The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Le6n ventures only a few explicit interpretations, his narrative develops
strong underlying themes.
Ethnic loyalty is one major theme of the book. In repeated incidents,
the Mexican-Americans united to resist racial discrimination and ineq-
uity-at the polls, in the schools, in city programs. But the major theme
of the book is their persistent expression of pride in American nation-
ality. Their greatest sensitivity was to implications that they were not "a
vital part of the American people" (p. 52), as they stated in a 1936 peti-
tion. Indeed, their standard of ethnic unity for years was the American
G.I. Forum, composed of staunch Mexican-American veterans.
The narrative struggles somewhat with periodization and word usage.
Terms like Hispanic, Mexican, and Mexican-American are confusing
throughout. The book's forte is in its analysis of the "new LULAC"
(p. I 1), which De Le6n sees as a synthesis of the old G.I. generation
and the younger Chicanos, who are forming a cadre of dynamic young
professionals. A refreshing departure from trendy Marxist interpreta-
tions of Mexican-American history, San Angelefos is a building block in
the historical record of the state's largest ethnic minority.
Indians, Cattle, Ships, and Oil: The Story of W. M. D. Lee. By Donald F.
Schofield. (Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1985. Pp. x+205.
Acknowledgments, introduction, illustrations, maps, notes, bibli-
ography, index. $19.95.)
No wonder Donald F. Schofield found William McDole Lee an attrac-
tive subject for biographical study. Raised on the Wisconsin frontier,
Lee was a Wells Fargo driver; a quartermaster in General William T.
Sherman's army; a partner in a trading venture in Indian Territory; a
pioneer cattleman in the Texas Panhandle; a promoter of a deep-water
port at the mouth of the Brazos River; and, last of all, an oil man at
Spindletop. His business career bridged the Old West and the modern
industrial age; and his involvement with Indians, cowboys, and out-
laws was worthy of the more colorful parts of Southwestern historical
In doing Lee's biography, Schofield faced a formidable barrier in the
lack of a core collection of personal or business papers relating to his
subject. To offset this disadvantage, he took on an impressive swath of
archival research and work in secondary sources. In this age of ever
skimpier documentation, it is delightful to see Schofield's solid, old-
school footnotes: in writing about Lee and oil, he even consulted land
records, a source few writers have the energy to pursue. Better yet, he


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 30, 2016.

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