Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest
J. Frank Dobie

Part 1 out of 4

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Guide to Life and Literature
of the



DALLAS . 1952


_Not copyright in 1942
Again not copyright in 1952_

Anybody is welcome to help himself to any
of it in any way




A Preface with Some Revised Ideas
1. A Declaration
2. Interpreters of the Land
3. General Helps
4. Indian Culture; Pueblos and Navajos
5. Apaches, Comanches, and Other Plains Indians
6. Spanish-Mexican Strains
7. Flavor of France
8. Backwoods Life and Humor
9. How the Early Settlers Lived
10. Fighting Texians
11. Texas Rangers
12. Women Pioneers
13. Circuit Riders and Missionaries
14. Lawyers, Politicians, J.P.'s
15. Pioneer Doctors
16. Mountain Men
17. Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Trail
18. Stagecoaches, Freighting
19. Pony Express
20. Surge of Life in the West
21. Range Life: Cowboys, Cattle, Sheep
22. Cowboy Songs and Other Ballads
23. Horses: Mustangs and Cow Ponies
24. The Bad Man Tradition
25. Mining and Oil
26. Nature; Wild Life; Naturalists
27. Buffaloes and Buffalo Hunters
28. Bears and Bear Hunters
29. Coyotes, Lobos, and Panthers
30. Birds and Wild Flowers
31. Negro Folk Songs and Tales
32. Fiction-Including Folk Tales
33. Poetry and Drama
34. Miscellaneous Interpreters and Institutions
35. Subjects for Themes
Index to Authors and Titles

Indian Head by Tom Lea, from _A Texas Cowboy_
by Charles A. Siringo (1950 edition)
Comanche Horsemen by George Catlin, from
_North American Indians_
Vaquero by Tom Lea, from _A Texas Cowboy_
by Charles A. Siringo (1950 edition)
Fray Marcos de Niza by Jose Cisneros, from
The Journey of Fray Marcos de Niza by
Cleve Hallenbeck
Horse by Gutzon Borglum, from Mustangs
and Cow Horses
Praxiteles Swan, fighting chaplain, by John W.
Thomason, from his Lone Star Preacher
Horse's Head by William R. Leigh, from The
Western Pony
Longhorn by Tom Lea, from The Longhorns
by J. Frank Dobie
Cowboy and Steer by Tom Lea, from The
Longhorns by J. Frank Dobie
Illustration by Charles M. Russell, from The
Virginian by Owen Wister (1916 edition)
Mustangs by Charles Banks Wilson, from The
Mustangs by J. Frank Dobie
Illustration by Charles M. Russell, from The
Untamed by George Pattullo

Pancho Villa by Tom Lea, from Southwest
Review, Winter, 1951
Frontispiece by Tom Lea, from Santa Rita by
Martin W. Schwettmann
Illustration by Charles M. Russell, from The
Blazed Trail by Agnes C. Laut
Buffaloes by Harold D. Bugbee
Illustration by Charles M. Russell, from Fifteen
Thousand Miles by Stage by Carrie
Adell Strahorn
Coyote Head by Olaus J. Murie, from The
Voice of the Coyote by J. Frank Dobie

A Preface With Some Revised Ideas

IT HAS BEEN ten years since I wrote the prefatory "Declaration"
to this now enlarged and altered book. Not to my
generation alone have many things receded during that
decade. To the intelligent young as well as to the intelligent
elderly, efforts in the present atmosphere to opiate the public
with mere pictures of frontier enterprise have a ghastly
unreality. The Texas Rangers have come to seem as remote
as the Foreign Legion in France fighting against the Kaiser.
Yet this _Guide_, extensively added to and revised, is mainly
concerned, apart from the land and its native life, with
frontier backgrounds. If during a decade a man does not
change his mind on some things and develop new points of
view, it is a pretty good sign that his mind is petrified and
need no longer be accounted among the living. I have an
inclination to rewrite the "Declaration," but maybe I was
just as wise on some matters ten years ago as I am now; so
I let it stand.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself.

I have heard so much silly bragging by Texans that I
now think it would be a blessing to themselves--and a relief
to others--if the braggers did not know they lived in Texas.
Yet the time is not likely to come when a human being will
not be better adapted to his environments by knowing their
nature; on the other hand, to study a provincial setting from
a provincial point of view is restricting. Nobody should
specialize on provincial writings before he has the perspective
that only a good deal of good literature and wide history
can give. I think it more important that a dweller in the
Southwest read _The Trial and Death of Socrates_ than all the
books extant on killings by Billy the Kid. I think this dweller
will fit his land better by understanding Thomas Jefferson's
oath ("I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility
against every form of tyranny over the mind of man") than
by reading all the books that have been written on ranch
lands and people. For any dweller of the Southwest who
would have the land soak into him, Wordsworth's "Tintern
Abbey," "Ode: Intimations of Immortality," "The Solitary
Reaper," "Expostulation and Reply," and a few other poems
are more conducive to a "wise passiveness" than any native

There are no substitutes for nobility, beauty, and
wisdom. One of the chief impediments to amplitude and
intellectual freedom is provincial inbreeding. I am sorry to see
writings of the Southwest substituted for noble and beautiful
and wise literature to which all people everywhere are
inheritors. When I began teaching "Life and Literature of the
Southwest" I did not regard these writings as a substitute.
To reread most of them would be boresome, though _Hamlet_,
Boswell's _Johnson_, Lamb's _Essays_, and other genuine literature
remain as quickening as ever.

Very likely I shall not teach the course again. I am positive
I shall never revise this _Guide_ again. It is in nowise a
bibliography. I have made more additions to the "Range Life"
chapter than to any other. I am a collector of such books.
A collector is a person who gathers unto himself the worthless
as well as the worthy. Since I did not make a nickel out
of the original printing of the _Guide_ and hardly expect to
make enough to buy a California "ranch" out of the present
printing, I have added several items, with accompanying
remarks, more for my own pleasure than for benefit to

Were the listings halved, made more selective, the book
might serve its purpose better. Anybody who wants to can
slice it in any manner he pleases. I am as much against forced
literary swallowings as I am against prohibitions on free
tasting, chewing, and digestion. I rate censors, particularly
those of church and state, as low as I rate character assassins;
they often run together.

I'd like to make a book on _Emancipators of the Human
Mind_--Emerson, Jefferson, Thoreau, Tom Paine, Newton,
Arnold, Voltaire, Goethe.... When I reflect how few writings
connected with the wide open spaces of the West and
Southwest are wide enough to enter into such a volume, I
realize acutely how desirable is perspective in patriotism.

Hundreds of the books listed in this _Guide_ have given
me pleasure as well as particles for the mosaic work of my
own books; but, with minor exceptions, they increasingly
seem to me to explore only the exteriors of life. There is in
them much good humor but scant wit. The hunger for
something afar is absent or battened down. Drought blasts
the turf, but its unhealing blast to human hope is glossed
over. The body's thirst for water is a recurring theme, but
human thirst for love and just thinking is beyond consideration.
Horses run with their riders to death or victory, but
fleeting beauty haunts no soul to the "doorway of the dead."
The land is often pictured as lonely, but the lone way of a
human being's essential self is not for this extravert world.
The banners of individualism are carried high, but the higher
individualism that grows out of long looking for meanings
in the human drama is negligible. Somebody is always riding
around or into a "feudal domain." Nobody at all penetrates
it or penetrates democracy with the wisdom that came to
Lincoln in his loneliness: "As I would not be a SLAVE, so I
would not be a MASTER. This expresses my idea of democracy.
Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference,
is no democracy." The mountains, the caves, the forests, the
deserts have had no prophets to interpret either their silences
or their voices. In short, these books are mostly only the stuff
of literature, not literature itself, not the very stuff of life,
not the distillations of mankind's "agony and bloody sweat."

An ignorant person attaches more importance to the
chatter of small voices around him than to the noble language
of remote individuals. The more he listens to the small, the
smaller he grows. The hope of regional literature lies in out-
growing regionalism itself. On November 11, 1949, I gave a
talk to the Texas Institute of Letters that was published in
the Spring 1950 issue of the _Southwest Review_. The paragraphs
that follow are taken therefrom.

Good writing about any region is good only to the extent
that it has universal appeal. Texans are the only "race of
people" known to anthropologists who do not depend upon
breeding for propagation. Like princes and lords, they can
be made by "breath," plus a big white hat--which
comparatively few Texans wear. A beef stew by a cook in San
Antonio, Texas, may have a different flavor from that of a
beef stew cooked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but the essential
substances of potatoes and onions, with some suggestion
of beef, are about the same, and geography has no effect on
their digestibility.

A writer--a regional writer, if that term means
anything--will whenever he matures exercise the critical
faculty. I mean in the Matthew Arnold sense of appraisal
rather than of praise, or, for that matter, of absolute
condemnation. Understanding and sympathy are not eulogy.
Mere glorification is on the same intellectual level as silver
tongues and juke box music.

In using that word INTELLECTUAL, one lays himself liable
to the accusation of having forsaken democracy. For all that,
"fundamental brainwork" is behind every respect-worthy
piece of writing, whether it be a lightsome lyric that seems
as careless as a redbird's flit or a formal epic, an impressionistic
essay or a great novel that measures the depth of human
destiny. Nonintellectual literature is as nonexistent as education
without mental discipline, or as "character building" in
a school that is slovenly in scholarship. Billboards along the
highways of Texas advertise certain towns and cities as "cultural
centers." Yet no chamber of commerce would consider
advertising an intellectual center. The culture of a nine-
teenth-century finishing school for young ladies was divorced
from intellect; genuine civilization is always informed by
intellect. The American populace has been taught to believe
that the more intellectual a professor is, the less common sense
he has; nevertheless, if American democracy is preserved
it will be preserved by thought and not by physics.

Editors of all but a few magazines of the country and
publishers of most of the daily newspapers cry out for brightness
and vitality and at the same time shut out critical ideas.
They want intellect, but want it petrified. Happily, the
publishers of books have not yet reached that form of delusion.
In an article entitled "What Ideas Are Safe?" in the
_Saturday Review of Literature_ for November 5, 1949, Henry
Steele Commager says:

If we establish a standard of safe thinking, we will end up with no
thinking at all.... We cannot ... have thought half slave and half
free.... A nation which, in the name of loyalty or of patriotism or of
any sincere and high-sounding ideal, discourages criticism and dissent,
and puts a premium on acquiescence and conformity, is headed
for disaster.

