The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898 Page: 65
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John Crittenden Duval.
There was one other topic that he treated with similar reserve.
With an outward air of easy nonchalance, he felt deeply. There
were some things he could not forget. He never willingly spoke
of the death, at the massacre, of his brother, Burr H. This seemed
a matter so purely personal to him that he does not even mention
the fact in his description of the campaign in his "Early Times in
Texas." He makes no mention or hint of a brother throughout its
pages, and wherever he mentions him, which is .seldom, it is simply
as Captain D.- of his company.
About the year 1876 he was employed by the International and
Great Northern Railroad Company to report on land and to locate
and survey certain tracts. His letters to the Land Office were al-
ways looked forward to eagerly by the officials, not merely for their
thoroughness, but for the literary flavor they had and for the quiet
humor they contained. He had a dry and amusing way of describ-
ing even serious incidents. He was once called upon by the office
for information concerning a railroad collision, in which he him-
self had been somewhat shaken up. He reported that when it oc-
curred he had been sitting opposite a very stout old lady, one of the
kind that it was easier to jump over than to go around, and that he
was being mightily entertained, when suddenly he found that he
had been "telescoped" by her, and that was all he remembered.
He possessed a natural gift for description. His love of nature
made him observant of all that pertained to wood-craft and the
prairie. Bird, beast, flower and tree were alike full of interest for
him. His observations of them are always as those of one familiar
with his subject. He wrote of these things and of his adventures, not
as the artist; he knew little of the technique of the art of writing, or
of the artistic construction of stories. What he had to sayflowed nat-
urally from his pen in a style his very own, but for the perceptible
influence of Washington Irving that I have mentioned before.
What he wrote commands immediate attention, it has a living and
direct quality; especially this is so of "Early Times in Texas." To
pick up that means to read it before it is put down. No book of
this kind, except "Robinson Crusoe," has charmed me so much. I
have read and re-read it may times, and always with renewed in-
terest. I have gone very carefully over it and journalized by their
actual dates the different events he describes and the progress of his
retreat eastward after his escape. I have done this partly for his-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 1, July 1897 - April, 1898, periodical, 1897/1898; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101009/m1/78/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.