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

Part 4 out of 4

through power to exterminate buffaloes. He was a buffalo man
in the way that Hitler was a Polish Jew man.

It is a pleasure to note the writings of sportsmen with
inquiring minds and of scientists and artists who hunted.
Three examples are: _The English Sportsman in the Western
Prairies_, by the Hon. Grantley F. Berkeley, London, 1861;
_Travels in the Interior of North America, 1833-1834_, by
Maximilian, Prince of Wied (original edition, 1843), included
in that "incomparable storehouse of buffalo lore from early
eye-witnesses," _Early Western Travels_, edited by Reuben Gold
Thwaites; George Catlin's _Letters and Notes on the Manners,
Customs and Conditions of the North American Indians_, London,

Three aspects of the buffalo stand out: the natural history of
the great American animal; the interrelationship between
Indian and buffalo; the white hunter--and exterminator.

ALLEN, J. A. _The American Bison, Living and Extinct_,
Cambridge, Mass., 1876. Reprinted in 9th Annual Report of the
United States Geological and Geographical Survey, Washington,
1877. Basic and rich work, much of it appropriated by

BRANCH, E. DOUGLAS. _The Hunting of the Buffalo_, New York,
1925. Interpretative as well as factual. OP.

COOK, JOHN R. _The Border and the Buffalo_. Topeka, Kansas,
1907. Personal narrative.

DIXON, OLIVE. _Billy Dixon_, Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1914;
reprinted, Dallas, 1927. Bully autobiography; excellent on the
buffalo hunter as a type. OP.

DODGE, R. I. _The Plains of the Great West and Their
Inhabitants_, New York, 1877. One of the best chapters of this
source book is on the buffalo.

GARRETSON, MARTIN S. _The American Bison_, New York Zoological
Society, New York, 1938. Not thorough, but informing. Limited
bibliography. OP.

GRINNELL, GEORGE BIRD (1849-1938) may be classed next to J. A.
Allen and W. T. Hornaday as historian of the buffalo. His
primary sources were the buffaloed plains and the Plains
Indians, whom he knew intimately. "In Buffalo Days" is a long
and excellent essay by him in _American Big-Game Hunting_,
edited by Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell, New
York, 1893. He has another long essay, "The Bison," in _Musk-
Ox, Bison, Sheep and Goat_ by Caspar
Whitney, George Bird Grinnell, and Owen Wister, New York,
1904. His noble and beautifully simple _When Buffalo Ran_, New
Haven, 1920, is specific on work from a buffalo horse. Again
in his noble two-volume work on _The Cheyenne Indians_ (1923)
Grinnell is rich not only on the animal but on the Plains
Indian relationship to it. All OP.

HALEY, J. EVETTS. _Charles Goodnight, Cowman and Plainsman_,
1936. Goodnight killed and also helped save the buffalo. Haley
has preserved his observations.

HORNADAY, W. T. _Extermination of the American Bison_
(Smithsonian Reports for 1887, published in 1889, Part II).
Hornaday was a good zoologist but inferior in research.

INMAN, HENRY. _Buffalo Jones Forty Years of Adventure_,
Topeka, Kansas, 1899. A book rich in observations as well as
experience, though Jones was a poser. OP.

LAKE, STUART N. _Wyatt Earp_, Boston, 1931. Early chapters
excellent on buffalo hunting.

MCCREIGHT, M. I. _Buffalo Bone Days_, Sykesville, Pa., 1939.
OP. A pamphlet strong on buffalo bones, for fertilizer.

PALLISER, JOHN (and others). _Journals, Detailed Reports, and
Observations, relative to Palliser's Exploration of British
North America, 1857-1860_, London, 1863. According to Frank
Gilbert Roe, "a mine of inestimable information" on the

_Panhandle-Plains Historical Review_, Canyon, Texas. Articles
and reminiscences, _passim_.

PARKMAN, FRANCIS. _The Oregon Trail_, 1847. Available in
various editions, this book contains superb descriptions of
buffaloes and prairies.

POE, SOPHIE A. _Buckboard Days_ (edited by Eugene Cunningham),
Caldwell, Idaho, 1936. Early chapters. OP.

ROE, FRANK GILBERT. _The North American Buffalo_, University
of Toronto Press, 1951. A monumental work comprising and
critically reviewing virtually all that has been written on
the subject and supplanting much of it. No other scholar
dealing with the buffalo has gone so fully into the subject or
viewed it from so many angles, brought out so
many aspects of natural history and human history. In a field
where ignorance has often prevailed, Roe has to be
iconoclastic in order to be constructive. If his words are
sometimes sharp, his mind is sharper. The one indispensable
book on the subject.

RYE, EDGAR. _The Quirt and the Spur_, Chicago, 1909. Rye was
in the Fort Griffin, Texas, country when buffalo hunters
dominated it. OP.

SCHULTZ, JAMES WILLARD. _Apauk, Caller of Buffalo_, New York,
1916. OP. Whether fiction or nonfiction, as claimed by the
author, this book realizes the relationships between Plains
Indian and buffalo.

WEEKES, MARY. _The Last Buffalo Hunter_ (as told by Norbert
Welsh), New York, 1939. OP. The old days recalled with
upspringing sympathy. Canada--but buffaloes and buffalo
hunters were pretty much the same everywhere.

West Texas Historical Association (Abilene, Texas) _Year
Books_. Reminiscences and articles, _passim_.

WILLIAMS, O. W. A privately printed letter of eight unnumbered
pages, dated from Fort Stockton, Texas, June 30, 1930,
containing the best description of a buffalo stampede that I
have encountered. It is reproduced in Dobie's _On the Open


Bears and Bear Hunters

THE BEAR, whether black or grizzly, is a great American
citizen. Think of how many children have been put to sleep
with bear stories! Facts about the animal are fascinating; the
effect he has had on the minds of human beings associated with
him transcends naturalistic facts. The tree on which Daniel
Boone carved the naked fact that here he "Killed A. Bar In the
YEAR 1760" will never die. Davy Crockett killed 105 bars in
one season, and his reputation as a bar hunter, plus ability
to tell about his exploits, sent him to Congress. He had no
other reason for going. The grizzly was the hero of western
tribes of Indians from Alaska on down into the Sierra Madre.
Among western white men who met him, occasionally in death,
the grizzly inspired a mighty saga, the cantos of which lie
dispersed in homely chronicles and unrecorded memories as well
as in certain vivid narratives by Ernest Thompson Seton,
Hittell's John Capen Adams, John G. Neihardt, and others.

For all that, neither the black bear nor the grizzly has been
amply conceived of as an American character. The conception
must include a vast amount of folklore. In a chapter on "Bars
and Bar Hunters" in _On the Open Range_ and in "Juan Oso" and
"Under the Sign of Ursa Major," chapters of _Tongues of the
Monte_, I have indicated the nature of this dispersed epic in
folk tales.

In many of the books listed under "Nature; Wild Life;
Naturalists" and "Mountain Men" the bear "walks like a man."

ALTER, J. CECIL. _James Bridger_, Salt Lake City, 1922
reprinted by Long's College Book Co., Columbus, Ohio. Contains
several versions of the famous Hugh Glass bear story.