Unless a writer feels free, things will not come to him, he
cannot burgeon on any subject whatsoever.

In 1834 Davy Crockett's _Autobiography_ was published.
It is one of the primary social documents of America. It is
as much Davy Crockett, whether going ahead after bears
in a Tennessee canebrake or going ahead after General
Andrew Jackson in Congress, as the equally plain but also
urbane _Autobiography_ of Franklin is Benjamin Franklin.
It is undiluted regionalism. It is provincial not only in
subject but in point of view.

No provincial mind of this day could possibly write an
autobiography or any other kind of book co-ordinate in
value with Crockett's "classic in homespun." In his time,
Crockett could exercise intelligence and still retain his
provincial point of view. Provincialism was in the air over his
land. In these changed times, something in the ambient air
prevents any active intelligence from being unconscious of
lands, peoples, struggles far beyond any province.

Not long after the Civil War, in Harris County, Texas,
my father heard a bayou-billy yell out:

Whoopee! Raised in a canebrake and suckled by a she-bear!
The click of a six-shooter is music to my ear!
The further up the creek you go, the worse they git,
And I come from the head of it! Whoopee!

If it were now possible to find some section of country so
far up above the forks of the creek that the owls mate there
with the chickens, and if this section could send to Congress
one of its provincials untainted by the outside world, he
would, if at all intelligent, soon after arriving on Capitol
Hill become aware of interdependencies between his remote
province and the rest of the world.

Biographies of regional characters, stories turning on local
customs, novels based on an isolated society, books of history
and fiction going back to provincial simplicity will go on
being written and published. But I do not believe it possible
that a good one will henceforth come from a mind that does
not in outlook transcend the region on which it is focused.
That is not to imply that the processes of evolution have
brought all parts of the world into such interrelationships
that a writer cannot depict the manners and morals of a
community up Owl Hoot Creek without enmeshing them
with the complexities of the Atlantic Pact. Awareness of
other times and other wheres, not insistence on that awareness,
is the requisite. James M. Barrie said that he could not
write a play until he got his people off on a kind of island,
but had he not known about the mainland he could never
have delighted us with the islanders--islanders, after all, for
the night only. Patriotism of the right kind is still a fine
thing; but, despite all gulfs, canyons, and curtains that
separate nations, those nations and their provinces are all
increasingly interrelated.

No sharp line of time or space, like that separating one
century from another or the territory of one nation from
that of another, can delimit the boundaries of any region to
which any regionalist lays claim. Mastery, for instance, of
certain locutions peculiar to the Southwest will take their
user to the Aztecs, to Spain, and to the border of ballads
and Sir Walter Scott's romances. I found that I could not
comprehend the coyote as animal hero of Pueblo and Plains
Indians apart from the Reynard of Aesop and Chaucer.

In a noble opinion respecting censorship and freedom
of the press, handed down on March 18, 1949, Judge Curtis
Bok of Pennsylvania said:

It is no longer possible that free speech be guaranteed Federally and
denied locally; under modern methods of instantaneous communication
such a discrepancy makes no sense.... What is said in Pennsylvania
may clarify an issue in California, and what is suppressed in
California may leave us the worse in Pennsylvania. Unless a restriction
on free speech be of national validity, it can no longer have any local
validity whatever.

Among the qualities that any good regional writer has in
common with other good writers of all places and times is
intellectual integrity. Having it does not obligate him to
speak out on all issues or, indeed, on any issue. He alone is to
judge whether he will sport with Amaryllis in the shade or
forsake her to write his own _Areopagitica_. Intellectual integrity
expresses itself in the tune as well as argument, in choice
of words--words honest and precise--as well as in ideas,
in fidelity to human nature and the flowers of the fields as
well as to principles, in facts reported more than in
deductions proposed. Though a writer write on something as
innocuous as the white snails that crawl up broomweed
stalks and that roadrunners carry to certain rocks to crack
and eat, his intellectual integrity, if he has it, will infuse
the subject.

Nothing is too trivial for art, but good art treats nothing
in a trivial way. Nothing is too provincial for the regional
writer, but he cannot be provincial-minded toward it. Being
provincial-minded may make him a typical provincial; it
will prevent him from being a representative or skilful
interpreter. Horace Greeley said that when the rules of the
English language got in his way, they did not stand a chance.
We may be sure that if by violating the rules of syntax
Horace Greeley sometimes added forcefulness to his editorials,
he violated them deliberately and not in ignorance.
Luminosity is not stumbled into. The richly savored and
deliciously unlettered speech of Thomas Hardy's rustics was
the creation of a master architect who had looked out over
the ranges of fated mankind and looked also into hell.
Thomas Hardy's ashes were placed in Westminster Abbey,
but his heart, in accordance with a provision of his will, was
buried in the churchyard of his own village.

I have never tried to define regionalism. Its blanket has
been put over a great deal of worthless writing. Robert Frost
has approached a satisfying conception. "The land is always
in my bones," he said--the land of rock fences. But, "I am
not a regionalist. I am a realmist. I write about realms of
democracy and realms of the spirit." Those realms include
The Woodpile, The Grindstone, Blueberries, Birches, and
many other features of the land North of Boston.

To an extent, any writer anywhere must make his own
world, no matter whether in fiction or nonfiction, prose or
poetry. He must make something out of his subject. What
he makes depends upon his creative power, integrated with
a sense of form. The popular restriction of creative writing
to fiction and verse is illogical. Carl Sandburg's life of
Lincoln is immeasurably more creative in form and substance
than his fanciful _Potato Face_. Intense exercise of his creative
power sets, in a way, the writer apart from the life he is
trying to sublimate. Becoming a Philistine will not enable a
man to interpret Philistinism, though Philistines who own
big presses think so. Sinclair Lewis knew Babbitt as Babbitt
could never know either himself or Sinclair Lewis.
J. F. D.
_The time of Mexican primroses_


A Declaration

IN THE UNIVERSITY of Texas I teach a course called Life
and Literature of the Southwest." About 1929 I had a brief
guide to books concerning the Southwest mimeographed; in
1931 it was included by John William Rogers in a booklet
entitled _Finding Literature on the Texas Plains_. After that
I revised and extended the guide three or four times, during
the process distributing several thousand copies of the
mimeographed forms. Now the guide has grown too long, and I
trust that this printing of it will prevent my making further
additions--though within a short time new books will come
out that should be added.

Yet the guide is fragmentary, incomplete, and in no
sense a bibliography. Its emphases vary according to my own
indifferences and ignorance as well as according to my own
sympathies and knowledge. It is strong on the character and
ways of life of the early settlers, on the growth of the soil,
and on everything pertaining to the range; it is weak on
information concerning politicians and on citations to studies
which, in the manner of orthodox Ph.D. theses, merely transfer
bones from one graveyard to another.

It is designed primarily to help people of the Southwest
see significances in the features of the land to which they
belong, to make their environments more interesting to
them, their past more alive, to bring them to a realization
of the values of their own cultural inheritance, and to stimulate
them to observe. It includes most of the books about
the Southwest that people in general would agree on as
making good reading.

I have never had any idea of writing or teaching about
my own section of the country merely as a patriotic duty.
Without apologies, I would interpret it because I love it,
because it interests me, talks to me, appeals to my imagination,
warms my emotions; also because it seems to me that
other people living in the Southwest will lead fuller and
richer lives if they become aware of what it holds. I once
thought that, so far as reading goes, I could live forever on
the supernal beauty of Shelley's "The Cloud" and his soaring
lines "To a Skylark," on the rich melancholy of Keats's "Ode
to a Nightingale," on Cyrano de Bergerac's ideal of a free
man, on Wordsworth's philosophy of nature--a philosophy
that has illuminated for me the mesquite flats and oak-
studded hills of Texas--on the adventures in Robert Louis
Stevenson, the flavor and wit of Lamb's essays, the eloquent
wisdom of Hazlitt, the dark mysteries of Conrad, the gaieties
of Barrie, the melody of Sir Thomas Browne, the urbanity
of Addison, the dash in Kipling, the mobility, the mightiness,
the lightness, the humor, the humanity, the everything of
Shakespeare, and a world of other delicious, high, beautiful,
and inspiring things that English literature has bestowed
upon us. That literature is still the richest of heritages; but
literature is not enough.

Here I am living on a soil that my people have been
living and working and dying on for more than a hundred
years--the soil, as it happens, of Texas. My roots go down
into this soil as deep as mesquite roots go. This soil has
nourished me as the banks of the lovely Guadalupe River nourish
cypress trees, as the Brazos bottoms nourish the wild peach,
as the gentle slopes of East Texas nourish the sweet-smelling
pines, as the barren, rocky ridges along the Pecos nourish the
daggered lechuguilla. I am at home here, and I want not only
to know about my home land, I want to live intelligently
on it. I want certain data that will enable me to accommodate
myself to it. Knowledge helps sympathy to achieve harmony.
I am made more resolute by Arthur Hugh Clough's
picture of the dripping sailor on the reeling mast, "On
stormy nights when wild northwesters rave," but the winds
that have bit into me have been dry Texas northers; and
fantastic yarns about them, along with a cowboy's story of
a herd of Longhorns drifting to death in front of one of
them, come home to me and illuminate those northers like
forked lightning playing along the top of black clouds in
the night.

