The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971

Book Reviews

way they have, Fowler and Porter perform a real service. This book
should provide a stimulus for thought for all southwesterners and par-
ticularly for Texans who have only just begun to come to grips with
the important question of wilderness and historic preservation versus
the utilitarian demands of a modern boom economy whose citizens
long for out-of-doors experiences in a thousand different ways.
University of Texas, Austin WILLIAM H. GOETZMANN
Hurrah for Texas! The Diary of Adolphus Sterne, 1838-1851. Edited
by Archie P. McDonald. (Waco, Texas: Texian Press, 1969. Pp.
xii + 269. Illustrations. $io.oo.)
The remarkable diary of Adolphus Sterne has been buried for
too long in forty-year-old back issues of the Southwestern Historical
Quarterly. Archie P. McDonald has done a good job of editing the
complete work (the run in the Quarterly was not complete) for pub-
lication.
Sterne's diary is the most engaging one of its kind available on
the subject of the Texas Republic. There are other, better-written
diaries-those of travelers and politicians-but Sterne's diary is that
of a citizen who experienced the various aspects of Texas life. When
the crops fail, he laments; when the freeze comes, he hastens to his
peach orchard and builds bonfires in a partially successful effort to
save his trees.
While the book can become very monotonous, even to readers in
terested in the subject, it weaves its own world in words. Names by
the hundreds appear in connection with social anecdotes, land trans-
actions, or politics. Sterne was a personal friend of Thomas Jef-
ferson Rusk, J. Pinckney Henderson, Sam Houston, and scores of
others.
Few aspects of frontier life failed to interest Sterne. All land trans-
actions intrigued him, and he was a gossip: "Dick Scurry dying at
Houston, Whiskey." His opinion of his home town, Nacogdoches,
becomes very apparent. "Sunday the 3d July 1842 fine weather[;] all
hands in Town gone out to Preaching, hope they all got Religion for
God knows they have none-." He recorded and philosophized about
all kinds of activities: "took a Bee hive to day containing upwards
of fifty lb of very fine Honey, but got myself well Stung in com-
mitting the Robbery, poor Creatures, how Industrious, they are all

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed July 13, 2014.