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

Book Reviews

War, Texas struggled to overcome the disadvantages of muddy and
dusty roads, best suited to ox-carts. Rivalry between Galveston and
Houston encouraged a start in railway building in the properous
1850's, but this was halted by war; and the Union blockade brought
a degree of stagnation to those cities while cotton tended to move
toward San Antonio and Mexico.
The author has brought into perspective the contributions of var-
ious racial groups, including the Germans, Poles, Mexicans, Irish,
French, and Negroes. This study has resulted from wide reading in
the sources, especially travel accounts and newspapers, and a judicious
use of recent research by numerous historians. To Wear a City's
Crown is made up of only 166 pages of text, but each page contains
a substantial number of pertinent facts, skillfully presented. The work
is a timely synthesis.
University of Texas, Austin ROBERT C. COTNER
The Espuela Land and Cattle Company. By William Curry Holden.
(Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1970o. Pp. xv + 268.
Illustration, appendices, bibliography, index. $9.00.)
The Espuela Land and Cattle Company was one of several large-
scale ranching enterprises established in Texas during the latter part
of the nineteenth century. The successful promoters of the Matador
Ranch organized the new company in 1883, but before they had op-
erated it two years they sold out to a group of Scottish and English
investors. For the next twenty-two years the English-owned company
suffered drouths, low cattle prices, and managerial problems caused
by the London-based board of directors' lack of knowledge about ranch-
ing. Finally, in frustration, the stockholders decided it was useless to
continue their efforts and sold the 40,000 cattle and half-million-acre
enterprise.
Holden's book, primarily an analytical study of the problems and
troubles experienced by the company's five knowledgeable and dedi-
cated managers, is a revision and an augmentation of his Spur Ranch,
published in 1934. This new edition is heavily documented and ex-
pertly written in a straight-forward, well-organized, easily read but
scholarly style. A fine selection of old photographs depicting ranch
life and key characters in the ranch history, a helpful map, an inter-

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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 December 21, 2014.