The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

big boom in the Mojave Desert; by nightfall he could have had
his choice of rooms, but he followed the crowd-if so many people
believed the rumor there must have been something to it. This
sounds as if it might be an adaptation of a mining anecdote.
Boatright's book is much more than a collection of lore about
oil; it is a study of the popular mind in the process of reshaping
older beliefs and stereotypes to suit a new subject matter. The
divergencies between what people like to imagine and what ac-
tually is true are made apparent by frequent reference to the
realities of the oil business. The popular mind, to take one in-
stance, delights in the motif of the lucky breakdown: instead of
being drilled in the designated spot, a well is drilled somewhere
else because of a breakdown in transportation; it brings in a new
field, but a well drilled later at the original location turns out to
be a dry hole. The irony of this is quite pleasing, especially if a
geologist is made responsible for selecting the first site. The Santa
Rita, the discovery well on the University of 'Texas lands, has
been said to be the result of a lucky breakdown; this story has
been repeated many times, but investigation has shown it to be
false. Boatright has been able to verify only one such story.
The book contains a wealth of details gathered from a variety
of sources, including many taped interviews with men who took
part in the development of the oil industry in 'Texas. Because oil
has transformed the state, historians as well as oilmen will read
this book with interest and profit. WILSON M. HUDSON
The University of Texas
Tales From The Manchaca Hills: The Unvarnished Memoirs of a
Texas Gentlewoman Mrs. Edna Turley Carpenter. As edited
and recorded by Jane and Bill Hogan. New Orleans (The
Hauser Press), 196o0. Pp. x+221. Illustrations, map, sketches.
$4.95-
The memoirs of Edna Turley Carpenter are captivating, honest,
and often humorous reminiscences of a Texas family which began
with the marriage of her father, James Monroe Turley, to his
first wife, Lucinda Smith, during the days of the Texas republic.
Following Lucinda's death, James Turley married Jane Soules in
1851, and his fifteenth child, Edna, was born in 1872. She remem-

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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 December 26, 2014.