The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

This book is interesting, but I do not believe Montgomery's
work constitutes a definite stage in the development of any ideas
either in biology or in philosophy. Montgomery is stimulating
and suggestive, but he uses terms loosely at times and does not
present a well rounded, systematic philosophy. Mr. Keeton must
be given credit for presenting Montgomery at his best and for
explaining what Montgomery had in mind, perhaps much better
than Montgomery could have done. I judge the companion book
will make this one even livelier reading, for Montgomery's life
is most fascinating.
DAVID L. MILLER
The University of Texas
Frontier Justice. By Wayne Gard. Norman (University of Okla-
homa Press), 1949. Pp. xi+324. $3.75.
By frontier justice Mr. Gard seems to mean every form of
extralegal and irregular response to crime in the West. He begins
with notice of the gusto with which the frontiersmen struck back
at the Indians, exacting at least a scalp for a scalp. He goes on to
other examples of retaliation in kind, to feuds, vendettas, and
local wars, to fence-cutting skirmishes, to the campaigns of attri-
tion with which cattlemen tried to discourage sheepmen, to
casual lynchings and more formalized vigilance committees, and
to the heroic deeds of marshals and rangers and the foibles of the
courts as presided over by a Roy Bean or a "Hell on the Border"
Parker.
This violence, this shooting back, this taking the law into one's
own hands is the theme. It is a large enough subject, because,
as everyone knows, violence was an outstanding characteristic of
the West, particularly from the 1840's to the 18go's. Novelists,
short story writers, radio scripters, and scenario creators have
done so much with the theme that there is not much novelty
left. Pioneer reminiscences likewise are rich on bad men and gun-
play and the forthright ways in which frontiersmen improvised
punishment and perhaps trial where legal justice had not arrived
or where it did not suit them.
Yet, according to Mr. Gard, "until recently the feuds, range
wars, and vigilante activities that marked the taming of the West

14o

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/. Accessed September 1, 2014.