The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 407
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sell brothers of Georgia in the gold fields of Georgia, California,
and Colorado during the second quarter of the nineteenth cen-
tury. In fact, as the writer comments on page 246, the story is by
no means restricted to this narrow frame of reference. In each of
the successive mining ventures considered, from the first rush to
the old Cherokee territory in Georgia to the founding of the first
crude village on the present site of Denver, Colorado, the Russells
managed to participate in much more than just the relatively
pedestrian experiences of the average prospector. The Georgia
episode is colored by friendships and family connections with
the dispossessed Cherokees, and the Colorado adventure reflects
the Russells' preoccupation with developments other than the
strictly mineral. Thus modified, Mrs. Spencer's presentation
ranges widely over the manifold facets of her family's westward
migration, introducing details of transportation, Plains travel,
Indian encounters, prospecting in the unknown Rockies, town
planting, and informative comments on human relations in a
One criticism of the book is, of course, that the title is mislead-
ing; 1858 is not the terminal date of the narrative, nor is the
action limited to the gold country. Approximately one-fourth of
the book is devoted to the years following the Civil War, with
particular emphasis on the movement of the two younger brothers
to Texas and the subsequent growth of the family in the South-
west. Students of Texas history will not be rabidly overcritical of
this inconsistency, however, because it permits Mrs. Spencer to
make a number of important contributions to the local history
of Bell County and of the Menard-Kimble county area.
In Menard and Kimble counties, Joseph Oliver Russell ex-
changed his mining-plantation background for the life of a
rancher in a frontier section of the state which was still subject
to Comanche depredations at the time. Meanwhile, in Bell
County, Levi Jasper Russell had established himself as a physi-
cian and was discovering, among other things, the dangers of
unorthodox religious thinking in a sparsely populated farming
community. As an outspoken member of the Association of Free
Thinkers of Bell County, Russell became a principal object of
conservative opposition to the liberal "infidelity" of the Associa-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/476/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.