Bill Harvey understands the value of cemeteries. "A casual walk through a
cemetery, any cemetery, provides a subtle sense of place and time, of what a
town was in the past in contrast to what it is now," he explains in his introduc-
tion. "Cemeteries provide direct and often poignant links to our story, and no
other section of a town more accurately records the legacy of its citizenry" (p.
2). Harvey generously offers his readers a tempting sampler of a few of the
things he found during years of visits to Texas graveyards. Entries are devoted
to the last resting places of the famous and infamous. Ben Hogan, Barbara
Jordan, Charles Goodnight, and Blind Lemon Jefferson earn a place, as do
Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, and John Wesley Hardin. Harvey also shares sto-
ries of many other accomplished but lesser-known Texans, such as Edith
Wilmans, the first woman elected to the Texas legislature; naturalist Gideon
Lincecum, songwriter Townes Van Zandt; and Korean War hero Ambrosio
Guillen. Sometimes the cemeteries themselves are the story. The Seminole-
Negro Indian scout cemetery in Brackettville memorializes the lives of one of
the state's most unique groups of borderlanders; the Prairie Lea cemetery in
Brenham is remarkable for its large collection of angel statuary; and we learn
that the Acton cemetery, where Elizabeth Crockett is buried, is also a great
place to gather pecans in the fall.
But Texas Cemeteries is more than a delightful sampler of gravestone anecdotes.
It is also an excellent "how-to" guide for those interesting in collecting cemetery
stories of their own. Chapter One offers guidance in how to locate specific ceme-
teries and gravesites, pointing the reader toward valuable tools and resources,
including USGS maps, genealogical societies, and GPS technology. Chapter Two
provides valuable advice on how to "shoot stones," for those interesting in keep-
ing a photographic record of their discoveries. Texas Cemeteries is an invaluable
introduction to the state's 35,000 graveyards. It will be in my glovebox during
my next journey through Texas.
Muskingum College WILLIAM KERRIGAN
Dznzng at the Governor's Mansion. By Carl R. McQueary. (College Station: Texas
A&M University Press, 2003. Pp. xv+317. Preface, illustrations, recipes,
tables, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-58544-252-2. $24.95, cloth.
To justify a book-length study on the food served at the Texas governor's man-
sion, Carl R. McQueary hitches his stuffed wagon of anecdotes to a smooth, schol-
arly-sounding sentence. "This study of food and its preparation within the specific
setting of the Governor's Mansion," he writes in Dining at the Governor's Mansion,
"provides an intimate portrait of Texas life from mid-nineteenth century forward"
(p. 3). Of course, the suggestion that there's more to a bunch of random recipes
than meets the eye, that there is in fact "an intimate portrait of Texas" to be dis-
covered through the unique perspective of food, all depends on the assumed
understanding of "intimate." Professional historians, for example, would expect
an "intimate portrait" to at least touch on the social relations that prevailed
between the first families and their ample staff (many of whom were slaves), the
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed March 2, 2015.