The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

materials; battles and troop movements during the Texas Revolution
and Mexican War; the black population: 1840, 186o, 1890; the frontier
and frontier forts in the nineteenth century; cattle trails; the vote on
secession; nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century railroad lines;
voting patterns in presidential elections since 1896; Spanish, French
and German surnames, 1850; and other topics.
Stanley A. Arbingast, a geographer and recently retired director of
the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Texas, is to be
congratulated on this latest and best edition of the Atlas of Texas, and
also on the impressive group of experts whom he persuaded to contrib-
ute to it. Among state atlases, this volume is second to none.
Texas Tech University WILLIAM B. CONROY
Big Thicket Legacy. Compiled and edited by Campbell and Lynn
Loughmiller. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1977. Pp. xii+
222. Foreword, Preface, Illustrations. $12.95.)
Naturalists Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller's oral history of the Big
Thicket in deep East Texas thoroughly documents the culture of a re-
gion considered by many to be the "biological crossroads of America."
Not surprisingly, the unique environment has left an indelible stamp
on its people. Colorful characters such as Leak Bevil, Fount Simmons,
Bill Willie Gilder, and Pearl Wiggins reminisce about coursing for bees,
hunting for panthers, doctoring snake bites, and dozens of other activi-
ties of everyday living that now are hardly possible because of the in-
roads the twentieth century has made in the Thicket.
The Loughmillers spent nine years compiling their material. The
book contains interviews with approximately two dozen subjects whose
average age was 82 years; the youngest was 51, the oldest, loo. Skillful
editing provides a continuity often found lacking in oral histories. This
is achieved, in part, by leaving the interviewers' questions out of the
text. In addition, the editors have captured in print the flavor of the
spoken word without portraying the storytellers as "country bumpkins."
Anyone who has transcribed tapes can appreciate the editors' remark-
able accomplishment.
The book has a few minor flaws. For instance, only three women and
one black are represented. In fairness to the editors, it should be noted
that they interviewed many more individuals than could be included in
the volume. But they give no explanation of their methodology, and
consequently, the reader does not know how many interviews the

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/. Accessed April 24, 2014.