The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969

Book Reviews

the importance of Houston to the Cherokees as well as of the impor-
tance of this period to his later brilliant career in Texas. Their com-
ment that the Osages refused to meet the Cherokees in council until
Houston arrived ignores the many councils held long before Houston's
arrival at Fort Smith, where Colonel Mathew Arbuckle and other
officials negotiated armistices, peace agreements, and exchange of cap-
tives. The elevation of Houston as the greatest "peacemaker" in Amer-
ican Indian relations, conducting "more peace negotiations and . . .
treaties with more tribes than any government official in the history
of the United States" is a disservice to a great number of much more
stable and certainly as dedicated public officials.
The authors rate Houston's residence among the Cherokees as "far
from being a blot upon his life," as some writers claim. Rather "this
interlude spent with Cherokee Indians was one of the most important
periods in Houston's public career." They claim that "many of Hous-
ton's basic attitudes . . . were formulated during these 'missing years.'
Statements from the Cherokee period are re-echoed in public state-
ments and speeches throughout his Texas career." No one could deny
that his presence, be it in the role of scoundrel or border statesman,
added a dimension of glamour to Cherokee Nation history. But it is
possible that his residence there was little more than a retreat. And
in view of his subsequent accomplishments, if this period did no more
than assist Houston to find himself and develop a new direction to his
life, then the importance speaks for itself.
The two most useful portions of the book are the detailed chronol-
ogy of Houston's experiences and contacts in the Indian Country, and
the substantial list of sources on the subject of Houston's sojourn in
the Indian Country. This includes manuscripts, documents, books,
pamphlets, articles, newspapers, and interviews.
University of Oklahoma ARRELL M. GIBSON
With the Bark on: Popular Humor of the Old South. By John Q.
Anderson. Nashville (Vanderbilt University Press), 1967. Pp. xi+
337. Foreword, introduction, illustrations, index. $7.50.
During the past thirty-five years a number of scholarly publications
have informed students of American literature of the importance of
the humor of the Old Southwest printed in newspapers and one mag-
azine in the quarter of a century immediately preceding the Civil War.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed May 4, 2015.