The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 140
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tary of Mrs. E. M. Pease found in the Niles Graham-E. M. Pease
papers located in the Austin Public Library. End paper maps
replace the folding map of the original edition. The dust wrapper
carries a good picture of Olmsted in his later life, and the Mary
Sloan sketch of a younger Olmsted is attractive. The book is no
boon to genealogists, for Olmsted deliberately avoided bringing
letters of introduction to prominent persons in Texas and care-
fully omitted the names of most of the Texans with whom he
came in contact.
In addition to the professional assignment, the brothers hoped
that a winter on the western prairies would benefit John Olmsted's
health. The book also came to be used in what was a futile effort
to stimulate a free-soil movement in Western Texas. Concerning
organized emigration, Olmsted said: "For the trial, Texas yet
offers the fairest and most attractive field in the Republic. She
is accessible with the greatest ease and the least expense from
the crowded centres of the world and has every natural quality
that can attract population in greater measure than her northern
As he progressed along the Old Spanish Trail from San Augus-
tine to San Antonio, his observations were scrupulous and de-
tailed-"a perfect daguerreotype of his experience." San Antonio
was the headquarters from which he made trips north, west,
and south and was the place of his lengthiest Texas sojourn. He
liked what he called its odd and antiquated foreignness and its
"free-and-easy, loloppy sort of life." He thought Seguin the pret-
tiest town in Texas; about the German settlements he was raptur-
ous. Without mentioning Sam Houston by name, he agreed
perfectly with the then senator from Texas as to the inefficiency
of regular troops for Indian warfare, and his opinion of the
superiority of Texas Rangers for frontier service can be deduced
from his description of the ranger organization.
It is good to have this long out of print classic made available
for its careful observation, its sociological approach, and the
opportunity it gives to re-tour the Texas of over a century ago.
The University of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/162/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.