Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In the Shadow of History. By J. Frank Dobie, Mody C. Boat-
right, and Henry H. Ransom, editors. (Austin, Texas:
Texas Folk-Lore Society, 1939. Pp. vi, 187. Illustrations
If it is assumed that all the articles printed in the book with
the above title are in the shadow of history, then it must be con-
cluded that history casts a rather lengthy shadow, for some of
the tales are quite remote from established historical fact. How-
ever, the volume, neat, attractive, well printed, and practically
free from mechanical errors, has something to intrigue almost every
type of reader. For those who love to revel in speculation about
the Alamo and engage in the futile and fruitless sport of tracing
traditions concerning it to their source only to be thwarted ulti-
mately by the myriad of elusive tales extant, the first three stories
leave nothing to be desired. Those who are interested in the
anecdotes of history will be pleased with such articles as Anecdotes
as Sidelights to Texas History by Marcelle Lively Hamer, and
There's a Geography of Humorous Anecdotes by Charles F.
Arrowood. Those who love the far-away places, who revel in
things close to the soil, will delight in such tales as: "The Sheep-
herder"; "The Long Drive"; "Lead Goats"; "The Ghost Sheep
Dog"; "The Lobo Wolf"; "Tortilla Making"; "The Whirlwind";
and "The Paisano."
Two parts of the book, "The Line That Travis Drew," by
J. Frank Dobie, and "A Vindication of Rose and His Story,"
by R. B. Blake, which belong with the other stories conceded
to be only in the shadow of history, deserve special attention here
because the authors seem to attempt to place their stories in the
realm of history by giving historical evidence. Mr. Dobie first
gives a history of the Travis story and tacitly admits that it is
untrue when he says: "Reading the documented historians you'd
think nothing could be so unless it happened," and then states
that he believes the story. In regard to "A Vindication of Rose
and His Story" it should be said that it falls far short of a real
vindication. An analysis of this ingenious and admirable bit of
detective work shows that there is very good reason to believe
that Rose lived and, aside from going under the names of Louis,
Lewis, Moses, and Stephen, was fairly reliable. In spite of all
this the fertile imagination of W. P. Zuber, to whom we are
solely indebted for the Rose story, must be dealt with.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed February 1, 2015.