The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932

Boolc Reviews and Notices

the narratives of others. To compute the total number of scalps
he claims to have taken would call for an adding machine. He
never admits that he made an error or suffered defeat. And y6t
the reader is not disgusted with his conceit and vanity, neither
does one become vexed with his inaccuracy and exaggeration.
Beckwourth's story does not belong in the category of "big lies."
He is both the author and the subject of an epic of the West. If
it were written in verse it might be called an American Song of
Roland. As such it may continue to live even though its value
to the historian is not great.
The introductory chapter and notes by Bernard De; Voto are
scholarly and add much to the historical value of the work.
RUPERT N. RICHARDSON.
Frontier Trails. By Frank M. Canton. Edited by Edward
Everett Dale. (New York: Houghton-Mifflin Company,
1930. Pp. xvii, 237. Illustrations. $3.00.)
One of the happy by-products of the pursuit of historical in-
vestigations is the discovery of obscure materials which prove of
general interest and worth. As one source of material for Dr.
Dale's recent book, The Cattle Range Industry, the Canton man-
uscripts, at the University of Oklahoma, were cited. Among
these manuscripts Dr. Dale found "five thick notebooks in which
Canton had written the story of his life." Realizing that it was
no ordinary pioneer autobiography, Dr. Dale prepared it for pub-
lication. It is an unusually well written story, broad in its in-
terests as well as in its territorial significance.
Frank M. Canton served for more than fifty years as a western
peace officer. His activity in such a capacity carried him from
the upper reaches of the Yukon to the Red River of Texas. Some
of his trails were long and all of them were hazardous and hard.
"But when you are on the border," he wrote, "there is a certain
lure which draws you on farther and still farther." That fine
lust, rarely so well expressed, has been a powerful factor in the
history of the borderlands.
Canton was born in Virginia in 1849. His parents moved to
north Texas when he was a child. In 1869 he was a cowboy
"going up the trail." Later he became an inspector for the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/. Accessed April 20, 2014.