The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Book Reviews

Although he shared a background of culture with such fellow advo-
cates of the western life as Theodore Roosevelt, Frederic Remington,
and Owen Wister, Seton approached the subject from a different per-
spective. He stressed the need for society to develop what he felt was a
natural but neglected kinship with the animal kingdom, and he soon
broadened this to include advocacy of the Indian social order as a
model for youth organizations. If, for instance, he had had his way-
which he came close to having-the Boy Scout movement would have
adopted an Indian structure rather than its paramilitary hierarchy.
The youth movement that Seton did organize prior to his involvement
in the founding of the Boy Scouts, the Woodcraft Indians, until 1910
was the largest such organization in America.
Seton's earliest popular success, "The King of Currumpaw," first ap-
peared in Scribner's in 1894. It dealt with an actual incident in which
Seton, hired as a wolf-killer in northern New Mexico, matched wits and
finally won after a series of encounters with the infamous wolf, Lobo. A
growing number of his stories, which he insisted were true, appeared
in magazines and in such books as Wild Animals I Have Known, The Biog-
raphy of a Grizzly, and Animal Heroes. Their popularity attracted critics,
who scorned his nonscientific approach. In reaction, Seton turned to
more carefully researched works, such as Life-Histories of Northern Ani-
mals and The Arctic Prairies, which were well received as contributions to
knowledge.
Seton was a stern, often autocratic individual, but his presence was
commanding, and he attracted many faithful followers. H. Allen An-
derson's biography of him adds another level to the ways in which the
West had an impact on American thought and culture.
Southern Methodist University DARWIN PAYNE
Spirit of Vengeance: Nativism and Louisiana Justice, 1921 -1924. By John V.
Baiamonte, Jr. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,
1986. Pp. xv+257. Preface, author's note, illustrations, notes, bibli-
ography, index. $25.)
On May 9, 1924, the state of Louisiana hanged six Italians for the
murder of a white businessman in Tangipahoa Parish some three years
earlier. Controversial at the time, the case today is a reminder of the
virulent nativism that infected American life in the early twentieth
century.
John V. Baiamonte, a Ph.D. graduate of Mississippi State University
and currently director of the Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Criminal Jus-
tice Coordinating Council, has written a gripping and often moving ac-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/. Accessed November 26, 2014.