No informed person would hold that the Southwest can
claim any considerable body of PURE LITERATURE as its own. At
the same time, the region has a distinct cultural inheritance,
full of life and drama, told variously in books so numerous
that their very existence would surprise many people who
depend on the Book-of-the-Month Club for literary guidance.
Any people have a right to their own cultural inheritance,
though sheeplike makers of textbooks and sheeplike
pedagogues of American literature have until recently, either
wilfully or ignorantly, denied that right to the Southwest.
Tens of thousands of students of the Southwest have been
assigned endless pages on and listened to dronings over Cotton
Mather, Increase Mather, Jonathan Edwards, Anne Bradstreet,
and other dreary creatures of colonial New England
who are utterly foreign to the genius of the Southwest. If
nothing in written form pertaining to the Southwest existed
at all, it would be more profitable for an inhabitant to go
out and listen to coyotes singing at night in the prickly pear
than to tolerate the Increase Mather kind of thing. It is very
profitable to listen to coyotes anyhow. I rebelled years ago
at having the tradition, the spirit, the meaning of the soil to
which I belong utterly disregarded by interpreters of literature
and at the same time having the Increase Mather kind
of stuff taught as if it were important to our part of America.
Happily the disregard is disappearing, and so is Increase

If they had to be rigorously classified into hard and fast
categories, comparatively few of the books in the lists that
follow would be rated as pure literature. Fewer would be
rated as history. A majority of them are the stuff of history.
The stuff out of which history is made is generally more vital
than formalized history, especially the histories habitually
forced on students in public schools, colleges, and universities.
There is no essential opposition between history and
literature. The attempt to study a people's literature apart
from their social and, to a less extent, their political history
is as illogical as the lady who said she had read Romeo but had
not yet got to Juliet. Nearly any kind of history is more
important than formal literary history showing how in a
literary way Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob.
Any man of any time who has ever written with vigor has
been immeasurably nearer to the dunghill on which he sank
his talons while crowing than to all literary ancestors.

A great deal of chronicle writing that makes no pretense
at being belles-lettres is really superior literature to much
that is so classified. I will vote three times a day and all night
for John C. Duval's _Adventures of Bigfoot Wallace_, Charlie
Siringo's _Riata and Spurs_, James B. Gillett's _Six Years with
the Texas Rangers_, and dozens of other straightaway chronicles
of the Southwest in preference to "The Culprit Fay" and
much other watery "literature" with which anthologies
representing the earlier stages of American writing are padded.
Ike Fridge's pamphlet story of his ridings for John Chisum--
chief provider of cattle for Billy the Kid to steal--has more
of the juice of reality in it and, therefore, more of literary
virtue than some of James Fenimore Cooper's novels, and
than some of James Russell Lowell's odes.

The one thing essential to writing if it is to be read, to art
if it is to be looked at, is vitality. No critic or professor can
be hired to pump vitality into any kind of human expression,
but professors and critics have taken it out of many a human
being who in his attempts to say something decided to be
correct at the expense of being himself--being natural,
being alive. The priests of literary conformity never had a
chance at the homemade chronicles of the Southwest.

The orderly way in which to study the Southwest would
be to take up first the land, its flora, fauna, climate, soils,
rivers, etc., then the aborigines, next the exploring and
settling Spaniards, and finally, after a hasty glance at the
French, the English-speaking people who brought the Southwest
to what it is today. We cannot proceed in this way, however.
Neither the prairies nor the Indians who first hunted
deer on them have left any records, other than hieroglyphic,
as to their lives. Some late-coming men have written about
them. Droughts and rains have had far more influence on
all forms of life in the Southwest and on all forms of its
development culturally and otherwise than all of the Coronado
expeditions put together. I have emphasized the literature
that reveals nature. My method has been to take up
types and subjects rather than to follow chronology.

Chronology is often an impediment to the acquiring of
useful knowledge. I am not nearly so much interested in
what happened in Abilene, Kansas, in 1867--the year that
the first herds of Texas Longhorns over the Chisholm Trail
found a market at that place--as I am in picking out of
Abilene in 1867 some thing that reveals the character of the
men who went up the trail, some thing that will illuminate
certain phenomena along the trail human beings of the
Southwest are going up today, some thing to awaken observation
and to enrich with added meaning this corner of the
earth of which we are the temporary inheritors.

By "literature of the Southwest" I mean writings that
interpret the region, whether they have been produced by
the Southwest or not. Many of them have not. What we are
interested in is life in the Southwest, and any interpreter of
that life, foreign or domestic, ancient or modern, is of value.

The term Southwest is variable because the boundaries
of the Southwest are themselves fluid, expanding and
contracting according to the point of view from which the
Southwest is viewed and according to whatever common
denominator is taken for defining it. The Spanish Southwest
includes California, but California regards itself as more
closely akin to the Pacific Northwest than to Texas;
California is Southwest more in an antiquarian way than other-
wise. From the point of view of the most picturesque and
imagination-influencing occupation of the Southwest, the
occupation of ranching, the Southwest might be said to run
up into Montana. Certainly one will have to go up the trail
to Montana to finish out the story of the Texas cowboy.
Early in the nineteenth century the Southwest meant
Tennessee, Georgia, and other frontier territory now regarded
as strictly South. The men and women who "redeemed Texas
from the wilderness" came principally from that region. The
code of conduct they gave Texas was largely the code of the
booming West. Considering the character of the Anglo-
American people who took over the Southwest, the region
is closer to Missouri than to Kansas, which is not Southwest
in any sense but which has had a strong influence on Oklahoma.
Chihuahua is more southwestern than large parts of
Oklahoma. In _Our Southwest_, Erna Fergusson has a whole
chapter on "What is the Southwest?" She finds Fort Worth
to be in the Southwest but Dallas, thirty miles east, to be
facing north and east. The principal areas of the Southwest
are, to have done with air-minded reservations, Arizona, New
Mexico, most of Texas, some of Oklahoma, and anything
else north, south, east, or west that anybody wants to bring
in. The boundaries of cultures and rainfall never follow
survey lines. In talking about the Southwest I naturally
incline to emphasize the Texas part of it.

Life is fluid, and definitions that would apprehend it
must also be. Yet I will venture one definition--not the
only one--of an educated person. An educated person is
one who can view with interest and intelligence the
phenomena of life about him. Like people elsewhere, the people
of the Southwest find the features of the land on which they
live blank or full of pictures according to the amount of
interest and intelligence with which they view the features.
Intelligence cannot be acquired, but interest can; and data
for interest and intelligence to act upon are entirely acquirable.

"Studies perfect nature," Bacon said. "Nature follows
art" to the extent that most of us see principally what our
attention has been called to. I might never have noticed rose-
purple snow between shadows if I had not seen a picture of
that kind of snow. I had thought white the only natural
color of snow. I cannot think of yew trees, which I have
never seen, without thinking of Wordsworth's poem on
three yew trees.

Nobody has written a memorable poem on the mesquite.
Yet the mesquite has entered into the social, economic, and
aesthetic life of the land; it has made history and has been
painted by artists. In the homely chronicles of the Southwest
its thorns stick, its roots burn into bright coals, its trunks
make fence posts, its lovely leaves wave. To live beside this
beautiful, often pernicious, always interesting and highly
characteristic tree--or bush--and to know nothing of its
significance is to be cheated out of a part of life. It is but one
of a thousand factors peculiar to the Southwest and to the
land's cultural inheritance.

For a long time, as he tells in his _Narrative_, Cabeza de
Vaca was a kind of prisoner to coastal Indians of Texas.
Annually, during the season when prickly pear apples
(_tunas_, or Indian figs, as they are called in books) were ripe,
these Indians would go upland to feed on the fruit. During
his sojourn with them Cabeza de Vaca went along. He
describes how the Indians would dig a hole in the ground,
squeeze the fruit out of _tunas_ into the hole, and then swill
up big drinks of it. Long ago the Indians vanished, but
prickly pears still flourish over millions of acres of land. The
prickly pear is one of the characteristic growths of the Southwest.
Strangers look at it and regard it as odd. Painters look
at it in bloom or in fruit and strive to capture the colors.
During the droughts ranchmen singe the thorns off its
leaves, using a flame-throwing machine, easily portable by a
man on foot, fed from a small gasoline tank. From Central
Texas on down into Central America prickly pear acts as
host for the infinitesimal insect called cochineal, which
supplied the famous dyes of Aztec civilization.

A long essay might be written on prickly pear. It weaves
in and out of many chronicles of the Southwest. A. J. Sowell,
one of the best chroniclers of Texas pioneer life, tells in his
life of Bigfoot Wallace how that picturesque ranger captain
once took one of his wounded men away from an army surgeon
because the surgeon would not apply prickly pear
poultices to the wound. In _Rangers and Pioneers of Texas_,
Sowell narrates how rattlesnakes were so large and numerous
in a great prickly pear flat out from the Nueces River that
rangers pursuing bandits had to turn back. Nobody has
written a better description of a prickly pear flat than
O. Henry in his story of "The Caballero's Way."

People may look at prickly pear, and it will be just prickly
pear and nothing more. Or they may look at it and find it
full of significances; the mere sight of a prickly pear may
call up a chain of incidents, facts, associations. A mind that
can thus look out on the common phenomena of life is rich,
and all of the years of the person whose mind is thus stored
will be more interesting and full.

Cabeza de Vaca's _Narrative_, the chronicles of A. J.
Sowell, and O. Henry's story are just three samples of
southwestern literature that bring in prickly pear. No active-
minded person who reads any one of these three samples will
ever again look at prickly pear in the same light that he
looked at it before he read. Yet prickly pear is just one of
hundreds of manifestations of life in the Southwest that
writers have commented on, told stories about, dignified
with significance.

Cotton no longer has the economic importance to Texas
that it once had. Still, it is mighty important. In the minds
of millions of farm people of the South, cotton and the boll
weevil are associated. The boll weevil was once a curse; then
it came to be somewhat regarded as a disguised blessing--in
limiting production.
De first time I seen de boll weevil,
He was a-settin' on de square.
Next time I seen him, he had all his family dere--
Jest a-lookin' foh a home, jest a-lookin' foh a home.

A man dependent on cotton for a living and having that
living threatened by the boll weevil will not be much interested
in ballads, but for the generality of people this boll
weevil ballad--the entirety of which is a kind of life history
of the insect--is, while delightful in itself, a veritable story-
book on the weevil. Without the ballad, the weevil's effect
on economic history would be unchanged; but as respects
mind and imagination, the ballad gives the weevil all sorts
of significances. The ballad is a part of the literature of
the Southwest.

But I am assigning too many motives of self-improvement
to reading. People read for fun, for pleasure. The literature
of the Southwest affords bully reading.

"If I had read as much as other men, I would know as
little," Thomas Hobbes is credited with having said. A student
in the presence of Bishop E. D. Mouzon was telling
about the scores and scores of books he had read. At a pause
the bishop shook his long, wise head and remarked, "My son,
when DO you get time to think?" Two of the best educated
men I have ever had the fortune of talking with were neither
schooled nor widely read. They were extraordinary observers.
One was a plainsman, Charles Goodnight; the other was a
borderer, Don Alberto Guajardo, in part educated by an old
Lipan Indian.

