The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

to each of the book's three sections and explained the most important inter-
pretive points around which the essays in each section revolve.
In summary, Miller and Genovese have provided a convenient collection
of model studies in the local history of American Negro slavery. These
essays reveal many of the essential sources and investigative methods for
local studies. They remind us of the great variety in the antebellum southern
experience with slavery. But these essays are not alike in the questions they
ask, and the editors do not make a very successful effort to bring them into
some common focus. The problem is not inherent in local history or in
collections of such studies. Instead the answer lies in more local histories
employing similar methods and testing the same general theories and inter-
pretations. Editors of collections such as Plantation, Town, and County
will then have less difficulty in demonstrating the full potential of this
approach for the study of slavery in the antebellum South.
North Texas State University RANDOLPH CAMPBELL
The Doctors Herff: A Three-Generation Memoir. By Ferdinand Peter
Herff. Edited by Laura L. Barber. (2 volumes. San Antonio: Trinity
University Press, 1973. Pp. xiii+519. Illustrations, index. $i8.oo.)
In a family memoir of striking elegance, enhanced by sensitive, skillful
editing, the late Dr. Ferdinand Peter Herff (1883-1965) recounted the lives
of three distinguished San Antonio physicians whose careers spanned more
than a century. Volume I is devoted mainly to the author's grandfather,
Dr. Ferdinand Ludwig Von Herff (I820-1912), a graduate of the Uni-
versity of Giessen, who migrated permanently with his bride from the
Rhineland community of Darmstadt to Southwest Texas in 1849, settling
in San Antonio the following year. Subsequently, seven sons were born to
the couple as the former Hessian army medical officer's practice of medicine
and general surgery became increasingly successful. During these years,
also, the Herff family acquired social prominence among local German set-
tlers and in the larger community. Two sons followed their father's profes-
sion: John, the first born, who died tragically in 1882, and the fourth child,
Adolph, the author's father. The concluding section of Volume I describes
the life and career of Dr. Adolph Herff (1858-1952).
Volume II is autobiographical. The second of three children, Ferdinand
Peter grew up claiming the Herff family's distinctive cultural heritage in
the heterogeneous setting of San Antonio. He followed his father's footsteps
by attending Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia (where Dr. Adolph
had obtained his degree in I880) and graduating in the class of 1905.
This portion of the memoir is exceedingly rich: school and intern days at


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 30, 2015.