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

Book Reviews

W. J. L. Sullivan and other Texas lawmen captured him in New Mexico.
Goldsby then became the Territory's most wanted criminal. The press
declared him "the hardest criminal to capture and the most feared by officers"
and designated him "a mongrel" (p. 82). After his capture he stood trial before
famed "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker, who sentenced him to hang.
Marauders is a small book but Shirley narrates the two men's lives clearly and
perhaps as fully as history requires. Their exploits were recorded in court docu-
ments and newspaper articles. Shirley has researched rare primary sources. The
book's appeal is more than the excitement of the gun fights; Shirley also discuss-
es briefly the workings of late-nineteenth-century administrators. The military
was not allowed to involve itself in civilian problems, and banks and railroads
altered their policies to protect their interests in a seemingly lawless era.
Marauders, while never pedantic, makes clear how little society has changed in
the hundred years since Cook and Goldsby rode the outlaw trail. Then as now,
young people denied a stable home life with both parents, exposed to alcohol or
other drug abuse, and given easy access to guns are perhaps fated for a life of
crime. The difference may be that for the nineteenth-century criminal such as
Cook or Goldsby a violent death or long prison term was a surer result than for
his twentieth-century counterpart. One wonders if society will really be any dif-
ferent in another hundred years.
Smzley, Texas CHUCK PARSONS
Graveyard of the West: The Pecos River of Texas Where Myth Meets History. Filmed by
Glen Sample Ely. (Austin: Forest Glen TV Productions, 1994. 6o minutes.
$29.95.)
In the summer of 1868, Stephen Powers, traveling with a westbound wagon
train, reached the Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River in West Texas. The
river, he wrote, "has absolutely no valley and no trees, but wriggles right through
the midst of the plain, which is hideous with bleaching skeletons" (Afoot and
Alone, p. 142). Here, dozens of emigrants had been killed by Indians and hun-
dreds of exhausted horses and cattle had quaffed the "crystal death" in neigh-
boring alkaline pools and died. In Graveyard of the West, writers Pat Dearen and
Mike Cox took a professional camera crew to revisit the segment of the Pecos
which flows south from New Mexico to the Rio Grande-some 250 miles as the
crow flies. They focus on the region's history and myths from the 1850s to the
192os, and blend documentary material, maps, interviews, reenactments, and
photography into a delightful package.
The film is divided into ten parts. The introduction features Andy Wilkinson
singing "Graveyard of Cowmen's Hopes" and old-time newspaperman Paul
Patterson of Pecos, Texas, commenting on the nature of the unique Pecos coun-
try. Site descriptions along the river follow. Near the New Mexico line we hear
about Pope's Crossing (now under Red Bluff Lake), move south to Emigrant's
Crossing (east of the town of Pecos), and pass Salt Crossing (near Imperial).
Castle Gap and Horsehead occupy nearly fifteen minutes of film. The remaining

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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 April 17, 2014.