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

Book Reviews


In striving for the sensational or controversial the author quite
often makes statements which could not be defended in a serious
discussion. For instance, he disinters the old issue of the con-
spiracy of the Southern slaveholders to expand into slave terri-
tory. He says that the technique is "to infiltrate an area, such as
Texas," and become citizens but give only lip service to the local
laws. He points out further that these settlers, after getting their
roots down, revolted from Mexico in 1836. The date, of course,
was 1835. The occupation and settlement of Texas, strictly in
accordance with Mexican law, could hardly be called "infiltra-
tion" as the term is used. Other interpretations and statements
seem, in the opinion of the reviewer, to be hasty and without
foundation. CLAUDE ELLIOTT
Southwest Texas State Teachers College
Lucky 7, A Cowman's Autobiography. By Will Tom Carpenter.
Edited by Elton Miles. Illustrated by Lee Hart. Austin (Uni-
versity of Texas Press), 1957. Pp. x+188. $3.50.
One of the most significant books written about the American
cowboy is The Trail Drivers of Texas, first published in two
volumes in 19go by the Old Time Trail Drivers Association
and then in one volume in 1925. The book, which contains the
reminiscences of hundreds of men who went up the trail, is a
mine of information about the cattle kingdom. More important,
however, is the influence the book and the association had on
the writing of more detailed rangeland reminiscences. Between
192o and 1940 more than half of the extant cowboy autobiog-
raphies were written.
A book obviously influenced by the Old Time Trail Drivers
Association is Will Tom Carpenter's Lucky 7. The editor, Elton
Miles, shows from internal evidence that the book was finished
some time in 1924. In the narrative Carpenter tells of meeting
other old-time cowboys in San Antonio, apparently at trail driver
Although written in 1924, the book was not discovered until
1950, when one of Miles's students told him of the manuscript.
Inspired by historian Walter Prescott Webb's wish for "a diary
or a self-written account by an early Western cattleman who was

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 28, 2016.

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