The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Book Reviews

on disease), the growth of western resorts, and the decline of the
health legend.
Nineteenth-century Americans followed many will-o-the-wisps, but
none with such blind desperation as the search for health. Asthmatics,
rheumatics, and especially the consumptives or "lungers" put their
faith in their doctor's advice when his medicine could not cure.
Often the advice was to travel west. If the invalid was not com-
pletely convinced, western promoters removed all doubt. Chambers
of commerce, hotelmen, and railroadmen added to the alluring
picture with tons of propaganda advertising their respective loca-
tions. Thus was born another western legend. A legend that lingers
today, as seen by the title of his last chapter "And Still They Come."
Using promotional literature, climatological reports, and accounts
by the invalids, Billy M. Jones presents a well-documented and thor-
ough study of the western health frontier and its impact on the
growth of the Southwest. Jones writes that thousands of sick persons
came west in the latter part of the nineteenth century, which lays
to rest the myth of the healthy westerner. The plentiful praises of dry
climate, sunny skies, and pure air caused the invalids to leave eastern
homes for western cures.
In his best chapter, Jones points out that almost as quickly as the
legend began it started to die. After 1882, when German physician
Robert Koch discovered that consumption was a communicable dis-
ease, the consumptives that made up 80 per cent of the invalid migra-
tion were no longer wanted.
This reviewer has two minor criticisms of the book. There seems
to be no particular reason for beginning the work at 1817, for in-
stance why not 18oo or 182o? And paraphrasing of lengthy quotes
would have made the book more readable.
Purdue University, Calumet Campus RICHARD A. VAN ORMAN
Iron Men: A Saga of the Deputy United States Marshals Who Rode
the Indian Territory. By C. H. McKennon. New York (Doubleday
and Company, Inc.), 1967. Pp. xv+224. Illustrations, bibliogra-
phy, index. $5.95.
Many university historians belittle their amateur fellows, often
journalists, who are given to swift-moving narrative, short para-
graphs, heavy suspense, slips of style or fact, small scruples with
sources. Yet, the latter win readers.

463

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed July 31, 2015.