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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

these trappers performed two functions: they served as the advance
guard of Manifest Destiny, and, by funneling their peltries into Santa
Fe and Taos, served as the mainstay of the eastward-moving phase
of the Santa Fe trade.
Much of the emphasis in The Taos Trappers is placed, significantly,
on those conditions which made the southwestern branch of the
American fur trade unique. The Southwest was the domain of the
most fiercely individualistic fur hunters-occasionally of the small
companies-who had little to do with the rendezvous system em-
ployed farther north. Also, because most of the area exploited by the
southwestern trappers remained foreign soil until the heyday of the
fur business was over, trappers operating out of Taos resorted to
ingenious and imaginative devices in order to outwit petty official-
dom and to circumvent restrictive regulations. But there were com-
pensating factors. The Taos fur hunter, based in a long-settled region
that possessed at least the basic amenities of civilization, escaped much
of the tedium and loneliness under which his more northerly coun-
terparts functioned.
An extensive bibliography and the perhaps too-heavy footnoting
indicate that The Taos Trappers rests upon solid research in archives
in this country and in Mexico; apparently the most significant sec-
ondary works are also utilized. Although essentially designed to meet
the needs of the specialist, this volume should also find a prominent
place in the library of the western history buff. It is predictable that
The Taos Trappers will stimulate a renewed interest in the field of
the southwestern fur trade.
Texas A&M University HERBERT H. LANG
My Eighty Years in Texas. By William Physick Zuber. Edited by
Janis Boyle Mayfield. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971. Pp.
xvii+285. Footnotes, appendices, bibliography, index. $7.50.)
William Physick Zuber, the author of this book, wrote in 1871 the
single most controversial article ever published on the history of
Texas. This was his "An Escape from the Alamo," which was pub-
lished in the Texas Almanac for 1873. In it, Zuber recounted the
story of how Moses Rose chose to leave the Alamo on March 3, 1836,
on being told by William Barrett Travis that the Texans' position
was hopeless. Making good his escape, Rose allegedly journeyed to


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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