A facsimile reproduction of Reverend Peter W. Gravis' auto-
biography, Twenty-Five Years on the Outside Row, was published
in 1966 by the Cross Timbers Press of Brownwood, Texas. T. R.
Havins and James M. Day provided the Introduction and Notes.
Much can be said in support of separation of church and
state, but little in behalf of divorcement of religion from life.
The director of a high school chorus says that seventy-five per
cent of his music library is sacred music because seventy-five
per cent of the world's greatest music is sacred music.
This is the autobiography of a preacher, but it is a one
hundred per cent history of the times and sections in which he
lived. He was not an ecclesiastical climber, no seeker after a high
steeple church. There were few such. He was on the "Outside
Row" where there were no church buildings and no parsonages.
For the latter the preacher would have to pitch a tent or rent
a small farm house.
The author takes his readers with him to Austin to hear Gen-
eral Sam Houston deliver his inaugural address as Governor.
But the writer's career is on the "Outside Row." He describes
the long and lonely ride to Mobeetie, the trip so solitary that
for hours not a word is spoken. "We were lost in the solitude
of our own originality." With keen imagination he identifies
the hotels in which they were entertained, Sprawls and Bowers,
and Brush University as the institution in which he was educated.
His weaponry consisted of a Bible and a pistol. The battles
with the Indians became so exasperating that even some of the
preachers concluded that there was no good Indian but a dead
An important part of the book is the Notes. These are not
footnotes, but ample notes, the result of research triggered off
by the autobiography. They are rich with information concern-
ing the military, political, and religious leaders of Texas and
the institutions and counties that were named for these pioneers.
A case in point was Johnson's Institute established in 1852 and
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed July 24, 2014.