The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999

Book Reviews

with debris. Nothing escaped the devastation. Historic structures, schools,
churches, homes, and buildings of every description were damaged or
destroyed. Bodies were recovered for days. What had once been a thriving Texas
city filled with culture and history was in ruins.
But Galveston was rebuilt. And the women of the city were a major force in
the restoration, because the storm "served as a catalyst for women's civic
activism" (p. 11). As described in Women, Culture and Community by Elizabeth
Hayes Turner of the University of Houston-Downtown, Galveston women used
their talents and energy to revive the city. Drawing upon their past works, they
became involved in every part of Galveston life. They concentrated on churches,
not just on the physical structures but on the inspirational contributions. In this
area they reestablished benevolent and aid societies and revived Sunday schools
and church programs. They also continued the tradition of women's organiza-
tions like the Wednesday Club, the Galveston Equal Suffrage Association,
Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Women's Health Protective
Association. The women of the African American community were also activists,
focusing on the value of their churches and schools.
In this study, Turner has provided an in-depth description of the life of
women in Galveston. While the book opens with the storm of 1900, she does not
concentrate on just the events after this tragedy. Instead she looks at the role of
women in the city for most of the late 18oos and then into the early 19oos. This
span of time allows her to examine the work of Galveston women on a daily basis
and in relation to the social and political events that surrounded them and influ-
enced their activities. As a result Turner has given us a picture of these women
who were affected by Reconstruction, Populism, and Progressivism.
Women, Culture and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston. i880-1920 is
well-written and well-organized. The opening chapter is spellbinding as the disas-
ter unfolds. Turner then recreates the role of women in Galveston prior to and
after the storm by methodically tracing their importance to Galveston society.
Tarleton State University JANET SCHMELZER
Gateway to Texas: Hzstory of Red River County. By Martha Sue Stroud. (Austin:
Eakin Press, 1998., Pp. vii+446. Illustrations, preface, summary, endnotes,
index. ISBN 1-57168-903-6. $29.95, cloth).
Some may call this a book. In truth, it is more a scrapbook between hard cov-
ers. And that is a pity.
A coherent history of the massive, early northeast Texas county through which
many from the Upper South entered Texas to defend the Alamo and to settle
along the Red River, has long been needed. Ultimately, this ill-defined jurisdic-
ticn, encompassing even a vaguely described part of southwest Arkansas, was
divided into the multi-county expanse we now know as Northeast Texas.
Rather than the coherent account of the social, political and geographical fac-
tors that eventuated in an amoeba-like division of one county into thirty-nine in
whole or in part, we have here a collection of reprinted newspaper accounts, his-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/. Accessed December 18, 2014.