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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Hamer, a modest man who never sought publicity, refused many
flattering offers for motion picture, book, and magazine rights to
his story. When such requests were made, he always answered that
after his death his family could do what they wished about a biog-
raphy. Hamer was said to be as communicative as an oyster. His
sense of honor prevented his revealing how he obtained the informa-
tion which enabled him to be a successful officer. This lack of infor-
mation is a distinct loss to the science of law enforcement and it
would also be interesting reading to the layman. Walter Prescott
Webb "ranked Hamer with Jack Hayes and Ben McCulloch as one
of the three most fearless in western history."
The authors often relied on clippings found in the Hamer family
collection when they could have used original sources. There are
over one hundred pages of illustrations. The pictures would have
been more interesting if more identification had been given. Often
only Captain Hamer is identified.
Stephen F. Austin State College C. K. CHAMBERLAIN
Firearms, Traps, & Tools of the Mountain Men. By Carl P. Russell.
New York (Alfred A. Knopf), 1967. Pp. xviii+448+x. Illustra-
tions, maps, appendixes, index. $12.50.
Carl P. Russell, author of Guns on the Early Frontiers and One
Hundred Years in Yosemite, studied for thirty-five years the firearms,
traps, tools, and other three-dimensional iron implements used in the
North American fur trade. During his long career with the National
Park Service he worked extensively in park museums and examined
most of the available iron objects of the Indian trade. With the as-
sistance of artists, particularly those of the Jefferson National Expan-
sion Memorial in St. Louis, he compiled a large file of superb black
and white sketches of implements, historical sites, and artisans. One
hundred and eight of the sketches are reproduced in this volume.
The book is an outstanding reference work indispensable to all
good research libraries, an invaluable compendium for collectors of
firearms and tools, a handy guide for curators, and a highly readable,
deeply researched account of one of the most unknown, misunder-
stood portions-and there are many-of American frontier history.
Russell introduces the volume with a chapter on the significance of
the mountain men in western history. He credits correctly the "beaver
hunters . . . with much . . . basic pioneering" and proves that Lewis

284

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 December 25, 2014.