The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 410

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

earthen mounds each quarter mile as markers, built a temporary
bridge across one stream, paved the beds of others, and crossed
a swamp by piling earth on a timber road bed twelve feet wide.
The author writes mainly from source materials in the National
Archives and from federal documents. Maps, reproduced in the
main from these documents, illustrate every route and feature
described. In his preface the author states that the role of the
federal government in providing routes of travel in the Trans-
Mississippi West has been neglected because of the disposition
of writers to glorify freighters, stage drivers, and express riders
and to minimize the influence of the major federal agencies.
"This study," he states, "is written in an effort to redress the
balance." This thesis is well maintained.
Hardin-Simmons University
Artists and Illustrators of the Old West: 1850-z9oo. By Robert
Taft. New York (Scribner's), 1953. Pp. xxii+400. $8.50.
Dr. Robert Taft, professor of chemistry at the University of
Kansas, is a keen student of the American West, particularly as
it has been represented pictorially. The present book is a notable
contribution to the bibliography of the West (as was his earlier
Photography and the American Scene: A Social History, r834-
1884), most especially since it blazes a trail largely into virgin
The work is divided into three major parts: the text of 248
pages; the notes, which require 132 pages and which are set in
smaller type, so that they really amount to as much as the text;
and the illustrations, go of them reproduced on 72 pages.
Professor Taft undertakes to give an account of the life and
work of all western artists or illustrators of any stature whose
careers fall in the fifty-year period from 1850 to 19goo. Those he
treats are too numerous even for mere listing; among the more
significant are John M. Stanley, Henry F. Farny, Mary Hallock
Foote, Alfred R. Waud, Charles Graham, H. W. Caylor, and
William R. Leigh. Some notable western artists and illustrators
he omits or slights-Catlin, Bingham, Schreyvogel, Remington,
and Russell, for instance-on the grounds that their work was in


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.