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

Book Reviews

the High Plains. Jordan demonstrates conclusively that, although the
plains environment and Hispanic-American practices were of some
influence, the entire plains complex of animal-raising methods had
long been practiced in the antebellum South and had had its American
origins, or hearth, in seventeenth-century South Carolina.
With minor exceptions, we cannot fault any of his principal con-
clusions regarding the period c. 168o-188o; and we do not see how
historical writing about herding on the Great Plains can ever afford
to disregard this work. But, to employ a phrase that the late Douglas
Adair used in commenting on a book by one of the reviewers (Mc-
Donald), we are willing to lead only two rousing cheers for Trails to
Texas, not the full complement of three. In his opening chapter, Jor-
dan surveys six schools of thought that have developed to explain
open-range cattle raising in America-that it originated in Europe,
Africa, and Hispanic America, and that it is explicable in terms of en-
vironmental determinism, frontier stages, and the market-accessibility
model-and concludes that none alone can account for the evolution
of Great Plains ranching. The survey is a fair one, as far as it goes. It
simply does not go nearly far enough, or more properly, far enough
back, in its exploration of livestock-raising practices in the British Isles.
For example, a close examination of the seventeen traits that Jordan
claims uniquely characterized "Anglo-American cattle herding" re-
veals that none of these, with two possible exceptions, was distinctively
English or American; in fact, they were Celtic traditions, practiced
by the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh herdsmen of the British Isles for
many centuries before they appeared in colonial America.
If we withhold the third cheer for Jordan's superb study, that does
not abate the enthusiasm with which we give the first two.
University of Alabama GRADY MCWHINEY AND FORREST MCDONALD
Boss Rule in South Texas: The Progressive Era. By Evan Anders.
(Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1982. Pp. xv+319. Intro-
duction, maps, notes, references, index. $19.95.)
James B. Wells of Brownsville greatly desired the 1902 guberna-
torial nomination of the Texas Democratic party. When it became
apparent in 19go01 that the party establishment was passing over him
in favor of Samuel W. T. Lanham of Weatherford, Wells vented his
frustrations in a letter to his good friend Colonel Edward M. House
by complaining that North Texas got more than its share of political

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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 April 26, 2015.