The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

and Ofiate's ORPHANS have been scattered to the four winds
to enrich world culture with their heritage.
Tireless Fray Angelico has patiently put together the pieces
and given the student of history and sociology valuable infor-
mation, unobtainable anywhere else. His study of the Spanish
families of colonial New Mexico is a must both to historians and
sociologists.
CARLOS E. CASTAfEDA
The University of Texas
The Banditti of the Plains. By A. S. Mercer. With a Foreword by
William H. Kittrell. Norman (University of Oklahoma
Press), 1954. Pp. 1+195. Illustrations. $2.oo.
This volume is an attractive reprint of an eyewitness account
of one of the last of the cattle range wars. By the late 188o's
Wyoming cattlemen regarded most settlers as rustlers. After sev-
eral unofficial hangings and a number of ambush slayings the
cattlemen decided to speed up the good work by an armed inva-
sion of Johnson County in April, 1892. Twenty-six men were hired
in Texas for the expedition. Unfortunately for the cattlemen
news of the impending attack reached Buffalo, the focal point of
the invasion, in time for the Johnson County settlers under the
leadership of their sheriff to form a large defensive force which
hastened out to meet the invaders. The cattlemen and their hired
gunmen took refuge in a ranch house where they resisted the siege
of the settlers until a detachment of federal troops arrived.
Before moving to Wyoming in 1883 the author had served as
the first president of the University of Washington and as editor
of several Texas newspapers. In Wyoming he founded The
Northwest Live Stock Journal. To Mercer, the invaders of Johnson
County were "a band of cutthroats and hired assassins" and the
invasion "was the crowning infamy of the ages."
The story of the book is almost as interesting as the story in
the book. Immediately after its publication in Wyoming in 1894
a court decree ordered all copies impounded pending their de-
struction by burning. Some copies escaped the fire, however, and
found their way into libraries only to disappear mysteriously at
some later date. The copyright copies disappeared from the

138

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed July 26, 2014.