But here are the books. I list them not so much to give
knowledge as to direct people with intellectual curiosity and
with interest in their own land to the sources of knowledge;
not to create life directly, but to point out where it has
been created or copied. On some of the books I have made
brief observations. Those observations can never be nearly
so important to a reader as the development of his own
powers of observation. With something of an apologetic
feeling I confess that I have read, in my way, most of the
books. I should probably have been a wiser and better
informed man had I spent more time out with the grasshoppers,
horned toads, and coyotes.
November 5, 1942 J. FRANK DOBIE


Interpreters of the Land

"HE'S FOR A JIG or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps." Thought
employs ideas, but having an idea is not the same thing as
thinking. A rooster in a pen of hens has an idea. Thought
has never been so popular with mankind as horse opera, horse
play, the main idea behind sheep's eyes. Far be it from me
to feel contempt for people who cannot and do not want
to think. The human species has not yet evolved to the stage
at which thought is natural. I am far more at ease lying in
grass and gazing without thought process at clouds than in
sitting in a chair trying to be logical. Just the same, free play
of mind upon life is the essence of good writing, and intellectual
activity is synonymous with critical interpretations.

To the constant disregard of thought, Americans of the
mid-twentieth century have added positive opposition. Critical
ideas are apt to make any critic suspected of being
subversive. The Southwest, Texas especially, is more articulately
aware of its land spaces than of any other feature pertaining
to itself. Yet in the realm of government, the Southwest has
not produced a single spacious thinker. So far as the cultural
ancestry of the region goes, the South has been arid of
thought since the time of Thomas Jefferson, the much talked-
of mind of John C. Calhoun being principally casuistic; on
another side, derivatives from the Spanish Inquisition could
contribute to thought little more than tribal medicine men
have contributed.

Among historians of the Southwest the general rule has
been to be careful with facts and equally careful in avoiding
thought-provoking interpretations. In the multitudinous
studies on Spanish-American history all padres are "good"
and all conquistadores are "intrepid," and that is about as
far as interpretation goes. The one state book of the
Southwest that does not chloroform ideas is Erna Fergusson's _New
Mexico: A Pageant of Three Peoples_ (Knopf, New York,
1952). Essayical in form, it treats only of the consequential.
It evaluates from the point of view of good taste, good sense,
and an urbane comprehension of democracy. The subject is
provincial, but the historian transcends all provincialism. Her
sympathy does not stifle conclusions unusable in church or
chamber of commerce propaganda. In brief, a cultivated
mind can take pleasure in this interpretation of New Mexico
--and that marks it as a solitary among the histories of
neighboring states.

The outstanding historical interpreter of the Southwest
is Walter Prescott Webb, of the University of Texas. _The
Great Plains_ utilizes chronology to explain the presence of
man on the plains; it is primarily a study in cause and effect,
of water and drought, of adaptations and lack of adaptations,
of the land's growth into human imagination as well as
economic institutions. Webb uses facts to get at meanings. He
fulfils Emerson's definition of Scholar: "Man Thinking." In
_Divided We Stand_ he goes into machinery, the feudalism of
corporation-dominated economy, the economic supremacy of
the North over the South and the West. In _The Great Frontier_
(Houghton Mifilin, Boston, 1952) he considers the
Western Hemisphere as a frontier for Europe--a frontier
that brought about the rise of democracy and capitalism and
that, now vanished as a frontier, foreshadows the vanishment
of democracy and capitalism.

In _Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and
a Myth_ (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
1950) Henry Nash Smith plows deep. But the tools of this
humanistic historian are of delicate finish rather than of
horsepower. To him, thinking is a joyful process and lucidity
out of complexity is natural. He compasses Parrington's
_Main Currents in American Thought_ and Beadle's Dime
Novels along with agriculture and manufacturing. Excepting
the powerful books by Walter Prescott Webb, not since
Frederick Jackson Turner, in 1893, presented his famous
thesis on "The Significance of the Frontier in American
History" has such a revealing evaluation of frontier movements
appeared As a matter of fact, Henry Nash Smith leaves
Turner's ideas on the dependence of democracy upon farmers
without more than one leg to stand upon. Not being a King
Canute, he does not take sides for or against social evolution.
With the clearest eyes imaginable, he looks into it. Turner's
_The Frontier in American History_ (1920) has been a fertile
begetter of interpretations of history.

Instead of being the usual kind of jokesmith book or
concatenation of tall tales, _Folk Laughter on the American
Frontier_ by Mody C. Boatright (Macmillan, New York,
1949) goes into the human and social significances of humor.
Of boastings, anecdotal exaggerations, hide-and-hair metaphors,
stump and pulpit parables, tenderfoot baitings, and
the like there is plenty, but thought plays upon them and
arranges them into patterns of social history.

Mary Austin (1868-1934) is an interpreter of nature,
which for her includes naturally placed human beings as
much as naturally placed antelopes and cacti. She wrote _The
American Rhythm_ on the theory that authentic poetry expresses
the rhythms of that patch of earth to which the poet
is rooted. Rhythm is experience passed into the subconscious
and is "distinct from our intellectual perception of it."
Before they can make true poetry, English-speaking Americans
will be in accord with "the run of wind in tall grass" as
were the Pueblo Indians when Europeans discovered them.
But Mary Austin's primary importance is not as a theorist.
Her spiritual depth is greater than her intellectual. She is a
translator of nature through concrete observations. She interprets
through character sketches, folk tales, novels. "Anybody
can write facts about a country," she said. She infuses
fact with understanding and imagination. In _Lost Borders_,
_The Land of Little Rain_, _The Land of Journey's Ending_, and
_The Flock_ the land itself often seems to speak, but often she
gets in its way. She sees "with an eye made quiet by the power
of harmony." _Earth Horizons_, a stubborn book, is Mary
Austin's inner autobiography. _The Beloved House_, by T. M.
Pearce (Caxton, Caldwell, Idaho, 1940), is an understanding

Joseph Wood Krutch of Columbia University spent a
year in Arizona, near Tucson. Instead of talking about his
_The Desert Year_ (Sloane, New York, 1952), I quote a
representative paragraph:

In New England the struggle for existence is visibly the struggle of
plant with plant, each battling his neighbor for sunlight and for the
spot of ground which, so far as moisture and nourishment are concerned,
would support them all. Here, the contest is not so much of
plant against plant as of plant against inanimate nature. The limiting
factor is not the neighbor but water; and I wonder if this is, perhaps,
one of the things which makes this country seem to enjoy a kind of
peace one does not find elsewhere. The struggle of living thing against
living thing can be distressing in a way that a mere battle with the
elements is not. If some great clump of cactus dies this summer it will
be because the cactus has grown beyond the capacity of its roots to
get water, not because one green fellow creature has bested it in some
limb-to-limb struggle. In my more familiar East the crowding of the
countryside seems almost to parallel the crowding of the cities. Out
here there is, even in nature, no congestion.

_Southwest_, by Laura Adams Armer (New York, 1935,
OP) came from long living and brooding in desert land. It
says something beautiful.

_Talking to the Moon_, by John Joseph Mathews (University
of Chicago Press, 1945) is set in the blackjack country
of eastern Oklahoma. This Oxford scholar of Osage blood
built his ranch house around a fireplace, flanked by shelves
of books. His observations are of the outside, but they are
informed by reflections made beside a fire. They are not
bookish at all, but the spirits of great writers mingle with
echoes of coyote wailing and wood-thrush singing.

_Sky Determines: An Interpretation of the Southwest_, by
Ross Calvin (New York, 1934; republished by the University
of New Mexico Press) lives up to its striking title. The
introductory words suggest the essence of the book:

In New Mexico whatever is both old and peculiar appears upon examination
to have a connection with the arid climate. Peculiarities range
from the striking adaptations of the flora onward to those of fauna,
and on up to those of the human animal. Sky determines. And the
writer once having picked up the trail followed it with certainty, and
indeed almost inevitably, as it led from ecology to anthropology and

Cultivated intellect is the highest form of civilization.
It is inseparable from the arts, literature, architecture. In any
civilized land, birds, trees, flowers, animals, places, human
contributors to life out of the past, all are richer and more
significant because of representations through literature and
art. No literate person can listen to a skylark over an English
meadow without hearing in its notes the melodies of Chaucer
and Shelley. As the Southwest advances in maturity of mind
and civilization, the features of the land take on accretions
from varied interpreters.

It is not necessary for an interpreter to write a whole
book about a feature to bring out its significance. We need
more gossipy books--something in the manner of _Pinon
Country_ by Haniel Long (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New
York, 1941), in which one can get a swift slant on Billy the
Kid, smell the pinon trees, feel the deeply religious attitude
toward his corn patch of a Zuni Indian. Roy Bedichek's
chapters on the mockingbird, in _Adventures with a Texas
Naturalist_, are like rich talk under a tree on a pleasant patch
of ground staked out for his claim by an April-voiced
mockingbird. In _The Voice of the Coyote_ I tried to compass the
whole animal, and I should think that the "Father of Song-
Making" chapter might make coyote music and the night
more interesting and beautiful for any listener. Intelligent
writers often interpret without set purpose, and many books
under various categories in this _Guide_ are interpretative.


General Helps

THERE IS no chart to the Life and Literature of the Southwest.
An attempt to put it all into an alphabetically arranged
encyclopedia would be futile. All guides to knowledge are too
long or too short. This one at the outset adds to its length--
perhaps to its usefulness--by citing other general reference
works and a few anthologies.

_Books of the Southwest: A General Bibliography_, by Mary
Tucker, published by J. J. Augustin, New York, 1937, is better
on Indians and the Spanish period than on Anglo-American
culture. _Southwest Heritage: A Literary History with
Bibliography_, by Mabel Major, Rebecca W. Smith, and T. M.
Pearce, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1938,
revised 1948, takes up the written material under the time-
established heads of Fiction, Poetry, Drama, etc., with due
respect to chronological development. _A Treasury of Southern
Folklore_, 1949, and _A Treasury of Western Folklore_, 1951,
both edited by B. A. Botkin and both published by Crown, New
York, are so liberal in the extensions of folklore and so
voluminous that they amount to literary anthologies.

