The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974

Book Reviews

next three chapters focus on the types of business organization used by the
contractors, the problem of marketing the cattle, and the overall economic
impact of trailing. Finally, in the last two chapters, he examines why the
trailing industry died.
The book suffers, although far less than many others, from the nearly
impossible task of being true to the dictates of scientific history while at the
same time presenting a readable narrative. Thoroughness is an admirable
trait in historians but too much attention to detail frequently obscures the
subjective truth which can be far more important. Skaggs narrowly skirts
this trap but at times the reader fears that the interesting account of the
trail-driving entrepreneurs is about to dissolve into a genealogical examina-
tion of the Milletts, the Blockers, or some other otherwise obscure Texas
family. The book is too expensive and sales will probably be limited. This is
unfortunate because it is a good book, one which should be read by everyone
interested in the range-cattle industry.
Eastern Montana College ROBERT T. SMITH
Black New Orleans, i86o-i88o. By John Blassingame. (Chicago: Univer-
sity of Chicago Press, 1973. Pp. xvii+30 I. Illustrations, bibliography,
notes, index. $9.95.)
Although scholars have explored urban slavery and the development of
black ghettoes in northern cities, this is one of the first investigations of black
urbanization in the post-Civil War South. The author offers his work as "a
standard by which scholars can compare Negro life in other Southern cities"
(p. xvi), while recognizing that the New Orleans black community re-
mained unusual in the size of its educated middle class who had been free
before the war and in its French-Spanish cultural heritage which included
more varied racial patterns.
Blassingame provides thoughtful conclusions on several important topics.
Blacks in New Orleans during the war faced discrimination and poor living
conditions, but also developed a sense of manhood and educational advances
through military service. The depression of the 1870s caused extensive unem-
ployment, weakened black labor unions, and brought the collapse of the
Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company. Yet black workers retained their
positions in some skilled trades while a few Negro businessmen acquired
considerable wealth. This fairly stable economic base and the efforts of black
leaders and white missionaries helped most Negro families become "remark-
able strong" (p. 104) and "patriarchal in nature" (p. 105). Blacks in
New Orleans actively organized private schools, achieved integrated public


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed August 5, 2015.