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Not Now

The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907

Questions and Answers.


The editor has received the following letter, which will explain
itself. The work on which Mr. Lomax is engaged is commended
to the readers of THIE QUARTERLY, who are urged to give him any
help they can in completing the collection he has undertaken.
DEAR PROFESSOR GARRISON: I am endeavoring to make a com-
plete collection of the native songs and ballads of the West. Many
of these ballads have never been in print, but, like the Masonic
Ritual, are handed down from one generation to another by "word
of mouth." They deal mainly with frontier experiences: the deeds
of desperadoes like Jesse James and Sam Bass; the life of the ran-
ger in camp and on the scout; the story of the cowboy on the range,
the round-up and going up the trail; the trials of the Forty-niners,
buffalo hunters, miners, stage drivers, Indian fighters, and freight-
ers-in short, they are attempts, often crude and sometimes vulgar,
to epitomize and particularize the life of the pioneers who peopled
the vast region west of the Mississippi river.
I believe a notice from you in the columns of THE QUARTERLY
will result in valuable material for my purpose-which is to pre-
serve from extinction this expression of American letters. May
I add that ballads, and the like, which because of crudity, incom-
pleteness, coarseness, or for any other reason are unavailable for
publication, will be as interesting and as useful as others of more
merit. It is my desire to collect the songs and ballads now or
lately in actual existence and in the precise form which they have
popularly assumed.
Yours sincerely,
College Station, Texas.

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 4, 2016.

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