The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Snyder brothers, enforced strict rules against drinking and gam-
bling. He notes that, although the ranchmen were proponents of
individual enterprise, most of them were willing to co-operate
with each other in matters of common interest. He also brings
out the fact that the money which many of them invested in
ranches was made earlier in trading or banking.
Use of a topical, rather than a chronological, outline leads to
much repetition of details. The narrative also becomes a bit sta-
tistical in spots; most readers will not be excited over learning
that a typical ranch used one hand for every 1,250 cattle and fed
him at $.n1 a day. The author's armchair approach to the cattle
industry precludes any use of the colorful lingo of the ranch and
the trail. It also blocks understanding of such different shades of
meaning as those between ranchman and rancher and between
trailing and driving.
Yet the book does give a good portrait of the Western cattleman
as a type. It contains much information, some of which will be
new and interesting to all readers except those already thoroughly
versed in the field. It has excellent illustrations, plus a map of
the principal cattle trails on the Great Plains. It shows correctly
that the typical pioneer ranchman was not so much a robber
baron as a constructive builder of civilization in the West.
WAYNE GARD
The Galveston Era. By Earl Wesley Fornell. Austin (University
of Texas Press), 1961. Pp. x+30 . Maps, illustrations, bib-
liography, index. $5.00.
A historian has written a brief, documented history of Gal-
veston and portions of the Gulf Coast area for the period just
prior to the Civil War. No romance, no sentimentality, no jour-
nalism, no building up of the "Queen City" nor real complaints
about the "Octopus of the Gulf"-names actually occurring in
the documents Earl Fornell obviously reviewed--are to be found
in the volume, just simple straight-forward reporting of some of
the facts available more than a hundred years later.
For a reviewer full of the legends of Galveston and acquainted
with descendants of some of the men who lived in "The Galves-
ton Era," it is difficult to maintain some perspective toward For-

608

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/. Accessed October 1, 2014.