HITTELL, THEODORE H. _The Adventures of John Capen Adams_,
1860; reprinted 1911, New York. OP. Perhaps no man has lived
who knew grizzlies better than Adams. A rare personal

MILLER, JOAQUIN. _True Bear Stories_, Chicago, 1900. OP. Truth
questionable in places; interest guaranteed.

MILLER, LEWIS B. _Saddles and Lariats_, Boston, 1909. OP. The
chapter "In a Grizzly's Jaws" is a wonderful bear story.

MILLS, ENOS A. _The Grizzly, Our Greatest Wild Animal_,
Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1919. Some naturalists have accused
Mills of having too much imagination. He saw much and wrote

NEIHARDT, JOHN G. _The Song of Hugh Glass_, New York, 1915. An
epic in vigorous verse of the West's most famous man-and-bear
story. This imagination-rousing story has been told over and
over, by J. Cecil Alter in _James Bridger_, by Stanley Vestal
in _Mountain Men_, and by other writers.

ROOSEVELT, THEODORE. _Hunting Adventures in the_

{illust. caption =
Charles M. Russell, in _Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage_
by Carrie Adell Strahorn (1915 )

_West_ (1885) and _The Wilderness Hunter_ (1893)--books
reprinted in parts or wholly under varying titles. Several
narratives of hunts intermixed with baldfaced facts.

SETON, ERNEST THOMPSON. _The Biography of a Grizzly_, 1900;
now published by Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York. _Monarch,
the Big Bear of Tallac_, 1904. Graphic narratives.

SKINNER, M. P. _Bears in the Yellowstone_, Chicago, 1925. OP.
A naturalist's rounded knowledge, pleasantly told.

STEVENS, MONTAGUE. _Meet Mr. Grizzly_, University of New
Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1943. Montague Stevens graduated
from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1881 and came to New
Mexico to ranch. As respects deductions on observed data, his
book is about the most mature yet published by a ranchman.
Goodnight experienced more, had a more ample nature, but he
lacked the perspective, the mental training, to know what to
make of his observations. Another English rancher, R. B.
Townshend, had perspective and charm but was not a scientific
observer. So far as sense of smell goes, _Meet Mr. Grizzly_ is
as good as W. H. Hudson's _A Hind in Richmond Park_. On the
nature and habits of grizzly bears, it is better than _The
Grizzly_ by Enos Mills.

WRIGHT, WILLIAM H. _The Grizzly Bear: The Narrative of a
Hunter-Naturalist, Historical, Scientific and Adventurous_,
New York, 1928. OP. This is not only the richest and justest
book published on the grizzly; it is among the best books of
the language on specific mammals. Wright had a passion for
bears, for their preservation, and for arousing informed
sympathy in other people. Yet he did not descend to
propaganda. _His The Black Bear_, London, n.d., is good but no
peer to his work on the grizzly. Also OP.


Coyotes, Lobos, and Panthers

I SEPARATE COYOTES, lobos, and panthers from the mass of
animals because they, along with bears, have made such an
imprint on human imagination. White-tailed deer are far more
common and more widely dispersed. Men, women also, by the tens
of thousands go out with rifles every fall in efforts to get
near them; but the night-piercing howl and the cunning ways of
the coyote, the panther's track and the rumor of his scream
have inspired more folk tales than all the deer.

Lore and facts about these animals are dispersed in many books
not classifiable under natural history. Lewis and Clark and
nearly all the other chroniclers of Trans-Mississippi America
set down much on wild life. James Pike's _Scout and Ranger_
details the manner in which, he says, a panther covered him up
alive, duplicating a fanciful and delightful tale in
Gerstaecker's _Wild Sports in the Far West_. James B. O'Neil
concludes _They Die but Once_ with some "Bedtime Stories"
that--almost necessarily--bring in a man-hungry panther.


The two full-length books on Brother Coyote listed below
specify most of the printed literature on the animal. (He is
"Brother" in Mexican tales and I feel much more brotherly
toward him than I feel toward character assassins in political
power.) It would require another book to catalogue in detail
all the writings that include folk tales about Don Coyote.
Ethnologists and scientific folklorists recognize what they
call "the Coyote Circle" in the folklore of many tribes of
Morris Edward Opler in _Myths and Legends of the Lipan Apache
Indians_, 1940, and in _Myths and Tales of the Chiricahua
Apache Indians_, 1942 (both issued by the American Folklore
Society, New York) treats fully of this cycle. Numerous tales
that belong to the cycle are included by J. Gilbert
McAllister, an anthropologist who writes as a humanist, in his
extended collection, "Kiowa-Apache Tales," in _The Sky Is My
Tipi_, edited by Mody C. Boatright for the Texas Folklore
Society (Publication XXII), Southern Methodist University
Press, Dallas, 1949.

Literary retellers of Indian coyote folk tales have been many.
The majority of retellers from western Indians include Coyote.
One of the very best is Frank B. Linderman, in _Indian Why
Stories_ and _Indian Old-Man Stories_. These titles are
substantive: _Old Man Coyote_ by Clara Kern Bayliss (New York,
1908, OP), _Coyote Stories_ by Mourning Dove (Caldwell, Idaho,
1934, OP); _Don Coyote_ by Leigh Peck (Boston, 1941) gets
farther away from the Indian, is more juvenile. The _Journal
of American Folklore_ and numerous Mexican books have
published hundreds of coyote folk tales from Mexico. Among the
most pleasingly told are _Picture Tales frown Mexico_ by Dan
Storm, 1941 (Lippincott, Philadelphia). The first two writers
listed below bring in folklore.

CUSHING, FRANK HAMILTON. _Zuni Breadstuff_, Museum of the
American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York, 1920. This
extraordinary book, one of the most extraordinary ever written
on a particular people, is not made up of coyote lore alone.
In it the coyote becomes a character of dignity and destiny,
and the telling is epic in dignity as well as in prolongation.
Frank Hamilton Cushing was a genius; his sympathy, insight,
knowledge, and mastery of the art of writing enabled him to
reveal the spirit of the Zuni Indians as almost no other
writer has revealed the spirit of any other tribe. Their
attitude toward Coyote is beautifully developed. Cushing's
_Zuni Folk Tales_ (Knopf, New York, 1901, 1931) is
climactic on "tellings" about Coyote.

DOBIE, J. FRANK. _The Voice of the Coyote_, Little, Brown,
Boston, 1949. Not only the coyote but his effect on human
imagination and ecological relationships. Natural history and
folklore; many tales from factual trappers as well as from
Mexican and Indian folk. This is a strange book in some ways.
If the author had quit at the end of the first chapter, which
is on coyote voicings and their meaning to varied listeners,
he would still have said something. The book includes some,
but by no means all, of the material on the subject in _Coyote
Wisdom_ (Publication XIV of the Texas Folklore Society, 1938)
edited by J. Frank Dobie and now distributed by Southern
Methodist University Press, Dallas.

GRINNELL, GEORGE BIRD. Wolves and Wolf Nature, in _Trail and
Camp-Fire_, New York, 1897. This long chapter is richer in
facts about the coyote than anything published prior to _The
Voice of the Coyote_, which borrows from it extensively.

LOFBERG, LILA, and MALCOLMSON, DAVID. _Sierra Outpost_, Duell,
Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1941. An extraordinary detailment
of the friendship between two people, isolated by snow high in
the California Sierras, and three coyotes. Written with fine
sympathy, minute in observations.

