The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly

repetitions are to be noted, and some carelessness is apparent in
the use of "ibid." in the footnotes.
On the whole, Dr. Smith has written a book which will prove of
value to those interested in Spanish colonial institutions. Since
it is a pioneer work in its particular field it is not surprising to
find some shortcomings, which however will not prevent its being
of use to the student who wishes to work along the same lines and
make a more general study of the office of viceroy than Dr. Smith
has professed to attempt. W. E. DUNN.
John Brown. Soldier of Fortune: A Critique. By Hill Publes
Wilson. (Lawrence, Kansas: Hill P. Wilson. 1913. Pp.
450.)
This volume was evidently written as a protest against the con-
'lusions of Mr. Villard in his recent work, "John Brown, A Biog-
raphy Fifty Years After," but it is based upon studies begun
many years ago. Mr. Wilson holds that Villard's book, though
scholarly, is fundamentally unsound because the author has con-
stantly endeavored to explain Brown's career and to justify his
:acts in accordance with the traditional view, and that, in doing
this, he has suppressed or neglected evidence which would have
led to very different conclusions. Mr. Wilson's own conclusions
are that Brown was a horse-thief in Kansas, and a military ad-
venturer at Harper's Ferry, hoping by the aid of a slave insur-
rection to establish a military empire in the South. This view
was reached as the result of investigations begun with the purpose
,of writing a eulogistic sketch of John Brown's career in Kansas.
The book will repay careful reading. Following the lead of
Villard, the author reviews Brown's varied business career in 1852,
and reveals a number of shady transactions with the idea of por-
traying the character of the man. He also makes it clear that
Brown showed no discernible interest in the slavery question prior
to 1850 and then only incidentally. Having failed in business in
.1854, the next year Brown followed five of his sons to Kansas as
a settler, bringing along by request some arms for the free-state
,men furnished by the abolitionists. After examination of the evi-
dence, the author declares that Brown took no conspicuous part
as a free-state leader; but that, discouraged by the gloomy outlook
,for farming, he plotted to steal horses, organized a small band for

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/. Accessed July 30, 2014.