Southwestern Historical Quarterly
found myself many times searching for citations for several unsubstantiated
claims. Moreover, Burton's prose occasionally leaps from one adventure to
another without benefit of transitional markers. With the omission of footnotes,
this fault will further confuse readers who may already be unable to discern
whether Burton is retelling tall tales or relating events grounded in fact.
Another shortcoming of Black, Buckskzn, and Blue is that Burton never address-
es race in the book. Burton proclaims at the beginning of the book, "I will not
examine any racial hostilities and conflicts they [African American scouts]
endured in western towns" (p. vii). Because Burton does a respectable job of
charting the contours of the African American military experience in the West,
he must certainly be capable of engaging in a discussion of how the concept of
race affected the scouts during the Reconstruction era. Such a discourse of the
social/political conditions for African American scouts and soldiers might help
to illuminate the factors that informed their interactions with other cultural
groups, particularly their complicity with whites in displacing Native American
groups. In addition, Burton's superficial excavation of the Seminole Indian
scouts pleads for additional research.
While this book is not particularly scholarly in its approach, students of history
looking for an easily digestible book that enhances the historiography of African
Americans in the nineteenth-century western United States will find this a suit-
able resource. Black, Buckskin, and Blue is sure to be read by a broad cross-section
of readers. Significantly, Burton details the farewell remarks of Col. Benjamin
Grierson to the Tenth Cavalry: "The officers and enlisted men have endured
many hardships and privations, and . . . they may well be proud of the record
made, and rest assured that the hard word undergone in the accomplishment of
such important and valuable service to the country is well understood and
appreciated, and that it cannot fail sooner or later, to meet with due recognition
and reward" (p. 196).
With this text, Burton has answered Grierson's clarion call for recognition of
the contributions of these important men.
Howard University JOE LEONARD JR.
Galveston and the Great West. By Earle B. Young. (College Station: Texas A&M
University Press, 1997. Pp. xi+2 21. Illustrations, preface, epilogue, notes,
bibliography, index. ISBN 0-89096-773-3. $23.95, cloth.)
This is a history of the struggle by the citizens of Galveston to create a deep
water port to handle not only cotton from Texas but also grain products from
the Midwest and California. Earle Young, a retired budget officer from NASA,
weaves the intriguing story involving technology, politics, civic organization, and
railroads from 1865 to 1900.
Willard Richardson, publisher of the Galveston Daily News, in 1865 identified
the need for a deep water channel into the harbor and the potential if that were
accomplished for Galveston to become the seaport for the West. It took almost
thirty-five years for the dream to become a reality. Young leads the reader
through the various surveys, studies, and controversies over the technique to be
used to deepen the channel, from dredging to construction of various types of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed December 10, 2013.