Army folk will enjoy this book. So will civilians for that matter; but to many old-timers from the army it will bring a bitter-sweet wave of nostalgia. It is a good description of the lesser known phases of army life on the frontier, that existence which is led by hundreds of army women and their husbands in those periods between the big wars when the army is split up and stationed at little western posts and camps.
Katherine Garrett, an eastern girl who knew nothing of the army, visited her sister Molly, who was the wife of Lieut. Donald McIntosh, 7th Cavalry. During this visit she became acquainted with Gen. and Mrs. Custer and with most of the other officers and ladies of the regiment. Soon she met and married Lieut. Francis Gibson, 7th Cav. She describes her life as a member of Custer's regimental family, during their station on the frontier just prior to the 1876 campaign. Custer is portrayed as a strict disciplinarian, a teetotaler, and a hard worker, but full of fun and appreciative of the many practical jokes which he and his officers were constantly perpetrating on each other. Mrs. Custer is seen as a typical "first lady"of the regiment—evidently a very high type army wife. The book contains little or nothing of the various troubles, political and otherwise, which were besetting Custer at this time, and which have left a cloud on his memory in the minds of some. He appears simply as an able leader who is engrossed in building up the esprit and efficiency of his regiment.
There are some exciting passages describing adventures with herds of stampeding buffaloes, western desperadoes, storms, and all the other events which were more or less characteristic of the west in those days. But in general there is nothing concerning the Indian campaigns. The ladies did not accompany the regiment into the field. Mrs. Gibson's husband was with Benteen during the Little Big Horn battle, hence escaped death with Custer and the other officers and men. His letter to his wife written from the field immediately after the tragedy, is good contemporary evidence as to what happened, and it furnishes considerable data—not new, but
strongly confirmatory—as to the character and deeds of some of the participants in the fighting.
This reviewer enjoyed the book heartily, and is confident that others interested in frontier history will like it too.
W. S. Nye
Washington, D. C.
Oklahoma's Deficit. By Findley Weaver. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1940. VIII + 67 pp. Charts and tables.)
Dr. Weaver's analysis of Oklahoma's deficit is timely. For many years it has been generally known, particularly to students of public finance, that the financial condition of the state was subject to serious dislocations. In other words, it was recognized that the legal basis in both constitutional and statutory law for sound management of the financial affairs was weak. To these weaknesses the study of the Brookings Institution in 1935 called specific attention. The Brookings' survey staff submitted carefully considered recommendations on a reasonable program of reform.
But aside from the pre-audit law nothing was done to check the drift of Oklahoma's finances into a condition of inexcusably bad management. A look back into a record of inaction causes one to surmise that the people of the state, and worse still, political leaders, hoped for some wonder-working magic to check this drift.
Oklahoma's Deficit by Dr. Weaver is the product of a thorough and objective study of conditions which contributed to the mounting state debt. It is the work of a painstaking student who has no axe to grind and who thinks scientifically toward conclusions considered to be unmistakably in the public interest. The book has the merit of treating a complicated problem in brief space and of revealing an abundance of factual information in a form which the general reader can understand without difficulty.
The logic of Dr. Weaver's order of presentation is apparent from the first pages. Basic causes of Oklahoma's deficit are considered under the headings, (1) Earmarking of state revenue for special funds, (2) Expenditures without legislative appropriation, (3) Inadequate accounting, reporting, and budgeting. Factual analysis supporting these propositions comprises the heart of the book. Then comes a concluding brief chapter in which recommendations on reform are submitted. Three recommendations are pointedly stated to coincide with the three basic causes of the deficit.
This book deserves much wider distribution and reading than it is likely to get. The University of Oklahoma again serves the interest of the state in directing its Bureau of Business Research, through Dr. Weaver, to make a scientific analysis of Oklahoma's deficit. Much credit is also due for the decision to publish the results in book form.
Raymond D. Thomas
Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College
The Longhorns. By J. Frank Dobie. (Boston. Little, Brown and Company, 1941. XXII and 388 pp. Bibliography and Index. $3.50).
Stories about cattle and the western range always will appeal to Oklahomans. Largely this is true because of the early day exploitation of this territory by ranchmen and from the fact that the industry is still so important here that there are as many cattle as people in the state. Many writers have described the great cattle drives that crossed Indian Territory, and a diminishing number of trail drivers still reminisce on their early day experiences. None, however, catches the central theme as well as Dobie, who by interviews and inclination has absorbed the spirit of the cattle country. He is a teller of folk tales and as a historian he has not hesitated to use scraps of folklore to, enforce truth and reality.
The author, by his own admission, has "virtually exhausted all printed and all available manuscript sources in the search for facts." Letters and manuscripts filed in the National Archives and "the Foreman Papers" in the Oklahoma Historical Society should have yielded additional information but the book is already top-heavy with information. One reference from the first source discloses a mutual feeling of aversion and fear between the Indians and Texas cattle. White Eagle, Ponca chief, describes Longhorns in 1881 as follows: "Our first cattle were tame but those [Texas cattle] last year were so wild we could not even see them; they could outrun a horse and fourteen of them broke their necks at the corral the day we received them."
Dobie presents a clear synthesis of the cattle industry before launching into an exact presentation of the Longhorn breed and how it shaped the destinies of its masters. And as the Plains Indians found hundreds of uses for the buffalo in their manufactures, the author shows the versatility of uses the Longhorn and its byproducts were put to in ranch economy. Dobie is pre-eminently a story-teller and hundreds of anecdotes enliven this newest publication of his.
Dobie includes many tales of cattle brands, stampedes, cattle drives, and ranchmen that have appeared elsewhere in his writings. He has also drawn heavily upon the folklore of the Plains. A few of the tales recently appeared in Hale and Arnold's Hot Irons which drew an acidulous review by Dobie. But they are worthy of inclusion in both books and they suffer not at all from Dobie's style of presentation. He is my favorite teller of stories and legends of the Southwest. He knows the nomenclature of the ranch cattle industry and his aptitude for felicitous expression should make The Longhorns one of the most popular books in the field.
The value of the book is greatly increased by the frontispiece which shows The Stampede, a picture of an original mural in the Post Office, Odessa, Texas and is reproduced by courtesy of the
section of fine arts, Federal Works Agency; by the Tom Lea illustrations; and by the photographic record of Longhorns, a section containing forty-eight pictures of horns and cattle. Scant recognition is given the late Will C. Barnes for preserving the Longhorn breed in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
J. S. Clark
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Political and Social Growth of the American People 1492-1865. By Homer Carey Hockett. (New York: Macmillan Company, 1940. xxi + 861 pp. Illustrations, maps, bibliography. $3.25. )
The new edition of Hockett's meritorious text eliminates his former chapters on European background and plunges at once into the colonizing efforts of the Spanish, French, and English peoples. In simple, flowing English he describes the more significant developments of American political and social evolution through the Civil War. Professor Schlesinger's companion text resumes there, carrying the narrative to 1940.
The enlargement of the scope of time has necessitated the omission of much that concerned the colonial period. Many students of southwestern history may regret the brevity of the treatment of the role of the Indians, and the paucity of the consideration of the part of the Spanish-Americans in American history. But the harried instructors will welcome the inclusion of recent events within the scope of the volume by Schlesinger, as well as the additional aids given in the form of forty-eight illustrations and extension of the bibliography to include many more works of value.
Students will also appreciate the new format.
Duncan Junior College
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, Head of History Department, Oklahoma A. & M. College, Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Cullom-Gherther, Nashville, Tennessee, pp. 317. For sale by the editor and compiler, $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. Reynolds 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.
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. 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