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Not Now

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940

Boo Reviews

Merrill Bishop, in the tale, "The Ghost Sheep Dog" (pp. 119-
121), quotes the pastor philosopher as saying: "Men are worse
than animals in lots of ways. They believe what they want to
believe." This is true of the popular mind, and these stories will
always appeal to the majority of people. It is well that this is
so, for folk-lore has a definite place in history, and the gathering
of these tales together, if we remember that they are only in the
shadow of history, is a distinct contribution.
CLAUDE ELLIOTT.
Southwest Texas State Teachers College.
Davy Crockett: American Comic Legend. Edited by Richard M.
Dorson. Foreword by Howard Mumford Jones. (New
York: Rockland Editions, 1939. Pp. xxvi, 171. $5.00.)
Congressman David Crockett of Tennessee must have been some-
what puzzled by his own fame; for he soon found himself inter-
nationally known not as a statesman but as a backwoodsman-
an American folk-character. A spurious autobiography of him
appeared in 1833 and was soon reprinted in London. This work
was Crockett's excuse for bringing out his Narrative of the Life
of Colonel Crockett . . . Written by Himself in 1834, which
was followed by An Account of Colonel Crockett's Tour . . .
in 1835, and Colonel Crockett's Exploits . . . in Texas in 1836.
These works, although the problem of authorship has not been
untangled, have been edited and frequently reprinted and are
well known. The Crockett that emerges from them is similar
to but not identical with the Crockett of sober history.
A third and not so well known Crockett, one who resembles
but is not identical with the Crockett of the Narrative is now
presented to the public in Richard M. Dorson's Davy Crockett:
American Comic Legend. From 1835 to 1856 there were issued
-my guess is with the consent of the Crockett family-a series of
brittle-papered and miserably printed almanacs containing first-
person sketches ostensibly written by Crockett, although most of
them appeared after his universally known death at the Alamo.
From these Mr. Dorson has made an excellent selection not only
of the sketches but also of the grotesque wood-cuts that illus-
trated them.

533

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 May 3, 2016.

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