The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Book Reviews

In this volume the author has definitively preserved the story of
these horses and the people who bred them, from the precolonial peri-
od to modern times. The whole book is brimful of fresh accounts of
men who devoted their lives to breeding and racing quarter horses all
over rural America. One of the most colorful parts of the book is Den-
hardt's description of the excitement and appeal of short racing in
the southern colonies. Included is an account of a matched race be-
tween horses belonging to those noted quarter-horse breeders, George
Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
This reviewer had some trouble with the organization of the book.
The story begins chronologically but evolves into chapters on out-
standing sires and well-known breeders. Denhardt's "Essay on Source
Materials" at the end is an important and valuable discussion by
America's premier horse historian.
The Quarter Running Horse is a remarkably thorough account
that only Bob Denhardt could have written. He has spent a long
lifetime evaluating ancient records now lost and interviewing breeders
long since dead. His books, including this one, will and properly
should be the most authoritative on the American quarter horse.
Tyler, Texas F. LEE LAWRENCE
Ashbel Smith of Texas: Pioneer, Patriot, Statesman, 1805-1886. By
Elizabeth Silverthorne. (College Station: Texas AScM University
Press, 1982. Pp. xvi+ 259. Preface, acknowledgments, illustrations,
bibliography, index. $24.50.)
Elizabeth Silverthorne has provided the first published account of
the life of Connecticut-born, Yale-educated Ashbel Smith, who made
significant contributions to both medical practice and literature, served
Texas as diplomat and legislator, commanded Confederate troops in
the Civil War, and was, to a large degree, the father of the University
of Texas.
Making good use of the extensive Smith Papers at the University of
Texas at Austin, Silverthorne has captured fully the personal side of
Smith's life. We are told, for example, that upon completion of medi-
cal school, he pledged in his journal to "always speak the truth" (p. 15),
leading him soon after to confess to a brother that he had fathered an
illegitimate child (pp. 15-16). We also learn that, less than a year before
his death at the age of eighty, this scientifically trained man stated that,
after compassing all worldly knowledge, "we can only walk even if
tremblingly and doubtingly by Faith" (p. 230).

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed September 22, 2014.