MATHEWS, JOHN JOSEPH. _Talking to the Moon_, University of
Chicago Press, 1945. A wise and spiritual interpretation of
the black-jack country of eastern Oklahoma, close to the
Osages, in which John Joseph Mathews lives. Not primarily
about coyotes, the book illuminates them more than numerous
books on particular animals illuminate their subjects.

MURIE, ADOLPH. _Ecology of the Coyote in the Yellowstone_,
United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.,
1940. An example of strict science informed by civilized
humanity. _The Wolves of Mount McKinley_, United States
Government Printing Of ice, Washington, D. C., 1944. Murie's
combination of prolonged patience, science, and sympathy
behind the observations has never been common. His ecological
point of view is steady. Highly interesting reading.

YOUNG, STANLEY PAUL (with Edward A. Goldman). _The Wolves of
North America_, American Wildlife Institute, Washington, D.
C., 1944. Full information, full bibliography, without
narrative power. _Sketches of American Wildlife_, Monumental
Press, Baltimore, 1946. This slight book contains pleasant
chapters on the Puma, Wolf, Coyote, Antelope and other animals
characteristic of the West. (With Hartley H. T. Jackson) _The
Clever Coyote_, Stackpole, Harrisburg, Pa., and Wildlife
Management Institute, Washington, D. C., 1951. Emphasis upon
the economic status and control of the species, an extended
classification of subspecies, and a full bibliography make
this book and Dobie's _The Voice of the Coyote_ complemental
to each other rather than duplicative.


Anybody who so wishes may call them mountain lions. Where
there were Negro mammies, white children were likely to be
haunted in the night by fear of ghosts. Otherwise, for some
children of the South and West, no imagined terror of the
night equaled the panther's scream. The Anglo-American lore
pertaining to the panther is replete with stories of attacks
on human beings. Indian and Spanish lore, clear down to where
W. H. Hudson of the pampas heard it, views the animal as _un
amigo de los cristianos_--a friend of man. The panther is
another animal as interesting for what people associated with
him have taken to be facts as for the facts themselves.

BARKER, ELLIOTT S. _When the Dogs Barked `Treed'_, University
of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1946. Mainly on mountain
lions, but firsthand observations on other predatory animals
also. Before he became state game warden, the author was for
years with the United States Forest Service.

HIBBEN, FRANK C. _Hunting American Lions_, New York, 1948;
reprinted by University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. Mr.
Hibben considers hunting panthers and bears a terribly
dangerous business that only intrepid heroes like him-
self would undertake. Sometimes in this book, but more
awesomely in _Hunting American Bears_, he manages to out-zane
Zane Grey, who had to warn his boy scout readers and puerile-
minded readers of added years that _Roping Lions in the Grand
Canyon_ is true in contrast to the fictional _Young Lion
Hunter_, which uses some of the same material.

HUDSON, W. H. _The Naturalist in La Plata_, New York, 1892. A
chapter in this book entitled "The Puma, or Lion of America"
provoked an attack from Theodore Roosevelt (in _Outdoor
Pastimes of an American Hunter_); but it remains the most
delightful narrative-essay yet written on the subject.

Mysterious American Cat_, American Wildlife Institute,
Washington, D. C., 1946. Scientific, liberal with information
of human interest, bibliography. We get an analysis of the
panther's scream but it does not curdle the blood.



Birds and Wild Flowers

NEARLY EVERYBODY ENJOYS to an extent the singing of birds and
the colors of flowers; to the majority, however, the enjoyment
is casual, generalized, vague, in the same category as that
derived from a short spell of prattling by a healthy baby.
Individuals who study birds and native flora experience an
almost daily refreshment of the spirit and growth of the
intellect. For them the world is an unending Garden of Delight
and a hundred-yard walk down a creek that runs through town or
pasture is an exploration. Hardly anything beyond good books,
good pictures and music, and good talk is so contributory to
the enrichment of life as a sympathetic knowledge of the
birds, wild flowers, and other native fauna and flora around

The books listed are dominantly scientific. Some include keys
to identification. Once a person has learned to use the key
for identifying botanical or ornithological species, he can
spend the remainder of his life adding to his stature.


BAILEY, FLORENCE MERRIAM. _Birds of New Mexico_, 1928. OP.
Said by those who know to be at the top of all state bird
books. Much on habits.

BEDICHEK, ROY. _Adventures with a Texas Naturalist_ (1947) and
_Karankaway Country_ (1950), Doubleday, Garden City, N. Y.
These are books of essays on various aspects of nature, but
nowhere else can one find an equal amount of penetrating
observation on chimney swifts, Inca doves, swallows, golden
eagles, mockingbirds, herons, prairie chickens,
whooping cranes, swifts, scissortails, and some other birds.
As Bedichek writes of them they become integrated with all

BRANDT, HERBERT. _Arizona and Its Bird Life_, Bird Research
Foundation, Cleveland, 1951. This beautiful, richly
illustrated volume of 525 pages lives up to its title; the
birds belong to the Arizona country, and with them we get
pines, mesquites, cottonwoods, John Slaughter's ranch, the
northward-flowing San Pedro, and many other features of the
land. Herbert Brandt's _Texas Bird Adventures_, illustrated by
George Miksch Sutton (Cleveland, 1940), is more on the Big
Bend country and ranch country to the north than on birds,
though birds are here.

DAWSON, WILLIAM LEON. _The Birds of California_, San Diego,
etc., California, 1923. OP. Four magnificent volumes, full in
illustrations, special observations on birds, and scientific

DOBIE, J. FRANK, who is no more of an ornithologist than he is
a geologist, specialized on an especially characteristic bird
of the Southwest and gathered its history, habits, and
folklore into a long article: "The Roadrunner in Fact and
Folklore," in _In the Shadow of History_, Publication XV of
the Texas Folklore Society, Austin, 1939. OP. "Bob More: Man
and Bird Man," _Southwest Review_, Dallas, Vol. XXVII, No. 1
(Autumn, 1941).

NICE, MARGARET MORSE. _The Birds of Oklahoma_, Norman, 1931.
OP. United States Biological Survey publication.

OBERHOLSER, HARRY CHURCH. The Birds of Texas in manuscript
form. "A stupendous work, the greatest of its genre, by the
nation's outstanding ornithologist, who has been fifty years
making it." The quotation is condensed from an essay by Roy
Bedichek in the _Southwest Review_, Dallas, Vol. XXXVIII, No.
1 (Winter, 1953). Maybe some day some man or woman with means
will see the light of civilized patriotism and underwrite the
publication of these great volumes. Patriotism that does not
act to promote the beautiful, the true, and the good had
better pipe down.

PETERSON, ROGER TORY. _A Field Guide to Western Birds_ (1941)
and _A Field Guide to the Birds_ (birds of the eastern United
States, revised 1947), Houghton Mifflin, Boston. These are
standard guides for identification. The range, habits, and
characteristics of each bird are summarized.

SIMMONS, GEORGE FINLEY. _Birds of the Austin Region_,
University of Texas Press, Austin, 1925. A very thorough work,
including migratory as well as nesting species.