Of possible use in working out certain phases of life and
literature common to the Southwest as well as to the West
and Middle West are the following academic treatises: _The
Frontier in American Literature_, by Lucy Lockwood Hazard,
New York, 1927; _The Literature of the Middle Western
Frontier_, by Ralph Leslie Rusk, New York, 1925; _The Prairie
and the Making of Middle America_, by Dorothy Anne Dondore,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1926; _The Literature of the Rocky_
Mountain West 1803-1903_, by L. J. Davidson and P. Bostwick,
Caldwell, Idaho, 1939; and _The Rediscovery of the Frontier_,
by Percy H. Boynton, Chicago, 1931. Anyone interested in
vitality in any phase of American writing will find Vernon L.
Parrington's _Main Currents in American Thought_ (three
vols.), New York, 1927-39, an opener-up of avenues.

Perhaps the best anthology of southwestern narratives is
_Golden Tales of the Southwest_, selected by Mary L. Becker,
New York, 1939. Two anthologies of southwestern writings are
_Southwesterners Write_, edited by T. M. Pearce and A. P.
Thomason, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1946,
and _Roundup Time_, edited by George Sessions Perry,
Whittlesey House, New York, 1943. Themes common to the
Southwest are represented in _Western Prose and Poetry_, an
anthology put together by Rufus A. Coleman, New York, 1932,
and in _Mid Country: Writings from the Heart of America_,
edited by Lowry C. Wimberly, University of Nebraska Press,
Lincoln, 1945.

For the southern tradition that has flowed into the Southwest
Franklin J. Meine's _Tall Tales of the Southwest_, New York,
1930, OP, is the best anthology published. It is the best
anthology of any kind that I know of. _A Southern Treasury of
Life and Literature_, selected by Stark Young, New York, 1937,
brings in Texas.

Anthologies of poetry are listed under the heading of "Poetry
and Drama." The outstanding state bibliography of the region
is _A Bibliography of Texas_, by C. W. Raines, Austin, 1896.
Since this is half a century behind the times, its usefulness
is limited. At that, it is more useful than the shiftless,
hit-and-miss, ignorance-revealing _South of Forty: From the
Mississippi to the Rio Grande: A Bibliography_, by Jesse L.
Rader, Norman, Oklahoma, 1947. Henry R. Wagner's _The Plains
and the Rockies_, "a contribution to the bibliography of
original narratives of travel and adventure, 1800-1865," which
came out 1920-21, was revised and extended by Charles L. Camp
and reprinted in 1937. It is stronger on overland travel than
on anything else, only in part covers the
Southwest, and excludes a greater length of time than Raines's
_Bibliography_. Now published by Long's College Book Co.,
Columbus, Ohio.

Mary G. Boyer's _Arizona in Literature_, Glendale, California,
1934, is an anthology that runs toward six hundred pages.
_Texas Prose Writings_, by Sister M. Agatha, Dallas, 1936, OP,
is a meaty, critical survey. L. W. Payne's handbook-sized _A
Survey of Texas Literature_, Chicago, 1928, is complemented by
a chapter entitled "Literature and Art in Texas" by J. Frank
Dobie in _The Book of Texas_, New York, 1929. OP.

_A Guide to Materials Bearing on Cultural Relations in New
Mexico_, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1944, is
so logical and liberal-minded that in some respects it amounts
to a bibliography of the whole Southwest; it recognizes the
overriding of political boundaries by ideas, human types, and
other forms of culture. The _New Mexico Quarterly_, published
by the University of New Mexico, furnishes periodically a
bibliographical record of contemporary literature of the
Southwest. _New Mexico's Own Chronicle_, edited by Maurice G.
Fulton and Paul Horgan (Dallas, 1937, OP), is an anthology
strong on the historical side.

In the lists that follow, the symbol OP indicates that the
book is out of print. Many old books obviously out of print
are not so tagged.


Indian Culture; Pueblos and Navajos

THE LITERATURE on the subject of Indians is so extensive and
ubiquitous that, unless a student of Americana is pursuing it,
he may find it more troublesome to avoid than to get hold of.
The average old-timer has for generations regarded Indian
scares and fights as the most important theme for
reminiscences. County-minded historians have taken the same
point of view. The Bureau of American Ethnology of the
Smithsonian Institution has buried records of Indian beliefs,
ceremonies, mythology, and other folklore in hundreds of
tomes; laborious, literal-minded scholars of other
institutions have been as assiduous. In all this lore and
tabulation of facts, the Indian folk themselves have generally
been dried out.

The Anglo-American's policy toward the Indian was to kill him
and take his land, perhaps make a razor-strop out of his hide.
The Spaniard's policy was to baptize him, take his land,
enslave him, and appropriate his women. Any English-speaking
frontiersman who took up with the Indians was dubbed "squaw
man"--a term of sinister connotations. Despite pride in
descending from Pocahontas and in the vaunted Indian blood of
such individuals as Will Rogers, crossbreeding between Anglo-
Americans and Indians has been restricted, as compared, for
instance, with the interdicted crosses between white men and
black women. The Spaniards, on the other hand, crossed in
battalions with the Indians, generating _mestizo_ (mixed-
blooded) nations, of which Mexico is the chief example.

As a result, the English-speaking occupiers of the land have
in general absorbed directly only a minimum of Indian
culture--nothing at all comparable to the Uncle Remus stories
and characters and the spiritual songs and the blues music
from the Negroes. Grandpa still tells how his own grandpa
saved or lost his scalp during a Comanche horse-stealing raid
in the light of the moon; Boy Scouts hunt for Indian
arrowheads; every section of the country has a bluff called
Lovers' Leap, where, according to legend, a pair of forlorn
Indian lovers, or perhaps only one of the pair, dived to
death; the maps all show Caddo Lake, Kiowa Peak, Squaw Creek,
Tehuacana Hills, Nacogdoches town, Cherokee County, Indian
Gap, and many another place name derived from Indian days. All
such contacts with Indian life are exterior. Three forms of
Indian culture are, however, weaving into the life patterns of

(1) The Mexicans have naturally inherited and assimilated
Indian lore about plants, animals, places, all kinds of human
relationships with the land. Through the Mexican medium, with
which he is becoming more sympathetic, the gringo is getting
the ages-old Indian culture.

(2) The Pueblo and Navajo Indians in particular are impressing
their arts, crafts, and ways of life upon special groups of
Americans living near them, and these special groups are
transmitting some of their acquisitions. The special groups
incline to be arty and worshipful, but they express a salutary
revolt against machined existence and they have done much to
revive dignity in Indian life. Offsetting dilettantism, the
Museum of New Mexico and associated institutions and artists
and other individuals have fostered Indian pottery, weaving,
silversmithing, dancing, painting, and other arts and crafts.
Superior craftsmanship can now depend upon a fairly reliable
market; the taste of American buyers has been somewhat

O mountains, pure and holy, give me
a song, a strong and holy song to bless
my flock and bring the rain!

This is from "Navajo Holy Song," as rendered by Edith
Hart Mason. It expresses a spiritual content in Indian life
far removed from the We and God, Incorporated form of religion
ordained by the National Association of Manufacturers.

(3) The wild freedom, mobility, and fierce love of liberty of
the mounted Indians of the Plains will perhaps always stir
imaginations--something like the charging Cossacks, the
camping Arabs, and the migrating Tartars. There is no romance
in Indian fights east of the Mississippi. The mounted Plains
Indians always made a big hit in Buffalo Bill's Wild West
Show. Little boys still climb into their seats and cry out
when red horsemen of the Plains ride across the screen.

See "Apaches, Comanches, and Other Plains Indians," "Mountain

APPLEGATE, FRANK G. _Indian Stories from the Pueblos_,
Philadelphia, 1929. Charming. OP.

ASTROV, MARGOT (editor), _The Winged Serpent_, John Day, New
York, 1946. An anthology of prose and poetry by American
Indians. Here are singular expressions of beauty and dignity.

AUSTIN, MARY. _The Trail Book_, 1918, OP; _One-Smoke Stories_,
1934, Houghton Mifflin, Boston. Delightful folk tales, each
leading to a vista.

BANDELIER, A. F. _The Delight Makers_, 1918, Dodd, Mead, New
York. Historical fiction on ancient pueblo life.

COOLIDGE, DANE and MARY. _The Navajo Indians_, Boston, 1930.
Readable; bibliography. OP.

COOLIDGE, MARY ROBERTS. _The Rain-Makers_, Boston, 1929. OP.
This thorough treatment of the Indians of Arizona and New
Mexico contains an excellent account of the Hopi snake
ceremony for bringing rain. During any severe drought numbers
of Christians in the Southwest pray without snakes. It always
rains eventually--and the prayer-makers naturally take the
credit. The Hopis put on a more spectacular show. See Dr.
Walter Hough's _The Hopi Indians_, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1915.

CUSHING, FRANK HAMILTON. _Zuni Folk Tales_, 1901; reprinted,
1931, by Knopf, New York. _My Adventures in Zuni_, Santa Fe,
1941. _Zuni Breadstuff_, Museum of the American Indian, New
York, 1920. Cushing had rare imagination and sympathy. His
retellings of tales are far superior to verbatim recordings.
_Zuni Breadstuff_ reveals more of Indian spirituality than
any other book I can name. All OP.

DEHUFF, ELIZABETH. _Tay Tay's Tales_, 1922; _Tay Tay's
Memories_, 1924. OP.

of the United States_, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1941.

DYK, WALTER. _Son of Old Man Hat_, New York, 1938. OP.

FERGUSSON, ERNA. _Dancing Gods_, Knopf, New York, 1931. Erna
Fergusson is always illuminating.

FOREMAN, GRANT. _Indians and Pioneers_, 1930, and _Advancing
the Frontier_, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1933.
Grant Foreman is prime authority on the so-called "Civilized
Tribes." University of Oklahoma Press has published a number
of excellent volumes in "The Civilization of the American
Indian" series.

Navajos_, Boston, 1936; reprinted by University of New Mexico
Press, Albuquerque, 1952. An account not only of the trading
post Wetherills but of the Navajos as human beings, with
emphasis on their spiritual qualities.

GODDARD, P. E. _Indians of the Southwest_, New York, 1921.
Excellent outline of exterior facts. OP.

