The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

as the one used by Gayton in his "Areal Affiliations of California
Folktales." The reviewer is fully aware of the difficulty of plotting
distributions, particularly of a non-material nature, but he believes
that affiliations could by this technique be much more easily sug-
gested to the reader. At least Dr. Park should have included one
map locating the tribes in the geographical region he has under
consideration.
J. GILBERT MCALLISTER.
The University of Texas.
The Life and Poems of Mirabeau B. Lamar. By Philip Graham.
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press,
1938. Pp. xiv, 332. $3.50.)
When in a letter of paternal advice Sam Houston wrote to
young Sam an emphatic warning against reading poetry, because
it was a waste of time, he no doubt had Lamar in mind. Lamar
wrote poetry. That in itself would damn any man, but for the
president of a republic to write poetry! What do they say in
Poland about Paderewski, who never would have been made presi-
dent had he not played the piano? What in the republic of
Ireland about those dreamer-rulers, Eamon de Valera and Dr.
Douglas Hyde ? If a man just played the fiddle, like Bob Taylor,
who fiddled himself into the governor's chair of Tennessee more
than once, that would hardly be counted against him. That was
and is a very different thing from writing elegant poems. But
why on earth and how under the sun did a lusty young nation of
pioneer men, of whom earthy old Sam Houston was certainly
much more representative than "that little gentleman" Stephen F.
Austin-how and why did they come to elect Mirabeau Buonaparte
Lamar president ?-Lamar, who is today, for thousands of people
altogether unaware of his political career, familiar as the author
the hyacinthine verses titled "The Daughter of Mendoza."
The anthologists have done more than the historians to keep
Lamar's name green, outside of Texas at least. This is not to say
that he was a better poet than president. His poetry, unlike Bob
Taylor's fiddling or Paderewski's pianoing, had little influence on

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed August 2, 2014.