Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Two of the biographies were published late in 1878 and have
been reprinted in recent decades. One, originally published in
Dallas, was by an author still unidentified. The other, printed
in Denton, was by Judge Thomas E. Hogg, an older brother of
James S. Hogg. The third biography did not appear until 1880.
It was by Charles Lee Martin of Dallas and is republished now
for the first time, in the Western Frontier Library.
Martin, a Dallas newspaperman who lived until 1925, wrote a
fairly accurate account of the career of Sam Bass and gave some
details that the earlier authors had overlooked. For illustrations
he obtained drawings by a twelve-year-old Dallas boy, Stephen
Seymour Thomas, who later became an internationally celebrated
painter. Copies of the Martin book quickly disappeared until
the only one known was that in the Library of Congress, from
which this new edition was made.
Ramon F. Adams, the Dallas range historian and bibliogra-
pher, has supplied an informative introduction, telling about
Martin and his illustrator. He also compares the early paperback
books on Bass with each other and with the more comprehensive
biography that appeared in 1936. The Martin account not only
makes lively reading but gives a revealing glimpse of life in
frontier Texas in the exciting summer of 1878.
The Barber of Natchez. By Edwin Adams Davis and William
Ransom Hogan. Baton Rouge (Louisiana State University
Press), 1954. Pp. 272. Illustrations. $4.00.
Five years ago these historians edited what Hodding Carter
has said is the most unusual personal record ever kept in the
nation when they processed the diary of William Johnson, a free
Negro of Natchez. Now they have teamed to produce a fascinat-
ing biography of this remarkable man. In reconstructing the life,
town, and times of this great free Negro, they utilized primarily
the diary stuff, but they supplemented with sources of the times,
particularly the Natchez Courier and the Free Trader.
The first of three parts describes the diary and sketches the
career of the mulatto boy who was freed at the age of eleven
years in 182o and rose to a position of amazing affluence and
esteem in the white community by the time of his assassination
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/. Accessed July 13, 2014.