The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

tory and geography, and to the economic, social, and political
conditions of our States and localities. As is true of many of
the other guides, Port Arthur is more than a description of
"points of interest"; it gives "the story of Port Arthur, product
of one of the most amazing promotional schemes ever pushed to
realization" (p. 5).
This story portrays the backgrounds and characters of the
two chief promoters, Arthur E. Stilwell and John W. (Bet-a-
Million) Gates, who for many years after 1895, the year the
townsite was platted, virtually determined the destinies of the
city on Lake Sabine, "so near and yet so far" from the Gulf of
Mexico. Port Arthur's march from a little boom town in 1895
to its present population of nearly 50,000 and the rank of seventh
among United States seaports resulted from the remarkable
combination of the driving energy and financial power of these
two men-first Stilwell, and then Gates-with the magical influ-
ences of railroads, oil, and a deep-water port. Every facility
had to be fought for, and even when the channel to the Gulf
had been completed, it took a hard struggle to have the city
declared a port of entry. Stilwell was eliminated by Gates from
the Port Arthur scene in 1907 and Gates died in 1911. By this
time the city's foundations were secure, and since then the
record has been one of steady, even rapid, progress.
The writers of this little volume are to be congratulated on
their success in giving something of a dramatic interest to a
story that ordinarily is treated in dry, lifeless words and sta-
tistics: the building of a vast petroleum industry, the pipe-
lines, port and channel improvements, the Sabine-Neches bridge
-all really thrilling milestones-in a readable yet accurate his-
tory and guide-book of a remarkable community, a guide that
records material things in a manner reflecting the spirit of
the builders.
CHARLES A. TIMM.
The University of Texas.
The Irrepressible Democrat: Roger Williams. By Samuel
Hugh Brockunier.
New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1940. Pp. xii, 305. End
maps. $4.00.
In his foreword the author lists nine persons who have written
on Roger Williams. He names "only the more important," how-
ever, and thus gives proof that Roger Williams and the struggle

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/. Accessed August 20, 2014.