The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958

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OTIS A. SINGLETARY, Editor
Fort Griffin on the Texas Frontier. By Carl Coke Rister. Norman
(University of Oklahoma Press), 1956. Pp. xv+216. Ten
illustrations. $3.50.
Fort Griffinl Is there any other name linked more firmly with
the last frontier? Here troopers marked a spot and built a post
that stood as the symbol of Federal authority and gave to far-
flung settlers a little sense of security, even if it did not afford
them any real protection. From this point Mackenzie made his
trail into the heart of Comanche land and ended forever the
Indians' power to destroy. Beside the post grew up a village, the
lusty, rip-roaring town of Fort Griffin ("the Flats"), that had the
best and the worst a raw, young country could offer. The buffalo
hunters made Fort Griffin their last, short-lived capital. In its
Bee-Hive Saloon trail-seasoned cowboys drank, and drank again
when they thought of the long, dusty trail to Doan's Store and
Dodge City. To Fort Griffin came mysterious Lottie Deno and
young Johnny Golden, who made the mistake of falling in love
with her. There were prostitutes and gamblers, killers and cow-
ards, and sturdy citizens like the merchant, Conrad, the lawyer,
Stribling, and scores of others.
It seems fitting that Carl Coke Rister's last book should be
about this region. Thirty years ago he started out, a fledgling
scholar, writing about a great stretch of country in his South-
western Frontier, 1865-1881. It was the first scholarly study on
that region ever brought forth; and scores of books and articles
by a number of authors have followed. In Fort Griffin on the
Texas Frontier, Rister has taken a relatively small segment of the
broader field and worked anew an imposing amount of material
on it. With this ground he was exceedingly familiar. He had cov-
ered it in the Southwestern Frontier, in The Greater Southwest,
in Border Captives, in Border Command, in Robert E. Lee in
Texas, and in a dozen articles. Still, in the preparation of this book

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed July 30, 2015.