SUTTON, GEORGE MIKSCH. _Mexican Birds_, illustrated with
water-color and pen-and-ink drawings by the author, University
of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1951. The main part of this
handsome book is a personal narrative--pleasant to read even
by one who is not a bird man--of discovery in Mexico. To it is
appended a resume of Mexican bird life for the use of other
seekers. Sutton's _Birds in the Wilderness: Adventures of an
Ornithologist_ (Macmillan, New York, 1936) contains essays on
pet roadrunners, screech owls, and other congenial folk of the
Big Bend of Texas. _The Birds of Brewster County, Texas_, in
collaboration with Josselyn Van Tyne, is a publication of the
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, University of
Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1937.

_Wild Turkey_. Literature on this national bird is enormous.
Among books I name first _The Wild Turkey and Its Hunting_, by
Edward A. McIlhenny, New York, 1914. OP. McIlhenny was a
singular man. His family settled on Avery Island, Louisiana,
in 1832; he made it into a famous refuge for wild fowls. The
memories of individuals of a family long established on a
country estate go back several lifetimes. In two books of
Negro folklore and in _The Alligator's Life History_,
McIlhenny wrote as an inheritor. Initially, he was a hunter-
naturalist, but scientific enough to publish in the _Auk_ and
the _Journal of Heredity_. Age, desire for knowledge, and
practice in the art of living dimmed his lust for hunting and
sharpened his interest in natural history. His book on the
wild turkey, an extension into publishable form of a
from a civilized Alabama hunter, is delightful and
illuminative reading.

_The Wild Turkey of Virginia_, by Henry S. Mosby and
Charles O. Handley, published by the Commission of Game
and Inland Fisheries of Virginia, Richmond, 1943, is written
from the point of view of wild life management. It contains
an extensive bibliography. Less technical is _The American
Wild Turkey_, by Henry E. Davis, Small Arms Technical
Company, Georgetown, South Carolina, 1949. No strain, or
subspecies, of the wild turkey is foreign to any other, but
human blends in J. Stokley Ligon, naturalist, are unique. The
title of his much-in-little book is _History and Management
of Merriam's Wild Turkey_, New Mexico Game and Fish
Commission, through the University of New Mexico Press,
Albuquerque, 1946.


The scientific literature on botany of western America is
extensive. The list that follows is for laymen as much as for

Southwestern Desert Trees and Shrubs_, Biological Science
Bulletin No. 6, University of Arizona, Tucson, 1944. A
thorough work of 411 pages, richly illustrated, with general
information added to scientific description.

CARR, WILLIAM HENRY. _Desert Parade: A Guide to
Southwestern Desert Plants and Wildlife_, Viking, New York,

CLEMENTS, FREDERIC E. and EDITH S. _Rocky Mountain
Flowers_, H. W. Wilson, New York, 1928. Scientific
description, with glossary of terms and key for

COULTER, JOHN M. _Botany of Western Texas_, United
States Department of Agriculture, Washington, 1891-94.
OP. Nothing has appeared during the past sixty years to take
the place of this master opus.

GEISER, SAMUEL WOOD. _Horticulture and Horticultur-
ists in Early Texas_, Southern Methodist University Press,
Dallas, 1945. Historical-scientific, more technical than the
author's _Naturalists of the Frontier_.

JAEGER, EDMUND C. _Desert Wild Flowers_, Stanford University
Press, California, 1940, revised 1947. Scientific but designed
for use by any intelligent inquirer.

LUNDELL, CYRUS L., and collaborators. _Flora of Texas_,
Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, 1942- . A
"monumental" work, highly technical, being published part by

MCKELVEY, SUSAN DELANO. _Yuccas of the Southwestern United
States_, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1938. Definitive
work in two volumes.

_Range Plant Handbook_, prepared by the Forest Service of the
United States Department of Agriculture. United States
Government Printing Office, Washington, 1937. A veritable
encyclopedia, illustrated.

SCHULZ, ELLEN D. _Texas Wild Flowers_, Chicago, 1928. Good as
a botanical guide and also for human uses; includes lore on
many plants. OP. _Cactus Culture_, Orange Judd, New York,
1932. Now in revised edition.

SILVIUS, W. A. _Texas Grasses_, published by the author, San
Antonio, 1933. A monument, of 782 illustrated pages, to a
lifetime's disinterested following of knowledge "like a star."

STEVENS, WILLIAM CHASE. _Kansas Wild Flowers_, University of
Kansas Press, Lawrence, 1948. This is more than a state book,
and the integration of knowledge, wisdom, and appreciation of
flower life with botanical science makes it appeal to layman
as well as to botanist. 463 pages, 774 illustrations.
Applicable to the whole plains area.

Cacti_, Biological Science Bulletin No. 1, University of
Arizona, Tucson, 1933. Beautifully illustrated.

Clan: The Cactus Family_, New York, 1932. OP.

THORP, BENJAMIN CARROLL. _Texas Range Grasses_, Uni-
versity of Texas Press, Austin, 1952. A survey of 168 species
of grasses, their adaptability to soils and regions, and their
values for grazing. Beautifully illustrated and printed, but
no index.

WHITEHOUSE, EULA. _Texas Wild Flowers in Natural Colors_,
1936; republished 1948 in Dallas. OP. Toward 200 flowers are
pictured in colors, each in conjunction with descriptive
material. The finding lists are designed to enable novices to
identify flowers. A charming book.

{illust. caption =
Paisano (roadrunner) means


Negro Folk Songs and Tales

WEST OF A WAVERING line along the western edge of the central
parts of Texas and Oklahoma the Negro is not an important
social or cultural element of the Southwest, just as the
modern Indian hardly enters into Texas life at all and the
Mexican recedes to the east. Negro folk songs and tales of the
Southwest have in treatment been blended with those of the
South. Dorothy Scarborough's _On the Trail of Negro Folk-
Songs_ (1925, OP) derives mainly from Texas, but in making up
the body of a Negro song, Miss Scarborough says, "You may find
one bone in Texas, one in Virginia and one in Mississippi."
Leadbelly, a guitar player equally at home in the
penitentiaries of Texas and Louisiana, furnished John A. and
Alan Lomax with _Negro Folk Songs as Sung by Leadbelly_, New
York, 1936 (OP). The Lomax anthologies, _American Ballads and
Folk Songs_, 1934, and _Our Singing Country_, 1941 (Macmillan,
New York) and Carl Sandburg's _American Songbag_ (Harcourt,
Brace, New York, 1927) all give the Negro of the Southwest
full representation.

Three books of loveliness by R. Emmett Kennedy, _Black Cameos_
(1924), _Mellows_ (1925), and _More Mellows_ (1931) represent
Louisiana Negroes. All are OP. An excellent all-American
collection is James Weldon Johnson's _Book of American Negro
Spirituals_, Viking, New York, 1940. Bibliographies and lists
of other books will be found in _The Negro and His Songs_
(1925, OP) and _Negro Workaday Songs_, by Howard W. Odum and
Guy B. Johnson, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel
Hill, 1926, and in _American Negro Folk-Songs_, by Newman I.
White, Cambridge, 1928.

A succinct guide to Negro lore is _American Folk Song and Folk
Lore: A Regional Bibliography_, by Alan Lomax and Sidney R.
Crowell, New York, 1942. OP.

