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

Book Reviews

skinned, inexperienced, ambitious, and partisan politician. Tower describes
Arnold Punaro, majority staff director of the Armed Services Committee, as "a
little man in a large job" (p. 90o). Tower acknowledges that Republican neglect
played a large role in his defeat. He holds John Warner, the minority leader on
the Armed Services Committee, primarily responsible. Warner led Nunn to be-
lieve that Republicans would not support Tower strongly.
Tower's emphasis on the confirmation struggle is a major disappointment. His
experiences as the first Republican to be elected to statewide office in Texas
since Reconstruction, life in the Senate, and his roles in public life since leaving
the Senate give him many stories to tell. Unfortunately, he treats most of these
events only as background to the confirmation battle. He discusses on its own
merits only his role as chairman of the special review board investigating the
Iran-Contra affair. Tower's ultimate goal, the public rehabilitation of his reputa-
tion, would have been better served by broader coverage of his career.
University of Kentucky NICHOLAS EVAN SARANTAKES
Letters by Lamplight: A Woman's View of Everyday Lfe in South Texas, 1873-1883. By
Lois E. Myers (Waco: Baylor University Press, 1991. Pp. xi+2 22. Preface, in-
troduction, black-and-white photographs, maps, illustrations, afterword, ap-
pendix, notes, index. $23.95.)
Personal accounts of life on one frontier or another have become wildly popu-
lar of late. Through them we discover experiences we are unlikely to have,
lifestyles that seem limited by today's standards but are rich and full in ways we
can only imagine.
Letters by Lamplight is set in the post-Reconstruction era in Refugio and Victoria
counties on the Gulf Coast and Edwards and Uvalde counties in West Texas. An-
na Louisa Wellington Stoner's letters to her mother and brother during her
school days in Victoria and following her 1877 marriage to William Clinton
Stoner, a farmer, are the basis for the book.
Lois Myers, assistant director of the Baylor Institute for Oral History, gleaned
details from the eighty-six Wellington-Stoner letters in the Texas Collection at
Baylor to provide the reader with a rewarding glimpse into everyday life on the
frontier. In chapters headed by Plano artist A. Kay Jacobs's fine ink drawings,
Myers describes the ten years during which the exchange of letters took place, a
time of moves, adventures, triumphs and tragedies, births and deaths-the stuff
of fiction, but all of it is true.
Besides the details of everyday life that are of obvious value to historians, there
are many touching and amusing passages from the letters. Anna's mother-in-law
wrote her son on the occasion of his daughter Hope's birth: "My son if you want
your little Hope to say Mother always call Anna Mother in her presence. If you
want her to be a lover of musick [sic], sing sweet songs to her in her infancy ...
and when she grows older teach her not to fear man ... but teach her to make
men fear her."

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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 November 28, 2014.