The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 316
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
little or no basic truth, the author deserves great credit for what
appears to be almost endless research which led him into numer-
ous avenues including many contemporary accounts. Sometimes
he must have been grievously disappointed at the vague and con-
flicting accounts which he found.
The story of Jane McManus Storms related in Chapter XII,
"The Female of the Species," is entirely new, at least to the
reviewer. It is the story of intrigue, of war, and of politics. Ac-
cording to Wallace, the activities of this strange woman of courage
and daring carried her across the Rio Grande on a secret mission
to urge the annexation of all of Mexico; into Texas in 1832 on
the advice of Aaron Burr for the purpose of recouping lost for-
tunes which later involved her family in a colonizing project in
Texas-a dismal failure; to Eagle Pass in 1850 as one of the first
settlers; to Santo Domingo with her husband in a huge land pro-
motion and speculation scheme where, in 1862, they organized
the "American West Indian Company" to attract American set-
tlers "who wanted to exchange the evil furies and excitement
loosed by the Civil War at home for the bliss of a tropical para-
dise." This project failed and Mrs. Storms (now Mrs. Cazneau)
had failed again when success seemed close. She died a violent
death at sea in 1878. It is a curious story of an intrepid and rest-
less adventuress. It is evident throughout the chapter, however,
that many of the events of the story hinge on tenuous threads.
Many of the sources used by the author were admittedly in-
accurate and undependable. In the last chapter, "The Halls of
Montezuma Again," he depended largely on one source which he
ridiculed and described as "murky rodomontade," "historical in-
accuracy," and "gorgeous poppycock." In spite of this, approxi-
mately one hundred and eighty-five lines on twenty of the twenty-
seven pages of the chapter were quoted from this source. In
Chapter II, "Into Yucatan," the author described a source as
inaccurate but says there "must have been considerable truth"
among the mistakes and then proceeds to base several pages of
his narrative on this source. In Chapter XII he experienced diffi-
culty in weaving the threads into a story without too many "drop"
stitches and ends the thirty-one-page chapter with a startling
confession that "it is almost impossible to piece together a true
description of Jane Cazneau."
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/m1/374/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.