Narrowing the field down to Texas, J. Mason Brewer's
"Juneteenth," in _Tone the Bell Easy_, Publication X of the
Texas Folklore Society, Austin, 1932, is outstanding as a
collection of tales. In volume after volume the Texas Folklore
Society has published collections of Negro songs and tales A.
W. Eddins, Martha Emmons, Gates Thomas, and H. B. Parks being
principal contributors.


Fiction--Including Folk Tales

FROM THE DAYS of the first innocent sensations in Beadle's
Dime Novel series, on through Zane Grey's mass production and
up to any present-day newsstand's crowded shelf of _Ace High_
and _Flaming Guns_ magazines, the Southwest, along with all
the rest of the West, has been represented in a fictional
output quantitatively stupendous. Most of it has betrayed
rather than revealed life, though not with the contemptible
contempt for both audience and subject that characterizes most
of Hollywood's pictures on the same times, people, and places.
Certain historical aspects of the fictional betrayal of the
West may be found in E. Douglas Branch's _The Cowboy and His
Interpreters_, in _The House of Beadle and Adams and Its Dime
and Nickel Novels_, by Albert Johannsen in two magnificent
volumes, and in Jay Monaghan's _The Great Rascal: The Life and
Adventures of Ned Buntline_ Buntline having been perhaps the
most prolific of all Wild West fictionists.

Some "Westerns" have a kind of validity. If a serious reader
went through the hundreds of titles produced by William McLeod
Raine, Dane Coolidge, Eugene Cunningham,. B. M. Bower, the
late Ernest Haycox, and other manufacturers of range novels
who have known their West at firsthand, he would find,
spottedly, a surprising amount of truth about land and men, a
fluency in genuine cowboy lingo, and a respect for the code of
conduct. Yet even these novels have added to the difficulty
that serious writing in the Western field has in getting a
hearing on literary, rather than merely Western, grounds. Any
writer of Westerns must, like all
other creators, be judged on his own intellectual development.
"The Western and Ernest Haycox," by James Fargo, in _Prairie
Schooner_, XXVI (Summer, 1952) has something on this subject.

Actualities in the Southwest seem to have stifled fictional
creation. No historical novel dealing with Texas history has
achieved the drama of the fall of the Alamo or the drawing of
the black beans, has presented a character with half the
reality of Sam Houston, Jim Bowie, or Sallie Skull, or has
captured the flavor inherent in the talk on many a ranch

Historical fiction dealing with early day Texas is, however,
distinctly maturing. As a dramatization of Jim Bowie and the
bowie knife, _The Iron Mistress_, by Paul Wellman (Doubleday,
Garden City, New York, 1951), is the best novel published so
far dealing with a figure of the Texas revolution. In _Divine
Average_ (Little, Brown, Boston, 1952), Elithe Hamilton
Kirkland weaves from her seasoned knowledge of life and from
"realities of those violent years in Texas history between
1838 and 1858" a story of human destiny. She reveals the
essential nature of Range Templeton more distinctly, more
mordantly, than history has revealed the essential nature of
Sam Houston or any of his contemporaries. The wife and
daughter of Range Templeton are the most plausible women in
any historical novel of Texas that I have read. The created
world here is more real than the actual.

Among the early tale-tellers of the Southwest are Jeremiah
Clemens, who wrote _Mustang Gray_, Mollie E. Moore Davis, of
plantation tradition, Mayne Reid, who dared convey real
information in his romances, Charles W. Webber, a naturalist,
and T. B. Thorpe, creator of "The Big Bear of Arkansas."

Fiction that appeared before World War I can hardly be called
modern. No fiction is likely to appear, however, that will do
better by certain types of western character and certain
stages of development in western society than that
produced by Bret Harte, with his gamblers; stage drivers, and
mining camps; O. Henry with his "Heart of the West" types;
Alfred Henry Lewis with his "Wolfville" anecdotes and
characters; Owen Wister, whose _Virginian_ remains the classic
of cowboy novels without cows; and Andy Adams, whose _Log of a
Cowboy_ will be read as long as people want a narrative of
cowboys sweating with herds.

The authors listed below are in alphabetical order. Those who
seem to me to have a chance to survive are not exactly in that

FRANK APPLEGATE (died 1932) wrote only two books, _Native
Tales of New Mexico_ and _Indian Stories from the Pueblos_,
but as a delighted and delightful teller of folk tales his
place is secure.

MARY AUSTIN seems to be settling down as primarily an
expositor. Her novels are no longer read, but the simple tales
in _One-Smoke Stories_ (her last book, 1934) and in some
nonfiction collections, notably _Lost Borders_ and _The
Flock_, do not recede with time.

While the Southwest can hardly claim Willa Cather, of
Nebraska, her _Death Comes for the Archbishop_ (1927), which
is made out of New Mexican life, is not only the best-known
novel concerned with the Southwest but one of the finest of

Despite the fact that it is not on the literary map, Will
Levington Comfort's _Apache_ (1931) remains for me the most
moving and incisive piece of writing on Indians of the
Southwest that I have found.

If a teller of folk tales and plotless narratives belongs in
this chapter, then J. Frank Dobie should be mentioned for the
folk tales in _Coronado's Children, Apache Gold and Yaqui
Silver_, and _Tongues of the Monte_, also for some of his
animal tales in _The Voice of the Coyote_, outlaw and maverick
narratives in _The Longhorns_, and "The Pacing White Steed of
the Prairies" and other horse stories in _The Mustangs_.

The characters in Harvey Fergusson's _Wolf Song_ (1927) are
the Mountain Men of Kit Carson's time, and the city of their
soul is rollicky Taos. It is a lusty, swift song of the
pristine earth. Fergusson's _The Blood of the Conquerors_
(1931) tackles the juxtaposition of Spanish-Mexican and Anglo-
American elements in New Mexico, of which state he is a
native. _Grant of Kingdom_ (1850) is strong in wisdom
life, vitality of character, and historical values.

FRED GIPSON'S _Hound-Dog Man_ and _The Home Place_ lack the
critical attitude toward life present in great fiction but
they are as honest and tonic as creek bottom soil and the
people in them are genuine.

FRANK GOODWYN'S _The Magic of Limping John_ (New York, 1944,
OP) is a coherence of Mexican characters, folk tales, beliefs,
and ways in the ranch country of South Texas. There is
something of magic in the telling, but Frank Goodwyn has not
achieved objective control over imagination or sufficiently
stressed the art of writing.

PAUL HORGAN of New Mexico has in _The Return of the Weed_
(short stories), _Far from Cibola_, and other fiction coped
with modern life in the past-haunted New Mexico.

OLIVER LAFARGE'S _Laughing Boy_ (1929) grew out of the
author's ethnological knowledge of the Navajo Indians. He
achieves character.

TOM LEA'S _The Brave Bulls_ (1949) has, although it is a
sublimation of the Mexican bullfighting world, Death and Fear
of Death for its dominant theme. It may be compared in theme
with Stephen Crane's _The Red Badge of Courage_. It is written
with the utmost of economy, and is beautiful in its power.
_The Wonderful Country_ (1952), a historical novel of the
frontier, but emphatically not a "Western," recognizes more
complexities of society. Its economy and directness parallel
the style of Tom Lea's drawings and paintings, with which both
books are illustrated

_Sundown_, by John Joseph Mathews (1934), goes more profoundly
than _Laughing Boy_ into the soul of a young Indian (an Osage)
and his people. Its translation of the "long,
long thoughts" of the boy and then of "shades of the prison
house" closing down upon him is superb writing. The "shades of
the prison house" come from oil, with all of the world's
coarse thumbs that go with oil.

