Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Thrapp intended this book both as a biography of Victorio and a history
of the Mimbres Apaches. Reflecting the limitations inherent in writing the
biography of any Indian, it is more the latter than the former. Moreover,
tribal history of Apaches is even more difficult to write than that of other
tribes, since there is less evidence originating with the Indians themselves.
So this is biography and history as revealed almost entirely by the white
man's records. Within these constraints, Thrapp has done an excellent job,
for the records are abundant and he has mastered them, and the people
and geography to which they relate, in many years of research into the
story of white-Apache relations. For most of the I85os and early I86os,
Victorio rarely appears in the records, at least by that name, and many
chapters are thus a chronicle of events in which it can only be speculated
that he was a participant. In the I87os, after he emerged as the bitter foe
of concentration, his trail is more easily followed. But even when Victorio
disappears for years at a time, Thrapp's history is unfailingly rich in new
information about a people heretofore only imperfectly known.
Victorio is a substantial addition to the distinguished series of books
Thrapp has authored about the Apaches. Together they have significantly
enlarged our knowledge of the long conflict between white and Indian
peoples in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.
National Park Service ROBERT M. UTLEY
Big Outfit: Ranching on the Baca Float. By Robert L. Sharp. (Tucson:
University of Arizona Press, 1974. Pp. x+ 157. Illustrations, index.
Cloth, $7.50; paper, $3.95.)
Not many books of any kind have been written about the cattle business
in Arizona, but especially has the twentieth-century story been neglected.
To help fill this void and to pay tribute to "a special breed of men," Bob
Sharp-who managed the Baca Float in northwestern Arizona from 1936
to I950--has given general readers of range lore and human naturists an
intimate look at the operation of one of the last of the big southwestern
cow outfits and the loyal rannies who made it a "top ranch."
Sharp accepted general manager Charles E. Wiswall's offer to take over
the Cananea Cattle Company's I oo,ooo-acre Baca Float Number Five
(originally awarded to Luis Maria Baca in i86o in exchange for land in
New Mexico) in the remote Burro Creek country south of the railroad
town of Seligman in extreme northern Yavapai County. During the next
decade and a half, Sharp's calculated improvements transformed the Baca
Float (also known as the "ORO outfit" after the acquisition of the ad-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/. Accessed December 21, 2013.