The Frontier of Northwest Texas, 1846 to 1876: Advance and
Defense by the Pioneer Settlers of the Cross Timbers and
Prairies. By Rupert Norval Richardson. Glendale (Arthur
H. Clark Co.), 1963. Pp. 332. Illustrations, maps, index,
bibliography. $2 .oo.
This review is subjective and personal and somewhat longer
than it should be-I can write it no other way. In my judgment,
Rupert N. Richardson is the finest living Texas historian as well as
one of the most thorough research-students in the profession
today. A great teacher, a great scholar, and a great man, he had
the added advantage when preparing this book of knowing and
loving the country he wrote about.
For nearly forty years he has given leadership and inspiration
to others in preserving the heritage of West Texas. Almost with-
out thanks, he has made, through the West Texas Historical Asso-
ciation Year Book, what has been called the greatest editorial
contribution to Texas history. His textbook, Texas, the Lone Star
State, is not only one of the best textbooks on any subject, it is
also the foremost single volume available on the history of Texas.
His other books and articles are in the top rank of Texas historical
With this bias, containing (I admit) an element of hero wor-
ship, I fear I expected too much when I read The Frontier of
Northwest Texas. Perhaps if I had not anticipated a sort of classic
greatness, I would not have been so disappointed. I should have
been forewarned by an apology in the Preface: "There is no pre-
tense [in this book] to completeness or finality. The different
topics are set forth with the idea of supplying background for
details; and the incidents, necessarily few, are related because they
seem typical and will, I hope, prove interesting."
Thus, where I looked for definitiveness, I found only generali-
zation; where I looked for sharp focus, I found only vagueness;
where I looked for incisive insights, I found only-as Richard-
son said I would-"different topics . . set forth." Most of all, I
found dullness where I had looked for literary achievement.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/. Accessed May 22, 2013.