The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

against both Indian attackers and possible European rivals; but they did
not have enough soldiers to man their presidios and their expeditions or to
strengthen the missions. They were handicapped also by the rivalries of
provincial rulers and military commanders and by the resentment of colon-
ists against a tax on unbranded livestock.
The main success of the Spaniards in this area, the authors point out,
was in developing a cattle industry that would continue and expand under
Anglo rule. Thus Spanish Texas, "with its rich legacy of ranching tech-
niques and heraldry, gave birth to a Texas tradition" (p. 17 ).
Like Seymour V. Connor's Texas in 1776, which came out a bit earlier,
this book helps to tie Texas into the Bicentennial celebration. A work of
sound scholarship, it reveals colonial Texas as part of the yeast that would
give rise later to Manifest Destiny.
Dallas, Texas WAYNE GARD
Walter Prescott Webb. By Necah Stewart Furman. (Albuquerque: Uni-
versity of New Mexico Press, 1976. Pp. xiv+222. Illustrations, notes,
bibliography, index. $12.)
The season of Webb historiography has arrived. Published practically
simultaneously last spring were this biography and Essays on Walter Pre-
scott Webb, the tenth annual Webb Memorial Lectures. In late summer
Gregory Tobin's monograph on the genesis of Webb's Great Plains con-
cept appeared, and more will come. Few American historians have received
such scholarly scrutiny, but few have so deserved the attention Webb com-
mands. The unusual circumstances of his life, combined with his com-
pelling ideas, have insured continuing interest, as evidenced by this spate
of publications thirteen years after his death.
Necah Furman's biography deals with the major episodes in Webb's
life: boyhood in Stephens County; the struggle for an education, aided
by William E. Hinds; his career as a public school teacher, complemented
by courtship and marriage; the abortive attempt to earn the Ph.D. at the
University of Chicago; the evolution of his seminal ideas at the University
of Texas; his role in campus politics; and concern for his environment,
both physical and intellectual. Furman handles these aspects of his career
in such a way that the reader gets a good overview of the man and his
work. In a biography, however, one would wish for more than an overview.
Webb's fame obviously rests upon the importance of his books, but Fur-
man devotes insufficient analysis to the major ideas they embody. In dis-
cussing Webb's formative years as a student at the University of Texas,

238

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed October 2, 2014.