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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

compassionate, particularly when the Indians had no property
worth coveting.
In sum, one can only hope that if publication has accomplished
anything, it will be to encourage others to investigate the cul-
ture and history of this interesting people.
W. W. NEWCOMB
The University of Texas
Bay City and Matagorda County: A History. By Junann J. Stieg-
horst. Austin (The Pemberton Press), 1965. Pp. 269. Maps,
photographs, appendices, bibliography, index. $7.50.
The writing of local history is perhaps the most demanding of
all aspects of literary composition concerning past events. The
process of studied selectivity, an exacting and omnipresent element
in all historical writing, becomes a practical necessity of monu-
mental proportion when one essays to portray in a meaningful
manner the relevant events that have occurred in a circumscribed
municipal locale. It is understandable, therefore, that few persons
have attempted such endeavors. Generalizations concerning vast
regions can be quickly achieved and easily applied; particular
statements regarding more limited areas require, by and large,
a far greater insight and an infinitely more sophisticated aware-
ness of the potential significance of the events described.
Bay City and Matagorda County, actually an informal but care-
fully documented history of Bay City with proper reference to
necessary background phases in the development of Matagorda
County, is an admirable example of this specialized form of his-
torical writing. Its approach is not only comprehensive in its ul-
timate overall consideration but also highly selective in its par-
ticularized treatment of individuals and events pertinent to such
an informal history.
Distinctively interesting, and often amusing, incidents form an
important part of the book, but not at the sacrifice of scholarship,
which is a pronounced and readily discernible characteristic of
this work. Sponsored by the Junior Service League of Bay City
and intensively researched by the author and other members
of the league, Bay City and Matagorda County emerges as an
engaging volume of local history, handsomely bound and taste-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed May 5, 2015.