Book Reviews 505
died-in spite of his many failures and the stains on his reputation. She
seemed to understand his terrible need to be acclaimed (perhaps to
overcome his illegitimacy), and she herself longed to be recognized.
With most avenues of accomplishment closed to women in her time,
she took the only available route: she lived vicariously through her hus-
Pamela Herr's biography tells Jessie Fremont's story with insight and
empathy. She sees Jessie as a violator of traditional notions of woman's
place and yet as one who was bound by those notions as well. The story
is one of triumph, joy, and heroism turning to failure and disillusion-
ment; but through it all, Jessie's devotion to John Charles grew. She
seemed to love the myth of the glorious Fremont and what might have
been had it not been complicated by poor judgment and injustice. Her
devotion apparently heightened Fremont's awareness of his failure to
achieve lasting greatness; his long absences in later years when there
were no more mountains to climb may perhaps be ascribed to this.
This is an excellent biography of a fascinating figure. Herr writes
clearly and well; her subject, familiar to most of the major figures of the
nineteenth century and involved in many of the major events of that
century, provides plenty of interesting material. The "woman issue" is
handled subtly and well. Jessie Benton Fremont lives in Herr's account,
not as an oppressed victim, but as an active participant who realized her
considerable potential within the very real restrictions of her society.
Herr's biography restores Jessie Benton Fremont to her rightful place
in American history.
Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa PAULA M. NELSON
High Noon in Lincoln: Violence on the Western Frontier. By Robert M.
Utley. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1987- Pp.
xiii+265. Preface, acknowledgments, maps, illustrations, notes,
sources, index. $22.50.)
Merchants, Guns, and Money: The Story of Lzncoln County and Its Wars. By
John P. Wilson. (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1987.
Pp. xii+226. Preface, introduction, illustrations, maps, appendix,
notes, essay on sources, references, index. $24.95.)
It is rare to gain so much satisfaction from reading, close together,
two books on essentially the same subject. Each of these is an admirable
work and both will become standard entries in future bibliographies on
New Mexican history. While overlapping and complementing each
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed July 2, 2015.