HAMILTON, CHARLES (editor). _Cry of the Thunderbird_,
Macmillan, New York, 1951. An anthology of writings by Indians
containing many interesting leads.

HEWETT, EDGAR L. _Ancient Life in the American Southwest_,
Indianapolis, 1930. OP. A master work in both archeology and
Indian nature. (With Bertha P. Dretton) _The Pueblo Indian
World_, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1945.

HODGE, F. W. _Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico_,
Washington, D. C., 1907. Indispensable encyclopedia, by a very
great scholar and a very fine gentleman. OP.

LABARRE, WESTON. _The Peyote Cult_, Yale University Press, New
Haven, 1938.

LAFARGE, OLIVER. _Laughing Boy_, Boston, 1929. The Navajo in

LUMMIS, C. F. _Mesa, Canon, and Pueblo_, New York, 1925;
_Pueblo Indian Folk Tales_, New York, 1910. Lummis, though
self-vaunting and opinionated, opens windows.

MATTHEWS, WASHINGTON. _Navajo Legends_, Boston, 1897; _Navajo
Myths, Prayers and Songs_, Berkeley, California, 1907.

MOONEY, JAMES. _Myths of the Cherokees_, in Nineteenth Annual
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1902.
Outstanding writing.

NELSON, JOHN LOUW. _Rhythm for Rain_, Boston, 1937. Based on
ten years spent with the Hopi Indians, this study of their
life is a moving story of humanity. OP.

PEARCE, J. E. _Tales That Dead Men Tell_, University of Texas
Press, Austin, 1935. Eloquent, liberating to the human mind;
something rare for Texas scholarship. Pearce was professor of
anthropology at the University of Texas, an emancipator from
prejudices and ignorance. It is a pity that all the college
students who are forced by the bureaucrats of Education--
Education spelled with a capital E--"the unctuous elaboration
of the obvious"--do not take anthropology instead. Collegians
would then stand a chance of becoming educated.

PETRULLO, VICENZO. _The Diabolic Root: A Study of Peyotism,
the New Indian Religion, among the Delawares_, University of
Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1934. The use of peyote has
now spread northwest into Canada. See Milly Peacock Stenberg's
_The Peyote Culture among Wyoming Indians_, University of
Wyoming Publications, Laramie, 1946, for bibliography.

REICHARD, GLADYS A. _Spider Woman_, 1934, and _Dezba Woman of
the Desert_, 1939. Both honest, both OP.

SIMMONS, LEO W. (editor). _Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a
Hopi Indian_, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1942. The
clearest view into the mind and living ways, including sex
life, of an Indian that has been published. Few
autobiographers have been clearer; not one has been franker. A
singular human document.



Apaches, Comanches, and Other Plains Indians

THE APACHES and the bareback Indians of the Plains were
extraordinary _hombres del campo--_men of the outdoors,
plainsmen, woodsmen, trailers, hunters, endurers. They knew
some phases of nature with an intimacy that few civilized
naturalists ever attain to. It is unfortunate that most of the
literature about them is from their enemies. Yet an enemy
often teaches a man more than his friends and makes him work

See "Indian Culture," "Texas Rangers."

BOURKE, JOHN G. _On the Border with Crook_, London, 1892.
Reprinted by Long's College Book Co., Columbus, Ohio. A truly
great book, on both Apaches and Arizona frontier. Bourke had
amplitude, and he knew.

BUCKELEW, F. M. _The Indian Captive_, Bandera, Texas, 1925.
Homely and realistic. OP.

CATLIN, GEORGE. _Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and
Conditions of the North American Indians, Written during Eight
Years' Travel, 1832-39_, 1841. Despite many strictures,
Catlin's two volumes remain standard. I am pleased to find
Frank Roe, in _The North American Buffalo_, standing up for
him. In _Pursuit of the Horizon: A Life of George Catlin,
Painter and Recorder of the American Indian_, New York, 1948,
Loyd Haberly fails in evaluating evidence but brings out the
man's career and character.

CLUM, WOODWORTH. _Apache Agent_, Boston, 1936. Worthy
autobiography of a noble understander of the Apache people.

COMFORT, WILL LEVINGTON. _Apache_, Dutton, New York, 1931.
Noble; vivid; semifiction.

DAVIS, BRITTON. _The Truth about Geronimo_, Yale University
Press, New Haven, 1929. Davis helped run Geronimo down.

DESHIELDS, JAMES T. _Cynthia Ann Parker_, St. Louis, 1886;
reprinted 1934. Good narrative of noted woman captive. OP.

DOBIE, J. FRANK. _The Mustangs_, Little, Brown, Boston, 1952.
The opening chapters of this book distil a great deal of
research by scholars on Plains Indian acquisition of horses,
riding, and raiding.

GRINNELL, GEORGE BIRD. _The Cheyenne Indians_, New Haven,
1923. This two-volume work supersedes _The Fighting
Cheyennes_, 1915. It is noble, ample, among the most select
books on Plains Indians. _Blackfoot Lodge Tales: The Story of
a Prairie People_, 1892, shows Grinnell's skill as storyteller
at its best. _Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk Tales_, 1893, is
hardly an equal but it reveals the high values of life held by
representatives of the original plainsmen. _The Story of the
Indian_, 1895, is a general survey. All OP. Grinnell's
knowledge and power as a writer on Indians and animals has not
been sufficiently recognized. He combined in a rare manner
scholarship, plainsmanship, and the worldliness of publishing.

{illust. caption =
George Catlin, in _North American Indians_ (1841)}

HALEY, J. EVETTS. _Fort Concho and the Texas Frontier_, San
Angelo Standard-Times, San Angelo, Texas, 1952. Mainly a
history of military activities against Comanches and other
tribes, laced with homilies on the free enterprise virtues of
the conquerors.

LEE, NELSON. _Three Years among the Comanches_, 1859.

LEHMAN, HERMAN. _Nine Years with the Indians_, Bandera, Texas,
1927. Best captive narrative of the Southwest.

LOCKWOOD, FRANK C. _The Apache Indians_, Macmillan, New York,
1938. Factual history.

LONG LANCE, CHIEF BUFFALO CHILD. _Long Lance_, New York, 1928.
OP. Long Lance was a Blackfoot only by adoption, but his
imagination incorporated him into tribal life more powerfully
than blood could have. He is said to have been a North
Carolina mixture of Negro and Croatan Indian; he was a
magnificent specimen of manhood with swart Indian complexion.
He fought in the Canadian army during World War I and thus
became acquainted with the Blackfeet. No matter what the facts
of his life, he wrote a vivid and moving autobiography of a
Blackfoot Indian in whom the spirit of the tribe and the
natural life of the Plains during buffalo days were
incorporated. In 1932 in the California home of Anita Baldwin,
daughter of the spectacular "Lucky" Baldwin, he absented
himself from this harsh world by a pistol shot.

LOWIE, ROBERT H. _The Crow Indians_, New York, 1935. This
scholar and anthropologist lived with the Crow Indians to
obtain intimate knowledge and then wrote this authoritative
book. OP.

MCALLISTER, J. GILBERT. "Kiowa-Apache Tales," in _The Sky Is
My Tipi_, edited by Mody C. Boatright (Texas Folklore Society
Publication XXII), Southern Methodist University Press,
Dallas, 1949. Wise in exposition; true-to-humanity and
delightful in narrative.

MCGILLICUDDY, JULIA B. _McGillicuddy Agent_, Stanford
University Press, California, 1941. Dr. Valentine T.
McGillicuddy, Scotch in stubbornness, honesty, efficiency, and
vidualism, was U.S. Indian agent to the Sioux and knew them to
the bottom. In the end he was defeated by the army mind and
the bloodsuckers known as the "Indian Ring." The elements of
nobility that distinguish the man distinguish his wife's
biography of him.

MCLAUGHLIN, JAMES. My _Friend the Indian_, 1910, 1926. OP.
McLaughlin was U.S. Indian agent and inspector for half a
century. Despite priggishness, he had genuine sympathy for the
Indians; he knew the Sioux, Nez Perces, and Cheyennes
intimately, and few books on Indian plainsmen reveal so much
as his.

MARRIOTT, ALICE. _The Ten Grandmothers_, University of
Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1945. Narratives of the Kiowas--a
complement to James Mooney's _Calendar History of the Kiowa
Indians_, in Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of
Ethnology, Washington, 1893. Alice Marriott, author of other
books on Indians, combines ethnological science with the art
of writing.

MATHEWS, JOHN JOSEPH. _Wah'Kon-Tah: The Osage and the White
Man's Road_, University of Oklahoma Press, 1932. This book of
essays on the character of and certain noble characters among
the Great Osages, including their upright agent Leban J.
Miles, has profound spiritual qualities.

NEIHARDT, JOHN G. _Black Elk Speaks_, New York, 1932. OP.
Black Elk was a holy man of the Ogalala Sioux. The story of
his life as he told it to understanding John G. Neihardt is
more of mysteries and spiritual matters than of mundane

RICHARDSON, R. N. _The Comanche Barrier to the South Plains_,
Glendale, California, 1933. Factual history.

RISTER, CARL C. _Border Captives_, University of Oklahoma
Press, Norman, 1940.

RUXTON, GEORGE F. _Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky
Mountains_, London, 1847. Vivid on Comanche raids. See Ruxton
in "Surge of Life in the West."

SCHULTZ, J. W. _My Life as an Indian_, 1907. OP. In this
autobiographical narrative of the life of a white man with a
Blackfoot woman, facts have probably been arranged, incidents
added. Whatever his method, the author achieved a remarkable
human document. It is true not only to Indian life in general
but in particular to the life of a "squaw man" and his loved
and loving mate. Among other authentic books by Schultz is
_With the Indians of the Rockies_, Houghton Mifflin, Boston,

SMITH, C. L. and J. D. _The Boy Captives_, Bandera, Texas,
1927. A kind of classic in homeliness. OP.

VESTAL, STANLEY. _Sitting Bull_, Houghton Mifflin, Boston,
1932. Excellent biography. OP.

WALLACE, ERNEST, and HOEBEL, E. ADAMSON. _The Comanches: Lords
of the South Plains_, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman,
1952. A wide-compassing and interesting book on a powerful and
interesting people.

WELLMAN, PAUL I. _Death on the Prairie_ (1934), _Death in the
Desert_ (1935); both reprinted in _Death on Horseback_, 1947.
All OP. Graphic history, mostly in narrative, of the struggle
of Plains and Apache Indians to hold their homelands against
the whites.

