The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925

Bookc Reviews

Legends of Texas. J. Frank Dobie, Editor. Publications of the
Texas Folk-Lore Society, Vol. III. University of Texas
Press. Pp. X, 279. (Price, Paper $1.50, Cloth $2.50.)
Occasionally a book appears which is immediately recognized as
of fundamental, and therefore, of permanent value. The Legends
of Texas, Vol. III of the Texas Folk-Lore Society publication, is
such a book. J. Frank Dobie, formerly of the English faculty of
the University of Texas but now chairman of the English De-
partment of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, Stillwater,
Oklahoma, spent three years in compiling and editing the legends
incorporated in this book. There are some eighty of them by near
half as many contributors. Professor Dobie himself has made the
largest and most important contributions.
It was the editor's first purpose to gather legends of buried
treasure only, but, as often happens, the work grew beyond the
bounds of original intentions, and resulted in five distinct and
separate groups, as follows: (1) Legends of Buried Treasure and
Lost Mines; (2) Legends of the Supernatural; (3) Legends of
Lovers; (4) Origins of Texas Flowers, Names and Streams; (5)
Miscellaneous Legends.
The first group is by far the largest and most important, occu-
pying more than twice the space devoted to all the others com-
bined. It is with this group, too, that Professor Dobie has taken
the greatest pains. He has included representative legends from
all sections of the state, from the Panhandle to Point Isabel, but
he finds the legendary center of gravity resting, so to speak, in
the "Llano and San Saba country."
"The legends of buried treasure and lost mines," says Professor
Dobie, "are arranged according to place. The geographic center
of such legends in Texas is the Llano and San Saba country.
Hence the legends of that region have been put first; then come in
order those to the south as far as Brownsville, those of the west
clear to the Guadalupe mountains, those of the north against Red
River, those of the eastern part of the state, and finally those of
the south-central and east."
It would take some study on the part of the reader to discover
the reason, other than mere convenience, for this geographical


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 29, 2015.