The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

into his Missouri Pacific system. Characteristically, Gould endeavored to tighten
his grip on Galveston by alternately courting it and threatening to starve it of
traffic. Galveston promoters gave Gould a taste of his own medicine through
strategems such as lobbying in Washington for a right-of-way for the GC&SF
through Indian Territory, which incidentally accelerated encroachment upon
the Five Tribes. The energetic Sealy managed to win a place for the GC&SF in
the "Texas Traffic Association" rate pool before selling out to the Atchison,
Topeka, and Santa Fe in 1886.
By the 1902 completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad's huge wharf and
terminal project, the subject of the final two chapters, Galveston's landscape of
railyards, bridges, wharves, compresses, warehouses, and iron works reflected the
city's position as an important, midlevel node in the continent's commercial net-
work. The dream of becoming a Gulf port for the West had come to fruition, but
with this success came dependence on the national railroad corporations that
the GC&SF had been projected to avoid.
Based mainly on newspapers and corporate archives, Tracks to the Sea focuses
on corporate strategies and offers little detail about the actual construction and
operation of Galveston's railroads or their reshaping of the city's geography and
life. The book is, therefore, less distinctive that Young's companion volume,
Galveston and the Great West (Texas A&M University Press, 1997), a vivid recount-
ing of the campaign for a deep water port. Still, taken together, Young's two
books amount to a valuable portrait of a major episode in the formation of
Texas's urban network and its weaving into the nation's economic fabric.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Chnstz ALAN LESSOFF
The Law Comes to Texas: The Texas Rangers, 1870-I9oz. By Frederick Wilkins.
(Austin: State House Press, 1999. Pp. xii+403. Illustrations, notes, bibliogra-
phy, appendices, index. ISBN 1-88021o-6o-X. $29.95, cloth. ISBN 1-88051-
061-8. $19.95, paper.)
Historians and buffs alike have pointed to the era from 1870 to 1901 as an
exciting time in the annals of the Texas Rangers. During this period, such lead-
ers as Lee McNelly, John B. Jones, Lee Hall, John Hughes, J. H. Rogers, and Bill
McDonald displayed uncommon valor against Indian tribesmen as well as
Mexican brigands and American outlaws. As a result of their individual exploits
bordering at times on remarkable bravery, their names became legendary--and
forever engraved--in the history of the Texas frontier. To enhance their repu-
tations further Frederick Wilkins, who has previously investigated Ranger histo-
ry in two works studying the first years of the organization from 1823 to 1845
and again during the Mexican-American War, has produced an exhaustive
study encompassing the day-to-day activities of the force as well as specific hero-
ic actions.
But for a number of readers this work, which to Wilkins's credit is heavily doc-
umented with primary sources, will be a disappointment. And why? The author
tells his story replete with colloquialisms and cliches. He produces facts ad infini-
tum and pieces of evidence unessential to the narration. At times his chronicle
becomes an endless array of Ranger reports. And he mentions geographic areas



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 31, 2016.

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