WILBARGER, J. W. _Indian Depredations in Texas_, 1889;
reprinted by Steck, Austin, 1936. Its stirring narratives made
this a household book among Texans of the late nineteenth


Spanish-Mexican Strains

THE MEXICAN Revolution that began in 1910 resulted in a rich
development of the native cultural elements of Mexico, the art
of Diego Rivera being one of the highlights of this
development. The native culture is closer to the Mexican earth
and to the indigenes than to Spain, notwithstanding modern
insistence on the Latin in Latin-American culture.

The Spaniards, through Mexico, have had an abiding influence
on the architecture and language of the Southwest. They gave
us our most distinctive occupation, ranching on the open
range. They influenced mining greatly, and our land titles and
irrigation laws still go back to Spanish and Mexican sources.
After more than a hundred years of occupation of Texas and
almost that length of time in other parts of the Southwest,
the English-speaking Americans still have the rich
accumulations of lore pertaining to coyotes, mesquites,
prickly pear, and many other plants and animals to learn from
the Mexicans, who got their lore partly from intimate living
with nature but largely through Indian ancestry.

See "Fighting Texians," "Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Trail."

AIKEN, RILEY. "A Pack Load of Mexican Tales," in _Puro
Mexicano_, published by Texas Folklore Society, 1935. Now
published by Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas.

ALEXANDER, FRANCES (and others). _Mother Goose on the Rio
Grande_, Banks Upshaw, Dallas, 1944. Charming rhymes in both
Spanish and English in charming form.

APPLEGATE, FRANK G. _Native Tales of New Mexico_,
Philadelphia, 1932. Delicious; the real thing. OP.

ATHERTON, GERTRUDE. _The Splendid Idle Forties_, New York,
1902. Romance of Mexican California.

AUSTIN, MARY. _One-Smoke Stories_, Boston, 1934. Short tales
of Spanish-speaking New Mexicans, also of Indians.

BANDELIER, A. F. _The Gilded Man_, New York, 1873. The dream
of El Dorado.

BARCA, MADAM CALDERON DE LA. _Life in Mexico_, 1843; reprinted
by Dutton about 1930. Among books on Mexican life to be ranked
first both in readability and revealing qualities.

BELL, HORACE. _On the Old West Coast_, New York, 1930. A
golden treasury of anecdotes. OP.

BENTLEY, HAROLD W. _A Dictionary of Spanish Terms in English_,
New York, 1932. In a special way this book reveals the
Spanish-Mexican influence on life in the Southwest; it also
guides to books in English that reflect this influence. OP.

BISHOP, MORRIS. _The Odyssey of Cabeza de Vaca_, New York,
1933. Better written than Cabeza de Vaca's own narrative. OP.

BLANCO, ANTONIO FIERRO DE. _The Journey of the Flame_, Boston,
1933. Bully and flavorsome; the Californias. OP.

BOLTON, HERBERT E. _Spanish Exploration in the Southwest_,
1916. The cream of explorer narratives, well edited. _Coronado
on the Turquoise Trail_ (originally published in New York,
1949, under the title _Coronado: Knight of Pueblos and
Plains_; now issued by University of New Mexico Press,
Albuquerque). By his own work and by directing other scholars,
Dr. Bolton has surpassed all other American
historians of his time in output on Spanish-American history.
_Coronado_ is the climax of his many volumes. Its fault is
being too worshipful of everything Spanish and too uncritical.
A little essay on Coronado in Haniel Long's _Pinon Country_
goes a good way to put this belegended figure into proper

BRENNER, ANITA. _Idols Behind Altars_, 1929. OP. The pagan
worship that endures among Mexican Indians. _The Wind that
Swept Mexico: The History of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-
1942_, 1943, OP. _Your Mexican Holiday_, revised 1947. No
writer on modern Mexico has a clearer eye or clearer intellect
than Anita Brenner; she maintains good humor in her realism
and never lapses into phony romance.

CABEZA DE VACA'S _Narrative_. Any translation procurable. One
is included in _Spanish Explorers in the Southern United
States_, edited by F. W. Hodge and T. H. Lewis, now published
by Barnes & Noble, New York.

The most dramatic and important aftermath of Cabeza de Vaca's
twisted walk across the continent was Coronado's search for
the Seven Cities of Cibola. Coronado's precursor was Fray
Marcos de Niza. _The Journey of Fray Marcos de Niza_, by Cleve
Hallenbeck, with illustrations and decorations by Jose
Cisneros, is one of the most beautiful books in format
published in America. It was designed and printed by Carl
Hertzog of El Paso, printer without peer between the Atlantic
and the Pacific, and is issued by Southern Methodist
University Press, Dallas.

CASTAnEDA'S narrative of Coronado's expedition. Winship's
translation is preferred. It is included in _Spanish Explorers
in the Southern United States_, cited above.

CATHER, WILLA. _Death Comes for the Archbishop_, Knopf, New
York, 1927. Classical historical fiction on New Mexico.

CUMBERLAND, CHARLES C. _Mexican Revolution: Genesis under
Madero_, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1952.
Bibliography. To know Mexico and Mexicans without knowing
anything about Mexican revolutions is like knowing the
United States in ignorance of frontiers, constitutions, and
corporations. The Madero revolution that began in 1910 is
still going on. Mr. Cumberland's solid book, independent in
itself, is to be followed by two other volumes.

DE SOTO. Hernando de Soto made his expedition from Florida
north and west at the time Coronado was exploring north and
east. _The Florida of the Inca_, by Garcilaso de la Vega,
translated by John and Jeannette Varner, University of Texas
Press, Austin, 1951, is the first complete publishing in
English of this absorbing narrative.

DIAZ, BERNAL. _History of the Conquest_. There are several
translations. A book of gusto and humanity as enduring as the
results of the Conquest itself.

DOBIE, J. FRANK. _Coronado's Children_, 1930. Legendary tales
of the Southwest, many of them derived from Mexican sources.
_Tongues of the Monte_, 1935. A pattern of the soil of
northern Mexico and its folk. _Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver_,
1939. Lost mines and money in Mexico and New Mexico. Last two
books published by Little, Brown, Boston.

DOMENECH, ABBE. _Missionary Adventures in Texas and
Mexico_, London, 1858. Delightful folklore, though Domenech
would not have so designated his accounts.

FERGUSSON, HARVEY. _Blood of the Conquerors_, 1921. Fiction.
OP. _Rio Grande_, Knopf, New York, 1933. Best interpretations
yet written of upper Mexican class.

FLANDRAU, CHARLES M. _Viva Mexico!_ New York, 1909; reissued,
1951. Delicious autobiographic narrative of life in Mexico.

FULTON, MAURICE G., and HORGAN, PAUL (editors). _New Mexico's
Own Chronicle_, Dallas, 1937. OP. Selections from writers
about the New Mexico scene.

GILPATRICK, WALLACE. _The Man Who Likes Mexico_, New York,
1911. OP. Bully reading.

GONZALEZ, JOVITA. Tales about Texas-Mexican vaquero folk in
_Texas and Southwestern Lore_, in _Man, Bird, and Beast_, and
in _Mustangs and Cow Horses_, Publications VI, VIII, and XVI
of Texas Folklore Society.

{illust. caption =
Jose Cisneros: Fray Marcos, in _The Journey of Fray Marcos
de Niza_ by Cleve Hallenbeck (1949)}

GRAHAM, R. B. CUNNINGHAME. _Hernando De Soto_, London, 1912.
Biography. OP.

HARTE, BRET. _The Bell Ringer of Angels_ and other legendary
tales of California.

LAUGHLIN, RUTH. _Caballeros_. When the book was published in
1931, the author was named Ruth Laughlin Barker; after she
discarded the Barker part, it was reissued, in 1946, by
Caxton, Caldwell, Idaho. Delightful picturings of Mexican--or
Spanish, as many New Mexicans prefer--life around Santa Fe.

LEA, TOM. _The Brave Bulls_. See under "Fiction."

LUMMIS, C. F. _Flowers of Our Lost Romance_, Boston, 1929.
Humanistic essays on Spanish contributions to southwestern
civilization. OP. _The Land of Poco Tiempo_, New York, 1913
(reissued by University of New Mexico Press, 1952), in an
easier style. _A New Mexico David_, 1891, 1930. Folk tales and
sketches. OP.

MERRIAM, CHARLES. _Machete_, Dallas, 1932. Plain and true to
the _gente_. OP.

NIGGLI, JOSEPHINA. _Mexican Village_, University of North
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1945. A collection of skilfully
told stories that reveal Mexican life.

O'SHAUGHNESSY, EDITH. _A Diplomat s Wife in Mexico_, New York,
1916; _Diplomatic Days_, 1917; _Intimate Pages of Mexican
History_, 1920. Books of passion and power and high literary
merit, interpretative of revolutionary Mexico. OP.

OTERO, NINA. _Old Spain in Our Southwest_, New York, 1936.
Genuine. OP.

PORTER, KATHERINE ANNE. _Flowering Judas_. See under

PRESCOTT, WILLIAM H. _Conquest of Mexico_. History that is

REMINGTON, FREDERIC W. _Pony Tracks_, New York, 1895. Includes
sketches of Mexican ranch life.

ROSS, PATRICIA FENT. _Made in Mexico: The Story of a Country's
Arts and Crafts_, Knopf, New York, 1952. Picturesquely and
instructively illustrated by Carlos Merida.

TANNENBAUM, FRANK. _Peace by Revolution_, Columbia University
Press, New York, 1933; _Mexico: The Struggle for Peace and
Bread_, Knopf, New York, 1950. Tannenbaum dodges nothing, not
even the church.

_Terry's Guide to Mexico_. It has everything.

Texas Folklore Society. Its publications are a storehouse of
Mexican folklore in the Southwest and in Mexico also.
Especially recommended are _Texas and Southwestern Lore_ (VI),
_Man, Bird, and Beast_ (VIII), _Southwestern Lore_ (IX),
_Spur-of -the-Cock_ (XI), _Puro Mexicano_ (XII), _Texian
Stomping Grounds_ (XVII), _Mexican Border Ballads and Other
Lore_ (XXI), _The Healer of Los Olmos and Other Mexican Lore_
(XXIV, 1951). All published by Southern Methodist University
Press, Dallas.

