Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ture on the Texas Revolution in this new study. Bate describes himself as
being not an author, but rather a compiler-a valid point. There is little
of new source material herein, excepting perhaps some valuable family
letters. But Bate has succeeded admirably in bringing together from a wide
spectrum the materials with which to provide us the best-yet portrait of
this important Revolutionary character. And author or not, he has given
us a narrative that is fascinatingly readable. It would be picayune to com-
plain here over the number of typographical errors.
Orphaned at the age of six, later largely self-educated, Sidney Sherman
entered the business world early in life, and with promising success. Having
developed an early machine for manufacturing cotton bagging, he was
engaged in that trade in 1835, at Newport, Kentucky, when he was remark-
ably stirred by the patriotic appeals drifting up from Texas. Selling out his
business, he recruited a company of fifty men, equipped them all, and on
the last day of December took a steamer at Cincinnati, headed for the
After the war's conclusion, Sherman moved his family to Texas, and
lived an active, cultivated life. He continued his military interests, and
served a brief career in politics. He was prominent in the state's earliest
railroad developments, but it was here that his fortunes foundered. In
the latter years of life, he was subjected to a stunning succession of misfor-
tunes and personal tragedy. Still the gallant gentleman, but crushed down
at sixty-eight, he died at Galveston in I873. He was buried alongside his
most devoted friend, former Texas President David G. Burnet.
Waco ROGER N. CONGER
Trek of the Oil Finders: A History of Exploration for Petroleum. By Edgar
Wesley Owen. (Tulsa: The American Association of Petroleum Geol-
gists, 1975. Pp. xv+I,647. Maps, bibliographies, indexes. $38.)
With the publication of this massive, inclusive, double-columned I,647-
page encyclopedia-for that is what it really is-Edgar Wesley Owen of
San Antonio (geologist, veteran oilman, and former member of the geology
department at the University of Texas at Austin) joins the ranks of first-
class scholars. He has written the history of oil-finding all over the world.
This book encompasses in detail the vast, panoramic history of oil explora-
tion from the earliest days-back to asphalt in Mesopotamia in 3,ooo B.C.
-to the anxious present. It is generously supplied with Texas and Okla-
The emphasis, in Owen's words, is on "methods. men, and the industrial
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/. Accessed March 5, 2015.