The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the Virginia WPA interviews (recently published as Weevils in the
Wheat) and the earlier Fisk University interviews succeeded to a far
greater extent than most in allaying informants' suspicions and conse-
quently produced more useful and factual materials.
Blassingame's collection contains eight antebellum speeches, fifty-
eight interviews originally published in periodicals between 1827 and
1863, thirty-six interviews compiled by the American Freedmen's In-
quiry Commission in 1863, forty-seven postwar periodical interviews,
twelve interviews recorded by scholars between 1872 and 1938, thirteen
short autobiographies published between 1828 and 1878 but not read-
ily available today, and over one hundred (111) letters written by slaves.
This last category is the most interesting. Blassingame provides careful
methodological insights on how best to use this particular type of his-
torical raw material. The letters, spanning a remarkable range of geog-
raphy, occupation, and outlook on slavery, include several from the
Amistad rebels imprisoned in New Haven, who were taught the rudi-
ments of English by Yale students while the courts decided their fate.
The editor enriches these and many other documents with annotations
drawing on his own extensive research into the authenticity of particu-
lar events or biographical data on the slave narrators.
A comprehensive subject index makes this volume all the more valu-
able for the scholar of slavery, as well as for the upper division or gradu-
ate student. Slave Testimony is a model collection in every respect.
San Diego State University THEODORE KORNWEIBEL, JR.
Border Lands Sketchbook/Libro de Bosquejos Fronterizas. By Ben P.
Bailey, Jr. Translated by Channing Horner and Louise Bailey Hor-
ner. (Waco: Texian Press, 1976. Pp. iii+ 17o. Introduction, illus-
trations, glossary. $15.)
The focus of this book is on the architectural heritage of the Mexi-
can border area, from the two Laredos to Brownsville-Matamoros. An
occasional departure from the Rio Grande takes the reader into Mex-
ico as far as Cerralvo, Nuevo Le6n, and Jimenez, Tamaulipas, which
served as launching pads for the region's settlement.
The random sketches run the gamut from chapels to cathedrals, from
jacales to palaces. While the theme is predominantly architectural,
there is a sprinkling of other subjects, including old cemeteries, river
crossings, and the remarkable cypress grove at Cerralvo (color plate, p.
72).

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101205/. Accessed December 18, 2014.