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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

of this work, a partisan paper. It was the organ, at different times,
of the Democratic Party, the Whig Party, and the American Party.
Few local political issues, large or small, went unreported in the
Gazette. To tell the story of the paper's partisan struggles, it was also
necessary for the author to delve somewhat into the history of op-
position newspapers; as a result, the book is to some extent a history
of early Arkansas newspapers with the Gazette serving as the focal
The author, who is a member of the present Gazette staff, has, in
general, treated the early history of the Gazette and its editors and
policies sympathetically. She has used the chronological approach with
the names of owners and editors often serving as chapter titles. Her
style, though by no means sparkling, is readable enough. Some state-
ments about men and events in the territorial period are based on
rather flimsy evidence. And although her research in primary sources
has been quite extensive, one is surprised that she found no use
for several pertinent secondary works, such as the doctoral dissertations
of Walter L. Brown, John L. Ferguson, and D. A. Stokes, Jr. Never-
theless, Arkansas Gazette: The Early Years is an important con-
tribution to the history of Arkansas, the Southwest, and frontier
Memphis State University LONNIE J. WHITE
Bethesda. By Bennett Smith. (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, Inc., 1969.
Pp. xiii + 191. Illustrations, appendix. $5.75-)
To give testimony "concerning ways and attitudes and manners of
living now gone for over half a century" in an obscure village named
Bethesda, Texas, is a challenging task. In this somewhat folksy ac-
count, Smith, a retired lawyer and business executive, enlarged his
first-hand knowledge of the area and its older people by research in
the field and utilization of memoirs. The result is a catalogue of folk-
ways and curiosities related to the author's boyhood life in Bethesda,
a hamlet located in Parker County about 45 miles west of Fort Worth
and not found on present-day road maps.
The historian wishing to penetrate childhood experiences in a
small Texas town as recalled by the participant some fifty years later,
will find here much of the necessary material. But when he tries
to make use of this for broad generalization or synthesis, he will


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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