The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985

Book Reviews

wagon train to reach California, and throughout his long career
worked periodically as pathfinder, guide, and trail leader for the mili-
tary, railroad builders, surveyors, gold seekers, and emigrants.
Westering Man is the first biography of Walker. This seems a bit
odd in view of his stature until one learns that five historians pre-
viously made the attempt but none lived to complete a manuscript.
Too, Walker apparently was "a man of unique and . . . principled
reticence" (p. 8). Consequently, contemporary mention of him is
usually brief, and while several newspapermen tried to record his
story, none succeeded. Perhaps the greatest tragedy was the loss by
Walker of his diary of many years in a stream-crossing accident.
While lack of primary material undoubtedly discouraged some from
undertaking the work, the dramatic quality of the life was enough
to interest Bil Gilbert. A journalist by profession, he brought to the
work a great deal of writing and wilderness experience, enabling him
to understand and express Walker's story in a reasoned but evocative
and personal way. As one might expect, Gilbert's methods are some-
times unorthodox, particularly his system for citing sources, and he
occasionally makes a factual error that a historian versed in the period
would not. These are minor flaws, however. Because of his travels and
literary abilities, Gilbert has written a book few could write, and he
does an excellent job of putting Walker's life in the context of broader
movements, especially in showing how the explorer's Scotch-Irish heri-
tage and the experience of his American forebears prepared him to
play the significant role that he did.
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation JOHN D. MCDERMOTT
Washington, D. C.
Instruction fiur deutsche Auswanderer nach Texas [Instruction for
German emigrants to Texas]. (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag,
1983. Pp. 30+47. Foreword, two publications, maps, panorama.
DM 85.)
In response to the tricentennial anniversary of the first German
settlement in America (Germantown in Penn's colony, founded by
Mennonites in 1683), the Dietrich Reimer Press of Berlin reissued a
portfolio of facsimile items that it had originally published in 1851
for the Verein zum Schutze deutscher Einwanderer in Texas [Society
for the protection of German immigrants in Texas], the immigration
company that played such an important role in the settlement of
Texas by Germans. (After searching for several years, incidentally,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/. Accessed July 4, 2015.