GEORGE SESSIONS PERRY'S _Hold Autumn in Your Hand_ (1941)
incarnates a Texas farm hand too poor "to flag a gut-wagon,"
but with the good nature, dignity, and independence of the
earth itself. _Walls Rise Up_ (1939) is a kind of _Crock of
Gold_, both whimsical and earthy, laid on the Brazos River.

KATHERINE ANNE PORTER is as dedicated to artistic perfection
as was A. E. Housman. Her output has, therefore, been limited:
_Flowering Judas_ (1930, enlarged 1935); _Pale Horse, Pale
Rider_ (1939), _The Leaning Tower_ (1944). Her stories
penetrate psychology, especially the psychology of a Mexican
hacienda, with rare finesse. Her small canvases sublimate the
inner realities of men and women. She appeals only to
cultivated taste, and to some tastes no other fiction writer
in America today is her peer in subtlety.

EUGENE MANLOVE RHODES died in 1934. Most of his novels--
distinguished by intricate plots and bright dialogue--had
appeared in the _Saturday Evening Post_. His finest story is
"Paso Por Aqui," published in the volume entitled _Once
in the Saddle_ (1927). Gene Rhodes, who has a canyon--on which
he ranched--named for him in New Mexico, was an artist; at the
same time, he was a man akin to his land and its men. He is
the only writer of the range country who has been accorded a
biography--_The Hired Man on Horseback_, by May D. Rhodes, his
wife. See under "Range Life."

CONRAD RICHTER'S _The Sea of Grass_ (1937) is a kind of prose
poem, beautiful and tragic. Lutie, wife of the owner of the
grass, is perhaps the most successful creation of a ranch
woman that fiction has so far achieved.

DOROTHY SCARBOROUGH'S _The Wind_ (1925) excited the wrath of
chambers of commerce and other boosters in West Texas--a
tribute to its realism.

_The Grapes of Wrath_, by John Steinbeck (1939), made Okies a
word in the American language. Although dated by
the Great Depression, its humanity and realism are beyond
date. It is among the few good novels produced by America in
the first half of the twentieth century.

JOHN W. THOMASON, after fighting as a marine in World War I,
wrote _Fix Bayonets_ (1926), followed by _Jeb Stuart_ (1930).
A native Texan, he followed the southern tradition rather than
the western. _Lone Star Preacher_ (1941) is a strong and
sympathetic characterization of Confederate fighting men woven
into fictional form.

In _High John the Conqueror_ (Macmillan, 1948) John W. Wilson
conveys real feeling for the tragic life of Negro
sharecroppers in the Brazos bottoms. He represents the
critical awareness of life that has come to modern fiction of
the Southwest, in contrast to the sterile action, without
creation of character, in most older fiction of the region.


Poetry and Drama

"KNOWLEDGE itself is power," Sir Francis Bacon wrote in
classical Latin, and in abbreviated form the proverb became a
familiar in households and universities alike. But knowledge
of what? There is no power in knowledge of mediocre verse.

I had rather flunk my Wasserman test
Than read a poem by Edgar A. Guest.

The power of great poetry lies not in knowledge of it but in
assimilation of it. Most talk about poetry is vacuous. Poetry
can pass no power into any human being unless it itself has
power--power of beauty, truth, wit, humor, pathos, satire,
worship, and other attributes, always through form. No poor
poetry is worth reading. Taste for the best makes the other
kind insipid.

Compared with America's best poetry, most poetry of the
Southwest is as mediocre as American poetry in the mass is as
compared with the great body of English poetry between Chaucer
and Masefield. Yet mediocre poetry is not so bad as mediocre
sculpture. The mediocre in poetry is merely fatuous; in
sculpture, it is ugly. Generations to come will have to look
at Coppini's monstrosity in front of the Alamo; it can't rot
down or burn up. Volumes of worthless verse, most of it
printed at the expense of the versifiers, hardly come to
sight, and before long they disappear from existence except
for copies religiously preserved in public libraries.

Weak fiction goes the same way. But a good deal of very bad
prose in the nonfiction field has some value. In an otherwise
dull book there may be a solitary anecdote, an isolated
observation on a skunk, a single gesture of some human being
otherwise highly unimportant, one salty phrase, a side glimpse
into the human comedy. If poetry is not good, it is positively

The earliest poet of historical consequence the only form of
his poetical consequence--of the Southwest was Mirabeau
Buonaparte Lamar. He led the Texas cavalry at San Jacinto,
became president of the Republic of Texas, organized the
futile Santa Fe Expedition, gathered up six volumes of notes
and letters for a history of Texas that might have been as
raw-meat realistic as anything in Zola or Tolstoy. Then as a
poet he reached his climax in "The Daughter of Mendoza"--a
graceful but moonshiny imitation of Tom Moore and Lord Byron.
Perhaps it is better for the weak to imitate than to try to be

It would not take one more than an hour to read aloud all the
poetry of the Southwest that could stand rereading. At the top
of all I should place Fay Yauger's "Planter's Charm,"
published in a volume of the same title. With it belongs "The
Hired Man on Horseback," by Eugene Manlove Rhodes, a long poem
of passionate fidelity to his own decent kind of men, with
power to ennoble the reader, and with the form necessary to
all beautiful composition. This is the sole and solitary piece
of poetry to be found in all the myriads of rhymes classed as
"cowboy poetry." I'd want Stanley Vestal's "Fandango," in a
volume of the same title. Margaret Bell Houston's "Song from
the Traffic," which takes one to the feathered mesquites and
the bluebonnets, might come next. Begging pardon of the
perpetually palpitating New Mexico lyricists, I would skip
most of them, except for bits of Mary Austin, Witter Bynner,
Haniel Long, and maybe somebody I don't know, and go to George
Sterling's "Father Coyote"--in California. Probably I would
come back to gallant Phil LeNoir's "Finger of Billy the Kid,"
written while he was dying of tuberculosis in New Mexico. I
wouldn't leave without the swift, brilliantly economical
stanzas that open the
ballad of "Sam Bass," and a single line, "He came of a
solitary race," in the ballad of "Jesse James."

Several other poets have, of course, achieved something for
mortals to enjoy and be lifted by. Their work has been sifted
into various anthologies. The best one is_ Signature of the
Sun: Southwest Verse, 1900-1950_, selected and edited by Mabel
Major and T. M. Pearce, University of New Mexico Press,
Albuquerque, 1950. Two other anthologies are _Songs of the
Cattle Trail and Cow Camp_, by John A. Lomax, 1919, reprinted
in 1950 by Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York; _The Road to
Texas_, by Whitney Montgomery, Kaleidograph, Dallas, 1940.
Montgomery's Kaleidograph Press has published many volumes by
southwestern poets. Somebody who has read them all and has
read all the poets represented, without enough of
distillation, in _Signature of the Sun_ could no doubt be
juster on the subject than I am.

