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

Book Reviews

in order to advance her skills in a high school typing course, helps to
prove the value of "oral tradition." The book based on that typescript
will be of value to both the serious historian and the "buff," because
it employs a simple, straight-forward style as it deals with the romance
and adventure of life in the Old Southwest.
University of Nebraska, Omaha A. STANLEY TRICKETT
History of the Lincoln County War. By Maurice Garland Fulton.
Edited by Robert M. Mullin. (Tucson: University of Arizona
Press, 1968. Pp. 433. Introduction, illustrations, maps, index.
For more than four decades, through the media of folklore, oral
tradition, and motion pictures, the turmoil which erupted in the
1870's in Lincoln County, Territory of New Mexico, has been de-
picted as a dramatic collision of strong-willed personalities, the most
notable of whom was William Bonney, alias Billy the Kid. Even
historical literature, with the exception of specialized studies, often
presented romanticized versions of that controversial event. For
these reasons the publication of Maurice Garland Fulton's History
of the Lincoln County War has answered the need for a definitive,
objective account of the turbulence in southeastern New Mexico
which had national and international repercussions.
In a readable, flowing style Fulton reconstructed the Lincoln
County War as a bitter confrontation between one faction of early
arrivals (the Murphy-Dolan-Riley organization), who virtually mo-
nopolized the pastoral-commercial outlets in the area, and a group
of later settlers (the Tlimstall-McSween-Chisum alliance), whose pres-
ence seriously challenged the security and control of the first party.
Aligned with the dominant clique was the so-called "Santa Fe Ring,"
a motley assortment of Republican officeholders including the ter-
ritorial governor and the U.S. district attorney, which had acquired
vested interests in Lincoln County. The involvement ol the territorial
press, as reflected in its biased accounts, clearly demonstrates the
validity of Fulton's thesis that economic-political considerations
transcended the confines of the Rio Pecos Valley.
As the fighting increased, with casualties on both sides, the com-
batants became identified as the McSween faction and the Dolan
crowd. Apart from the fact that Colonel Fulton presented as accurate


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed October 4, 2015.