TOOR, FRANCES. A _Treasury of Mexican Folkways_, Crown, New
York, 1947. An anthology of life.

TURNER, TIMOTHY G._ Bullets, Bottles and Gardenias_, Dallas,
1935. Obscurely published but one of the best books on Mexican
life. OP.


Flavor of France

THERE IS little justification for including Louisiana as a
part of the Southwest. Despite the fact that the French flag--
tied to a pole in Louisiana--once waved over Texas, French
influence on it and other parts of the Southwest has been

ARTHUR, STANLEY CLISBY. _Jean Laffite, Gentleman Rover_ (1952)
and _Audubon: An Intimate Life of the American Woodsman_
(1937), both published by Harmanson--Publisher and Bookseller,
333 Royal St., New Orleans.

CABLE, GEORGE W. _Old Creole Days: Strange True Stories of

CHOPIN, KATE. _Bayou Folk_.

FORTIER, ALCEE. Any of his work on Louisiana.

HEARN, LAFCADIO. _Chita_. A lovely story.

JOUTEL. _Journal_ of La Salle's career in Texas.

KANE, HARNETT T. _Plantation Parade: The Grand Manner in
Louisiana_ (1945), _Natchez on the Mississippi_ (1947), _Queen
New Orleans_ (1949), all published by Morrow, New York.

KING, GRACE. _New Orleans: The Place and the People; Balcony

_MCVOY, LIZZIE CARTER. _Louisiana in the Short Story_,
Louisiana State University Press, 1940.

SAXON, LYLE. _Fabulous New Orleans; Old Louisiana; Lafitte the


Backwoods Life and Humor

THE SETTLERS who put their stamp on Texas were predominantly
from the southern states--and far more of them came to Texas
to work out of debt than came with riches in the form of
slaves. The plantation owner came too, but the go-ahead
Crockett kind of backwoodsman was typical. The southern type
never became so prominent in New Mexico, Arizona, and
California as in Texas. Nevertheless, the fact glares out that
the code of conduct--the riding and shooting tradition, the
eagerness to stand up and fight for one's rights, the
readiness to back one's judgment with a gun, a bowie knife,
money, life itself--that characterized the whole West as well
as the Southwest was southern, hardly at all New England.

The very qualities that made many of the Texas pioneers rebels
to society and forced not a few of them to quit it between sun
and sun without leaving new addresses fitted them to conquer
the wilderness--qualities of daring, bravery, reckless
abandon, heavy self-assertiveness. A lot of them were hell-
raisers, for they had a lust for life and were maddened by
tame respectability. Nobody but obsequious politicians and
priggish "Daughters" wants to make them out as models of
virtue and conformity. A smooth and settled society--a society
shockingly tame--may accept Cardinal Newman's definition, "A
gentleman is one who never gives offense." Under this
definition a shaded violet, a butterfly, and a floating summer
cloud are all gentlemen. "The art of war," said Napoleon, "is
to make offense." Conquering the hostile Texas
wilderness meant war with nature and against savages as well
as against Mexicans. Go-ahead Crockett's ideal of a gentleman
was one who looked in another direction while a visitor was
pouring himself out a horn of whiskey.

Laying aside climatic influences on occupations and manners,
certain Spanish influences, and minor Pueblo Indian touches,
the Southwest from the point of view of the bedrock Anglo-
Saxon character that has made it might well include Arkansas
and Missouri. The realism of southern folk and of a very
considerable body of indigenous literature representing them
has been too much overshadowed by a kind of _So Red the Rose_
idealization of slave-holding aristocrats.

ALLSOPP, FRED W. _Folklore of Romantic Arkansas_, 2 vols.,
Grolier Society, 1931. Allsopp assembled a rich and varied
collection of materials in the tone of "The Arkansas
Traveler." OP.

ARRINGTON, ALFRED W. _The Rangers and Regulators of the
Tanaha_, 18 56. East Texas bloodletting.

BALDWIN, JOSEPH G. _The Flush Times of Alabama and
Mississippi_, 1853.

BLAIR, WALTER. _Horse Sense in American Humor from Benjamin
Franklin to Ogden Nash_, 1942. OP. _Native American Humor_,
1937. OP. _Tall Tale America_, Coward-McCann, New York, 1944.
Orderly analyses with many concrete examples. With Franklin J.
Meine as co-author, _Mike Fink, King of Mississippi River
Keelboatmen_, 1933. Biography of a folk type against pioneer
and frontier background. OP.

BOATRIGHT, MODY C. _Folk Laughter on the American Frontier_.
See under "Interpreters."

CLARK, THOMAS D. _The Rampaging Frontier_, 1939. OP.
Historical picturization and analysis, fortified by incidents
and tales of "Varmints," "Liars," "Quarter Horses,"
"Fiddlin'," "Foolin' with the Gals," etc.

CROCKETT, DAVID. _Autobiography_. Reprinted many times.
Scribner's edition in the "Modern Students' Library" includes
_Colonel Crockett's Exploits and Adventures in_
_Texas_. Crockett set the backwoods type. See treatment of him
in Parrington's _Main Currents in American Thought_. Richard
M. Dorson's _Davy Crockett, American Comic Legend_, 1939, is a
summation of the Crockett tradition.

FEATHERSTONHAUGH, G. W. _Excursion through the Slave States_,
London, 1866. Refreshing on manners and characters.

FLACK, CAPTAIN. _The Texas Ranger, or Real Life in the
Backwoods_, London, 1866.

GERSTAECKER, FREDERICK. _Wild Sports in the Far West_. Nothing
better on backwoods life in the Mississippi Valley.

HAMMETT, SAMUEL ADAMS (who wrote under the name of Philip
Paxton), _Piney Woods Tavern; or Sam Slick in Texas_ and _A
Stray Yankee in Texas_. Humor on the roughneck element. For
treatment of Hammett as man and writer see _Sam Slick in
Texas_, by W. Stanley Hoole, Naylor, San Antonio, 1945.

HARRIS, GEORGE W. _Sut Lovingood_, New York, 1867. Prerealism.

HOGUE, WAYMAN. _Back Yonder_. Minton, Balch, New York, 1932.
Ozark life. OP.

HOOPER, J. J. _Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs_, 1845. OP.
Downright realism. Like Longstreet, Hooper in maturity wanted
his realism forgotten. An Alabama journalist, he got into the
camp of respectable slave-holders and spent the later years of
his life shouting against the "enemies of the institution of
African slavery." His life partly explains the lack of
intellectual honesty in most southern spokesmen today. _Alias
Simon Suggs: The Life and Times of Johnson Jones Hooper_, by
W. Stanley Hoole, University of Alabama Press, 1952, is a
careful study of Hooper's career.

HUDSON, A. P. _Humor of the Old Deep South_, New York, 1936.
An anthology. OP.

LONGSTREET, A. B. _Georgia Scenes_, 1835. Numerous reprints.

MASTERSON, JAMES R. _Tall Tales of Arkansas_, Boston, 1943.
OP. The title belies this excellent social history--by a
scholar. It has become quite scarce on account of the fact
that it contains unexpurgated versions of the notorious speech
on "Change the Name of Arkansas"--which in 1919 in officers'
barracks at Bordeaux, France, I heard a lusty individual
recite with as many variations as Roxane of _Cyrano de
Bergerac_ wanted in love-making. When Fred W. Allsopp,
newspaper publisher and pillar of Arkansas respectability,
found that this book of unexpurgations had been dedicated to
him by the author--a Harvard Ph.D. teaching in Michigan--he
almost "had a colt."

MEINE, FRANKLIN J. (editor). _Tall Tales of the Southwest_,
Knopf, New York, 1930. A superbly edited and superbly selected
anthology with appendices affording a guide to the whole field
of early southern humor and realism. No cavalier idealism. The
"Southwest" of this excellent book is South.

OLMSTED, FREDERICK LAW. _A Journey in the Seaboard Slave
States_, 1856. _A Journey Through Texas_, 1857. Invaluable
books on social history.

POSTL, KARL ANTON (Charles Sealsfield or Francis Hardman,
pseudonyms). _The Cabin Book; Frontier Life_. Translations all

RANDOLPH, VANCE. _We Always Lie to Strangers_, Columbia
University Press, New York, 1951. A collection of tall tales
of the adding machine variety. Fertile in invention but devoid
of any yearning for the beautiful or suggestion that the human
spirit hungers for something beyond horse play; in short,
typical of American humor.

ROURKE, CONSTANCE. _American Humor_, 1931; _Davy Crockett_,
1934; _Roots of American Culture and Other Essays_, 1942, all
published by Harcourt, Brace, New York.

THOMPSON, WILLIAM T. _Major Jones's Courtship_, Philadelphia,
1844. Realism.

THORPE, T. B. _The Hive of the Bee-Hunter_, New York, 1854.
This excellent book should be reprinted.

WATTERSON, HENRY. _Oddities in Southern Life and Character_,
Boston, 1882. An anthology with interpretative notes.

WILSON, CHARLES MORROW. _Backwoods America_. University of
North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1935. Well ordered survey
with excellent samplings.

WOOD, RAY. _The American Mother Goose_, 1940; _Fun in American
Folk Rhymes_, 1952; both published by Lippincott,


How the Early Settlers Lived

DESPITE THE FACT that the tendency of a majority of early day
rememberers has been to emphasize Indian fights, killings, and
other sensational episodes, chronicles rich in the everyday
manners and customs of the folk are plentiful. The classic of
them all is Noah Smithwick's _The Evolution of a State_,
listed below.

See also "Backwoods Life and Humor," "Pioneer Doctors," "Women
Pioneers," "Fighting Texians."

BARKER, E. C. _The Austin Papers_. Four volumes of sources for
any theme in social history connected with colonial Texans.

BATES, ED. F. _History and Reminiscences of Denton County_,
Denton, Texas, 1918. A sample of much folk life found in
county histories.

BELL, HORACE. _On the Old West Coast_, New York, 1930. Social
history by anecdote. California. OP.

BRACHT, VIKTOR. _Texas in 1848_, translated from the German by
C. F. Schmidt, San Antonio, 1931. Better on natural resources
than on human inhabitants. OP.

Translation, Houston, 1936. OP.


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