The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996

Book Reviews

urges the church to become more aware of their religious, cultural, social, and
economic needs.
Notwithstanding its merits, Hinojosa's examination of the topic is biased in
several ways. His writing contains a strong liberation-theology reference point.
As a result, he consistently overemphasizes what he identifies as "faith communi-
ties." In addition, his frequent reference to the "official" or "institutional"
church-often associated with what he sees as the "American" or "Anglo"
church-places the latter in an inharmonious relationship with the faith com-
munities. Hinojosa makes doctrinaire statements about the European bishops,
especially the French bishops such as Jean-Marie Odin of Galveston, which
archival research would call into serious question.
Journal of Texas Catholic History and Culture PATRICK FOLEY
Adventures of a Frontier Naturalist. Edited by Jerry Bryan Lincecum and Edward
Hake Phillips. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1994. Pp.
xxxvii+321. Foreword, acknowledgments, introduction, notes, index. ISBN
o-89096-592-7 $35.00oo.)
The history of early Texas is studded with colorful figures, but few are more
colorful than Gideon Lincecum. In a long life, Lincecum was an Indian trader,
explorer, physician, and naturalist. Born on the Georgia frontier in 1793, he
moved west with the advancing frontier, first to Alabama and Mississippi and
then to Texas. He initially came to Texas in 1835 as the leader of an exploring
expedition. His companions soon returned home, but Lincecum remained for
seven months, exploring from East Texas south to Aransas Bay and west to the
Edwards Plateau. Before returning to Mississippi, he reserved a league of land in
present-day Washington County for later purchase. Owing to family and business
affairs, however, it would be a dozen years before Lincecum returned to Texas.
In 1847, he left civilization behind to move to the land he had previously select-
ed in East Texas. Here Lincecum became a prosperous farmer, respected physi-
cian, and prominent naturalist. He supported the South during the Civil War
and grieved over the collapse of the Confederacy. In 1867, he took refuge
among a colony of ex-Confederates in Tuxpan, Mexico. Lincecum spent six
happy years there before failing health prompted him to return to Texas in
1873. He died the following year.
The definitive work on Lincecum remains the late Lois Wood Burkhalter's
Gideon Lincecum, 1793-1874: A Biography (1965). But it is admirably comple-
mented by Adventures of a Frontier Naturalist. Prepared by Jerry Bryan Lincecum, a
descendant of Gideon Lincecum, and Edward Hake Phillips, this volume is a col-
lation, with notes, of four overlapping memoirs, some previously unpublished,
that Lincecum authored. The result is a life of high adventure: life on the fron-
tier, Indians, exploration, and hunting and fishing. Lincecum's autobiography
also contains a treasure trove of information about the ecological history of the
nineteenth-century South, nowhere better seen than in his magnificent descrip-
tions of Texas flora and fauna from 1835. Lincecum considered this solitary

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/. Accessed August 31, 2015.