The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 130

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

prehensive, although there are some inconsistencies in the way
the depositories are listed. An excellent index has been compiled.
Carter's presentation reads exceedingly well for a work which
of necessity must be somewhat technical. JAMES M. DAY
Texas State Archives
Negro Frontiersman: The Western Memoirs of Henry O. Flipper,
1878-19z6. Edited by Theodore D. Harris. El Paso (Texas
Western College Press), 1963. Pp. x+54. Illustrations, ap-
pendix. $6.oo.
Born in Georgia in 1856, Henry O. Flipper graduated from
the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1877. There-
after he began a five-year period of military service as an officer
stationed on the Oklahoma-Texas frontier. Dismissed from the
army in 1882, Flipper spent the next thirty-seven years of his life
as a mining and civil engineer in the southwestern United States
and Mexico. In 1919, the erstwhile engineer accepted an appoint-
ment as Spanish translator for Senator Albert B. Fall's subcom-
mittee formed to investigate the effect of the Mexican Revolution
on American interests in Mexico. When Fall became Secretary
of the Interior in 1921, Flipper was named Assistant to the Sec-
retary of the Interior and served in this capacity until 1923.
Upon relinquishing his governmental post, Flipper spent a num-
ber of years in South America in the service of several oil com-
panies until he retired in 1931 to Atlanta, where he died in 1940.
For several reasons, Flipper's career is calculated to arouse par-
ticular interest: he was the son of slave parents; he was the first
Negro graduate of West Point; and he was the first American
Negro to attain wide recognition as a professional engineer.
Against the background of the national Negro movement of the
1950's and 1960's, therefore, the publication of this singular man's
western memoirs is especially timely.
Flipper's commentaries on life on the Oklahoma-Texas frontier
supply basic historical information concerning the problems of
military administration in the later nineteenth century Southwest
and some of the trials incident thereto. Particular references are
made to the virtually ancestral enmity that existed between the
Indians and the Texans, for which the Red River was hardly an
effective barrier. Allusions are also made to the tribulations im-


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. ( accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.