The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

When Fr6mont died in 189o he had almost been forgotten and was
little more than a pauper, although the explorations he made before
he was forty, when California and Oregon were on the lips of almost
all Americans, made him one of the most popular men of that era.
Thus, as the present editors point out, an edition of his papers is a
documentation not so much of the man as of the events in which he
took part. Although this collection may prove a bit solid for the gen-
eral reader, it will have inestimable value for future historians of the
Dallas, Texas WAYNE GARD
Joseph Stephen Cullinan: A Study of Leadership in the Texas Petro-
leum Industry, 1897-1937. By John O. King. (Nashville: Van-
derbilt University Press, 1970. Pp. ix+229. Illustrations, bibliog-
raphy, index. $10.95.)
In this study Professor King has wisely chosen to limit his atten-
tion to three aspects of J. S. Cullinan's career: his work in the Cor-
sicana and the Spindletop fields and his development of the Texas
Company. Through four carefully written chapters, the author de-
scribes Cullinan's construction of collection, storage, and refining fa-
cilities, and his establishment of effective control over production in
the Corsicana field. In Chapter 5, "The Shift of Spindletop," the au-
thor summarizes the general history of the field, offers vivid examples
of oil fever, considers the patchwork pattern of development in that
field, and recounts Cullinan's early work with the Texas Company.
The author's most original scholarly contribution is his account of
J. S. Cullinan's career in the Texas Company, given in four chapters
which are largely drawn from close study of unpublished sources,
including the Cullinan Papers and materials in the Texas Company
Archives. On the subject of Cullinan, Professor King's book is the
only objective and scholarly counterweight to Marquis James's slick
and unrevealing volume, The Texas Story, which the Texas Company
published in 1953-
By focusing narrowly on Cullinan's business career, the volume
offers a compact and highly useful contribution to the literature of
business history. At the same time, this focus makes the book some-
what lean as a biography. It is difficult to develop much more than a
stereotyped image of Cullinan as an aggressive, tough-minded oil man
who had a highly independent disposition. Additional information


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 4, 2015.