The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Mr. Allhands is not given to moralizing. He accepts the annoy-
ances of his experience with resignation, even tending to accept
them as his due, and does not expatiate on good fortune-such
as it was. His philosophy is not complacent but mellow, and is
usually implicit. One of the few reflections that he permits him-
self comes at the end of his discussion of his three "Rail Giants,"
Harriman, Hill, and Yoakum. "It is possible," he adds, "that
every one of these three . did things that would not have
complete approval of the S.E.C. today, but they helped to give
this nation the finest railroad system the world has ever known
-and they left no successors."
EUGENE C. BARKER
The University of Texas
The Westward Crossings: Balboa, Mackenzie, Lewis and Clark.
By Jeannette Mirsky. New York (Alfred A. Knopf), 1946.
Pp. xv+365+xi. Illustrations and maps. $4.00.
In writing this review I want to call attention to the brief but
excellent descriptive summary which the publisher has supplied
on the jacket of this book. As the subtitle reveals, the westward
crossings of the North American continent were made by Balboa,
Mackenzie, and Lewis and Clark. The treatment is confined to
three chapters which, in numbers of pages, are pretty well bal-
anced and in interest are perfectly balanced. Another balance
is to be noted in the division of each chapter into three parts.
For the chapter on Balboa an introduction deals with Peter
Martyr; then the main story deals with the heroic work of Vasco
Nufiez de Balboa, and lastly there is a section entitled "After
Balboa." The second chapter opens with "Beavers, Indians, and
the French," continues with the challenging account of Alex-
ander Mackenzie's difficult journey, and ends with "And Rus-
sians from the West." The third chapter introduces the reader
to "John Ledyard, the American Traveler," then presents the
gripping narrative of the thrilling experiences of Meriwether
Lewis and William Clark, and finally ends with "Jefferson's
Western Dream." The chapter headings, "Gold for the Crown,"
"Furs for the Company," and "Commerce for the Nation,"
emphasize the primary theme of each of the three chapters.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/. Accessed November 23, 2014.