The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Book Reviews

eight articles discuss marital and familial relations within plantation families,
particularly as they were affected by slavery and the Civil War. Three other
essays focus upon the lower rungs of Southern society: James Roark and Mi-
chael Johnson examine free black families in the ante-bellum south; Brenda
Stevenson looks at the impact of bondage upon slave families in Virginia, and
Jacqueline Jones does a fine study of "The Political Economy of Sharecropping
Families: Blacks and Poor Whites in the Rural South, 1865-1915."
As Drew Faust points out in the epilogue, "The white men in this collection
of essays are not a very admirable lot" (p. 256). Only Josiah Gorgas, a North-
erner by birth, in the article by Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, comes across as a
doting father and loving husband. The rest of the men seem to spend most of
their lives lurching from debauchery to dissipation and back again. Such be-
havior is to be expected from men when their power is absolute, Catharine
Clinton argues in her essay entitled "'Southern Dishonor': Flesh, Blood, Race,
and Bondage," a study of miscegenation, rape, and forced breeding. Aban-
doning scholarly dispassion, Clinton characterizes white male slaveholders as
"profit-mongering, sin-ridden monsters" (p. 57). And yet in his discussion of
"the Southern Lady," Eugene Genovese argues that the wives of these "mon-
sters" should not be let off the hook quite so easily, for they were among the
strongest defenders of both slavery and the ideal of Southern honor, which
allowed men to go unpunished for sexual misconduct. (Also interesting on this
subject is Peter Bardaglio's entry on incest and the law in the South.)
As with all such anthologies, some articles are more significant than others.
Yet each of them helps to shed light upon the intimate, sometimes seamy, de-
tails of Southern family life in the nineteenth century.
McNeese State Unsverszty JANET ALLURED
Mormons and Cowboys, Moonshners and Klansmen: Federal Law Enforcement in the
South and West, 1870-893. By Stephen Cresswell. (Tuscaloosa: University
of Alabama Press, 1991. Pp. viii + 323. Acknowledgments, black-and-white
photographs, illustrations, tables, maps, notes, bibliography, index.
$35.95)-
Historians have often described the post-Civil War years in the United States
as a dark and gloomy period. Stephen Cresswell, an assistant professor at West
Virginia Wesleyan College, surely substantiates such an assessment, at least in
regard to federal law enforcement. In a time span covering twenty-three years
he has examined in four lengthy chapters the Klan in northern Mississippi, the
Mormons in Utah, the moonshiners in eastern Tennessee, and the so-called
"cowboy trouble" in the Arizona Territory. And in each case he has found that
federal judges, attorneys, marshals, and their deputies were at a real disadvan-
tage because of insufficient funds, unmanageable work loads, and community
opposition or "entrenched folkways" (p. 258).
Many modern readers will be distressed upon realizing that many Americans
during this period were bent upon dispossessing minorities of their rights and
freedoms as well as obstructing those who tried to uphold federal laws. In

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed July 25, 2014.