The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 280
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
centering around Midland. The book was sponsored by the First
National Bank of Midland with the hope that it would be a
valuable addition to ceremonies which dedicated their new build-
ing in 1959. The bank directors were correct in their thinking
for the book leaves the reader with the feeling that Midland has
a dynamic past which will lead to an optimistic future. Griffin
was selected to do the book possibly because he had already dem-
onstrated his literary skill in writing two novels, The Devil Rides
Outside and Nuni. His research ability and his feeling for local
history are shown clearly in Land of the High Sky.
Perhaps the best sample of Griffin's writing is in the preface
where he tells of his visit to the wide spaces which make up the
land of the high sky and how he came to have an intense respect
for the isolated feeling left by the country. The notes he made
during his sojourn under the stars will be valuable in themselves
to future students of the Permian Basin. His nighttime descrip-
tion of downtown Midland is also a masterpiece.
Mention should be made of the source material used by the
writer. Four pages of bibliographic references showing published
works are followed by an impressive listing of unpublished ma-
terials and personal interviews which add distinction to the
quality of the book. In this division, which is the real heart of
any local history, Griffin's ability is shown. The interviews and
statements provide scenes such as Mrs. J. H. Frame's adequate
description of Midland in 1888 and the heart-warming tale of
W. S. Willis who was deprived of his "need to steal" by the kind-
ness of Midland's citizens. The twenty-six unpublished papers
and thirty-five letters and interviews offer conclusive proof of the
Twelve chapters are used to develop Midland's colorful past.
A United States Army expedition headed by Captain Randolph
B. Marcy in 1849 marked the first time the Anglo-Americans
traversed the Permian Basin region near Midland. The outstand-
ing incident of the voyage was the death of Lieutenant M. P.
Harrison, a brother of Benjamin Harrison who became president
of the United States in 1889. Lieutenant Harrison was killed by
Indians. This event is followed by chapters on Indians, cattlemen,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/312/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.