The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998

Book Reviews

photographs in her narrative of Grayson County. She demonstrates a thor-
ough knowledge of the sources and offers a useful bibliography. Monty and
Michelle Mohon approach the history of Gillespie County topically with chap-
ters on migration, religion, architecture, economic life, transportation, educa-
tion, and social events. It is not the usual chronological format, but the topics
work well enough to provide a sense of what happened. Archie P. McDonald
mixes Texas history and local history for a text in the first two-fifths of his pre-
sentation of Nacogdoches. The remainder is a series of photographs to "pre-
serve the memories" (p. 79) of the town. Charla Jones' pictorial history of San
Augustine County is largely a chronicle of photographs about the citizens of
San Augustine.
The books offer some interesting pictures. The most startling is the photo-
graph of a stranded biplane nestled in the wires of an electric power line in
Mohons' history of Gillespie County (p. 112). The most sensational is the pic-
ture of streakers at Stephen F. Austin University in McDonald's history of
Nacogdoches (p. 72). President Ralph W. Steen wisely roped off a street to let
the students run naked and did not bother with arrests. If a picture is worth
more than a thousand words, as the proverb states, however, historians could
extract a greater amount of data from the images. Information about clothing
styles (or lack of), the spread of types of architecture, and the building of an
urban infrastructure, for example, might be further studied through pho-
tographs. Moreover, why is it that so many people in the nineteenth century pre-
sent a grim, straight visage to the camera, and only begin to smile in the 193os?
Is it due to the technology of the camera, or does it reflect a change in society?
Historians need to pay closer attention to photographs.
Colorado State University DAVID G. MCCOMB
A Mine of Her Own: Women Prospectors in the American West, 1850-1950, by Sally
Zanjani (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1997. Pp.
xii+375. Acknowledgments, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN
0-8032-4914-4. $32.50, cloth.)
At the mention of women prospectors in the American West, most of us
think of Nellie Cashman, the "Angel of Cassiar" or the "Irish Angel of
Mercy." But how about Ferminia Sarras, who went on a grand spree each
time she sold a mine and always had a much younger man on her arm? Or
Mrs. John Jennings, who owned a copper mine at Encampment, Wyoming?
Sally Zanjani presents the fascinating and often astounding stories of
women who flew in the face of convention to enter the very masculine world
of prospecting.
Most of us also associate mining with the last half of the ninteenth century,
and many of Zanjani's women come from that era, particularly the turn-of-the-
century when attitudes toward women's role were changing and there was a
boom in mining. But she also demonstrates that women miners operated well
into this century. The hard times of the Depression brought a new wave of

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/. Accessed March 5, 2015.