The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

the text mentions alternative routes for an expedition, such as that of
Cabeza de Vaca (Map 8), then describes one of them as the true route
without giving any evidence in support of it and showing only that
route on the map. There are several factual errors, including the state-
ment (and map rendering) indicating that the northern boundary of
the Mexican state of Tamaulipas extended no farther north during the
182os than the Rio Grande. Students and scholars must still await the
definitive and attractive atlas of the Lone Star State.
Austin Community College ROGER A. GRIFFIN
Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, Volumes 1-3. By Dan L. Thrapp.
(Glendale, Calif.: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1988. Pp. xvi+
1698. Introduction, supplemental index. $175.)
The Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography represents an important con-
tribution to western scholarship. Boasting some 4,500 entries, it will
provide a standard reference tool for the next generation of fron-
tier historians. Whenever possible, each sketch includes the name and
aliases, dates of birth and death, place of birth, summary of career, and
an assessment of the character's life. Significant figures receive up to
fifteen hundred words; Thrapp attributes fewer than one hundred
words to lesser-known characters. Brief bibliographical notes accom-
pany most entries. Extensive cross-references, along with an invaluable
name, place, and subject index round out this well-produced, three-
volume set.
In the present compendium, Thrapp attempts to "include people no
longer living, of either sex and any race ... who came to attention
through the sigrmficance of their deeds or simply were of interest in some
connection with the evolving drama" (p. vii). Two major groups, how-
ever, are largely omitted: prospectors and "persons who came to atten-
tion solely in the nation's formal and declared wars" (p. viii). Gun-
fighters, desperadoes, and cowboys are well represented; soldiers of
the Indian-fighting army receive extensive coverage, as do Indian lead-
ers. Thrapp also makes a commendable effort to include women and
minorities. He emphasizes the nineteenth century, though obvious
twentieth-century figures like movie stars Tom Mix and John Wayne,
anthropologist Franz Boas, and authors John Neihardt and LeRoy R.
Hafen are included.
Especially appreciated by this reviewer is the encyclopedia's literary
quality. Short quotations bring most of Thrapp's subjects to life. Ad-
venturer Sally Skull, for example, was "'quite a character"' (p. 1317).
Army officer Dixon Miles was "'a walking sponge, martinet & -'"
(p. 984). Madame Lottie Deno "was attractive, if somewhat buxom,


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 4, 2015.