The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

experiences with American folklore. While lecturing in the
United States, he found that elements of European folklore have
adapted themselves to new forms in this country. Mody Boat-
right's "Folklore in a Literate Society" complements Christian-
sen's remarks in that Boatright shows that folklore is not entirely
of the past but is much alive today in homogeneous groups in
America. "Two Oil Tales" by Jim Rowden illustrate the point.
Americo Paredes' study of the historical development of the
Mexican ballad is an important contribution to knowledge, and
Everett Gillis' research into the almanacs published in this coun-
try since Revolutionary days shows that they contain a wealth
of lore about weather, superstitions, and planting and harvest-
ing signs.
As would be expected, the volume contains ghost stories, some
of the Chisos Mountains of the Big Bend being recounted by
Elton Miles and Riley Aiken. Animal stories are represented by
an article summarizing the facts and fiction about prairie dogs.
The four concluding articles center around pioneer experiences
handed down in such Texas families as the Wades, Lawrences,
Glimpes, and Russells. Though these stories are not specific
enough or are too unusual to please historians, they do illustrate
phases of pioneer life that give vitality to the more sober facts
of history.
Madstones and Twisters, the twenty-eighth publication of the
Texas Folklore Society, is as vital and entertaining as its prede-
cessors. JOHN Q. ANDERSON
Texas A. and M. College
Gold Country, r828-1858. By Elma Dill Russell Spencer. San
Antonio (The Naylor Company), 1958. Pp. 256. Illustra-
tions, index, bibliography. $5.00.
The recurring theme of the gold seeker weaves a continuous
pattern through the history of the United States and may well
serve as the basis for broader narratives than those restricted
solely to the exploits of the ubiquitous searchers for new El
Dorados. Of this statement, Elma Dill Russell Spencer's book is
an interesting case in point.
Ostensibly, Gold Country, 1828-z858, is an account of the Rus-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed July 9, 2014.