Like historical fiction, drama of the Southwest has been less
dramatic than actuality and less realistic than real
characters. Lynn Riggs of Oklahoma, author of _Green Grow the
Lilacs_, has so far been the most successful dramatist.


Miscellaneous Interpreters and Institutions


ART MAY BE SUBSTANTIVE, but more than being its own excuse for
being, it lights up the land it depicts, shows people what is
significant, cherishable in their own lives and environments.
Thus Peter Hurd of New Mexico has revealed windmills, Thomas
Hart Benton of Missouri has elevated mules. Nature may not
literally follow art, but human eyes follow art and literature
in recognizing nature.

The history of art in the Southwest, if it is ever rightly
written, will not bother with the Italian "Holy Families"
imported by agent-guided millionaires trying to buy
exclusiveness. It will begin with clay (Indian pottery), horse
hair (vaquero weaving), hide (vaquero plaiting), and horn
(backwoods carving). It will note Navajo sand painting and
designs in blankets.

Charles M. Russell's art has been characterized in the chapter
on "Range Life." He had to paint, and the Old West was his
life. More versatile was his contemporary Frederic Remington,
author of _Pony Tracks, Crooked Trails_, and other books, and
prolific illustrator of Owen Wister, Theodore Roosevelt,
Alfred Henry Lewis, and numerous other writers of the West.
Not so well known as these two, but rising in estimation, was
Charles Schreyvogle. He did not write; his best-known pictures
are reproduced in a folio entitled _My Bunkie and Others_.
Remington, Russell, and Schreyvogle all did superb sculptoring
in bronze. One of the
finest pieces of sculpture in the Southwest is "The Seven
Mustangs" by A. Phimister Proctor, in front of the Texas
Memorial Museum at Austin.

Among contemporary artists, Ross Santee and Will James (died,
1942) have illustrated their own cow country books, some of
which are listed under "Range Life" and "Horses." William R.
Leigh, author of _The Western Pony_, is a significant painter
of the range. Edward Borein of Santa Barbara, California, has
in scores of etchings and a limited amount of book
illustrations "documented" many phases of western life. Buck
Dunton of Taos illustrated also. His lithographs and paintings
of wild animals, trappers, cowboys, and Indians seem secure.

I cannot name and evaluate modern artists of the Southwest.
They are many, and the excellence of numbers of them is
nationally recognized. Many articles have been written about
the artists who during this century have lived around Taos and
painted that region of the Southwest. Some of the better-known
names are Ernest L. Blumenschein, Oscar Berninghaus, Ward
Lockwood, B. J. O. Nordfeldt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Ila McAfee,
Barbara Latham Cook, Howard Cook. Artists thrive in Arizona,
Oklahoma, and Texas as well as in New Mexico. Tom Lea, of El
Paso, may be quitting painting and drawing to spend the
remainder of his life in writing. Perhaps he himself does not
know. Jerry Bywaters, who is at work on the history of art in
the Southwest, has about quit producing to direct the Dallas
Museum of Fine Arts. Alexandre Hogue gives his strength to
teaching art in Tulsa University. Exhibitions, not
commentators, are the revealers of art.

A few books, all expensive, reproduce the art of certain
depicters of the West and Southwest. _Etchings of the West_,
by Edward Borein, and _The West of Alfred Jacob Miller_ have
been noted in other chapters (consult Index). Other recent art
works are: _Peter Hurd: Portfolio of Landscapes and
Portraits_, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1950;
_Gallery of Western Paintings_, edited by Raymond Carlson,
McGraw-Hill, New York, 1951 (unsatisfactory reproduction);
_Frederic Remington, Artist of the Old West_, by Harold
McCracken, Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1947 (biography and check
list with many reproductions); _Portrait of the Old West_, by
Harold McCracken, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1952 (samplings of
numerous artists).

In February, 1946, Robert Taft of the University of Kansas
began publishing in the _Kansas Historical Quarterly_
chapters, richly illustrated in black and white, in "The
Pictorial Record of the Old West." The book to be made from
these chapters will have a historical validity missing in most
picture books.


The leading literary magazine of the region is the _Southwest
Review_, published quarterly at Southern Methodist University,
Dallas. The _New Mexico Quarterly_, published by the
University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, the _Arizona
Quarterly_, published by the University of Arizona at Tucson
the _Colorado Quarterly_, published by the University of
Colorado at Boulder, and _Prairie Schooner_, University of
Nebraska Press, Lincoln, are excellent exponents of current
writing in the Southwest and West. All these magazines are
liberated from provincialism.


Every state in the Southwest has a state historical
organization that publishes. The oldest and most productive of
these, outside of California, is the Texas State Historical
Association, with headquarters at Austin.


A majority of the state histories of the Southwest have been
written with the hope of securing an adoption for school use.
It would require a blacksnake whip to make most juve-
niles, or adults either, read these productions, as devoid of
picturesqueness, life-blood, and intellectual content as so
many concrete slabs. No genuinely humanistic history of the
Southwest has ever been printed. There are good factual
histories--and a history not based on facts can't possibly be
good--but the lack of synthesis, of intelligent evaluations,
of imagination, of the seeing eye and portraying hand is too
evident. The stuff out of which history is woven--diaries,
personal narratives, county histories, chronicles of ranches
and trails, etc.--has been better done than history itself.


Considered scientifically, folklore belongs to science and not
to the humanities. When folk and fun are not scienced out of
it, it is song and story and in literature is mingled with
other ingredients of life and art, as exampled by the folklore
in _Hamlet_ and _A Midsummer Night's Dream_. In "Indian
Culture," "Spanish-Mexican Strains," "Backwoods Life and
Humor," "Cowboy Songs," "The Bad Man Tradition," "Bears,"
"Coyotes," "Negro Folk Songs and Tales," and other chapters of
this _Guide_ numerous books charged with folklore have been

The most active state society of its kind in America has been
the Texas Folklore Society, with headquarters at the
University of Texas, Austin. Volume XXIV of its Publications
appeared in 1951, and it has published and distributed other
books. Its Publications are now distributed by Southern
Methodist University Press in Dallas. J. Frank Dobie, with
constant help, was editor from 1922 to 1943, when he resigned.
Since 1943 Mody C. Boatright has been editor.

In 1947 the New Mexico Folklore Society began publishing
yearly the _New Mexico Folklore Record_. It is printed by the
University of New Mexico Press. The University of Arizona,
Tucson, has published several folklore bulletins. The
California Folklore Society publishes, through the University
of California Press, Berkeley, _Western Folklore_, a
In co-operation with the Southeastern Folklore Society, the
University of Florida, Gainesville, publishes the _Southern
Folklore Quarterly_. Levette J. Davidson of the University of
Denver, author of _A Guide to American Folklore_, University
of Denver Press, 1951, directs the Western Folklore
Conference. The _Journal of American Folklore_ has published a
good deal from the Southwest and Mexico. The Sociedad
Folklorica de Mexico publishes its own _Anurio_. Between 1929
and 1932, B. A. Botkin, editor of _A Treasury of Southern
Folklore_, 1949, and A _Treasury of Western Folklore_, 1951
(Crown, New York), brought out four volumes entitled _Folk-
Say_, University of Oklahoma Press. OP. The volumes are
significant for literary utilizations of folklore and
interpretations of folks.


