The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 534
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
thereafter, ranging from the cattle industry in the region, through
the mining phase, to the creation of the Big Bend National Park.
In general Mrs. Madison's book is a good example of its genre,
local or perhaps regional history, but there are elements that form
the bases for legitimate critical comment. On the front cover of
the dust jacket a group of booted, Texas-hatted comrades are
depicted sitting on the top rail of a corral fence, facing a reason-
able facsimile of Casa Grande, engrossed in the spinning of at
least three different yarns. After finishing The Big Bend Country
the reader is suspicious that Mrs. Madison was one of the com-
rades, but that she omitted two of the yarns. Of course, on page ix
of her preface, she explains that consideration for persons in-
volved, and her own person (the possibility of being " 'dobe
walled"), compelled her to apply a heavy editorial pencil to her
notes on many accounts of the region. Naturally the historian
must move warily among the contemporary, but it is to be re-
gretted that Mrs. Madison did not feel that she could, with his-
torical propriety, leave the top rail of the corral fence more often.
Mrs. Madison's bibliography is a fairly comprehensive guide
to the literature of the Big Bend, although additional informa-
tion which is not included is readily available, among other
places, in the State Archives in Austin and in such articles as Dr.
Walter P. Webb's "The Big Bend of Texas," in the Panhandle
Plains Historical Review (1937) . Perhaps more important than
these omissions, however, is the authentic flavor and substance
which Mrs. Madison captured in her association with so many
of the persons who have actually been the history of the Big
Bend-John Young, Captain E. E. Townsend, Mrs. O. L. Shipman,
Dr. Ross Maxwell, and the many others whose contributions are
acknowledged in the preface and in the footnotes.
In general, Mrs. Madison's book, which was well-done by the
University of New Mexico Press, has something to offer to almost
everyone-long-time Big Bend enthusiasts as well as initiates who
have not yet been introduced to the fascination of "Mrs. Madison's
CHESTER V. KIELMAN
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/566/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.