Museums do not belong to the DAR. Their perspective on the
past is constructive. The growing museums in Santa Fe, Tucson,
Phoenix, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas,
Austin, Denver, and on west into California represent the art,
fauna, flora, geology, archeology, occupations,
transportation, architecture, and other phases of the
Southwest in a way that may be more informing than many
printed volumes.


Subjects for Themes

THE OBJECT OF THEME-WRITING is to make a student observe, to
become aware, to evaluate, to enrich himself. Any phase of
life or literature named or suggested in the foregoing
chapters could be taken as a subject for an essay. The most
immature essay must be more than a summary; a mere summary is
never an essay. The writer must synthesize, make his own
combination of thoughts, facts, incidents, characteristics,
anecdotes, interpretations, illustrations, according to his
own pattern. A writer is a weaver, weaving various threads of
various hues and textures into a design that is his own.

"Look into thy heart and write." "Write what you know about."
All this is good advice in a way--but students have to write
themes whether they have anything to write or not. The way to
get full of a subject, to generate a conveyable interest, is
to fill up on the subject. As clouds are but transient forms
of matter that "change but cannot die," so most writing, even
the best, is but a variation in form of experiences, ideas,
observations, emotions that have been recorded over and over.

In general, the materials a student weaves are derived from
three sources: what he has read, what he has heard, what he
has observed and experienced himself. If he chooses to sketch
an interesting character, he will make his sketch richer and
more interesting if he reads all he can find that illuminates
his subject's background. If he sets out to tell a legend or a
series of related folk tales or anecdotes, he will improve his
telling by reading what he can on the subjects that his
proposed narratives treat of and by reading similar
narratives already written by others. If he wishes to tell
what he knows about rattlesnakes, buzzards, pet coyotes,
Brahma cattle, prickly pear, cottonwoods, Caddo Lake, the
Brazos River, Santa Fe adobes, or other features of the land,
let him bolster and put into perspective his own knowledge by
reading what others have said on the matter. Knowledge fosters
originality. Reading gives ideas.

The list of subjects that follows is meant to be suggestive,
and must not be regarded as inclusive. The best subject for
any writer is one that he is interested in. A single name or
category may afford scores of subjects. For example, take Andy
Adams, the writer about cowboys and range life. His campfire
yarns, the attitude of his cowboys toward their horses, what
he has to say about cows, the metaphor of the range as he has
recorded it, the placidity of his cowboys as opposed to Zane
Grey sensationalism, etc., are a few of the subjects to be
derived from a study of his books. Or take a category like
"How the Early Settlers Lived." Pioneer food, transportation,
sociables, houses, neighborliness, loneliness, living on game
meat, etc., make subjects. Almost every subject listed below
will suggest either variations or associated subjects.

The Humor of the Southwest
Similes from Nature (Crockett is rich in them)
The Code of Individualism
The Code of the Range
Six-shooter Ethics
The Right to Kill
The Tradition of Cowboy Gallantry
(read Owen Wister's _The
Virginian_ and _A Journey in Search
of Christmas;_ also novels by
Eugene Manlove Rhodes)
Frontier Hospitality
Amusements (shooting matches,
tournaments, play parties, dances,
poker, horse races, quiltings,
The Western Gambler (Bret Harte
and Alfred Henry Lewis have
idealized him in fiction; he might
be contrasted with the Mississippi
River gambler)
Indian Captives
The Age of Horse Culture (Spanish,
Indian, Anglo-American; the
horse was important enough to
any one of these classes to
warrant extended study)
The Cowboy's Horse
The Cowboy Myth (Mody Boat-
right is writing a book on the subject)
Evolution of the Frontier Criminal Lawyer
The Frontier Intellect in the Atomic Age
British Chroniclers of the West
Civilized Perspective in Writings on the Old West
The Indian in Fiction
Fictional Betrayal of the West
The West in Reality and the West on the Screen
Around the Chuck Wagon: Cowboy Yarns
Stretching the Blanket
Authentic Liars
Recent Fiction of the Southwest
(any writer worth writing about)
Literary Magazines of the Southwest
Ranch Women
Mexican Labor (on ranch, farm,
or in town)
Mexican Folk Tales
Backwoods Life in Frederick Gerstaecker
"The Old Catdeman" in Alfred
Henry Lewis' _Wolfville_ Books
Mayne Reid as an Exponent of the
Southwest (see estimate of him
in _Mesa, Canon and Pueblo_,
by Charles F. Lummis)
The Gunman in Fiction and Reality
(O. Henry, Bret Harte, Alfred
Henry Lewis; _The Saga of Billy
the Kid_, by Walter Noble Burns;
Gillett's _Six Years with the Texas
Rangers;_ Webb's _The Texas
Rangers;_ Lake's _Wyatt Earp)_
Character of the Trail Drivers
Cowboy's Life as Reflected in His Songs
"Wrathy to Kill a Bear" (the
frontiersman as a destroyer of wild life)
"I Thought I Might See Something to Shoot at"
Anecdotes of the Stump Speaker
Exempla of Revivalists and Campmeeting Preachers
The Campmeeting
Life on the Santa Fe Trail
The Rendezvous of the Mountain Men
In the Covered Wagon
Squatter Life
No Shade
From Grass to Wheat
From Wheat to Dust
Brush (a special study of prickly
pear, the mesquite, or some other
form of flora could be made)
Cotton (whole books are suggested
here, the tenant farmer being one
of the subjects)
Oil Booms
Coyote Stories
Deer Nature, or Whitetails and
Their Hunters
Rattlesnakes, or Rattlesnake Stories
Panther Stories
Tarantula Lore
Grasshopper Plagues
The Javelina in Fact and in Folk Tale
The Roadrunner (Paisano)
Wild Turkeys
The Poisoned-Out Prairie Dog
Vanishing Sheep Herders
The Bee Hunter
Pot Hunters
Buffalo Hunters
The Bar Hunter and Bar Stories
Indian Fighter
Indian Hater
Squaw Men
Mountain Men and Grizzlies
Scouts and Guides
Stage Drivers
Fiddlers and Fiddle Tunes
Frontier Justices of the Peace
(Roy Bean set the example)
Horse Traders
Horse Racers
Frontier Schoolteacher
Circuit Rider
Pony Express Rider
Folk Tales of My Community
Flavorsome Characters of My Community
Stanley Vestal
Harvey Fergusson
Kansas Cow Towns
Drought and Thirst
Washington Irving on the West
Witty Repartee in Eugene Manlove Rhodes
Bigfoot Wallace's Humor
Charles M. Russell as Artist of the
West (or any other western artist)
Learning to See Life Around Me
Features of My Own Cultural
I Heard It Back Home
Family Traditions
My Family's Interesting Character
Doodlebugs in the Sand
Blue Quail
Coachwhips and Other Good Snakes
Mockingbird Habits
Jack Rabbit Lore
Catfish Lore
Herb Remedies
"Criticism of Life" in Southwestern
Intellectual Integrity in________________
(Name of writer or writers or
some locally prominent newspaper
to be supplied)

{pages 197 - 222 are an Index -- these were not OCR'd}

End of Etext of Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest


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