The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 288
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
even mention Ford's name). That same history had General
James E. Slaughter leading the Confederates at Palmito Ranch
in May, 1865, the last land battle fought in the Confederacy.
Modern scholarship has done little to correct such errors-has,
in fact, often committed new ones. As Hughes himself points
out, a reputable history of army explorations in the West, pub-
lished in 1959, has the Neighbors Trail to El Paso being blazed
by Major Robert Neighbors "of the Texas Rangers" and John
S. Ford, "the federal Indian Agent for Texas." Thanks to mis-
statements like these, Rip Ford seemed doomed to an historical
Happily, Hughes's biography corrects all such errors and gives
Old Rip his due, ranking him where he rightfully belongs among
Texas heroes-on "the second plateau of eminence," along with
such men as Jack Hays and Richard King. Had Ford stayed in
politics long enough, had he given his erratic career in govern-
ment service the same tenacity and discipline which he displayed
in winning military victories, he might indeed have reached the
first plateau of eminence. As it was, he was still an effective
member of the Congress of the Republic of Texas and later of
the state legislature and was a leading spirit in both the annexa-
tion and secession movements. He was also a popular doctor of
medicine, a lawyer, a surveyor, an amateur playwright, an un-
popular journalist (he shamelessly extolled Sam Houston in his
Austin paper, the Texas National Register, in the aftermath of
the Archive War), a trail blazer, a revolutionary (he was second
in command to Jose Carbajal in that abortive attempt to establish
a republic on the Rio Grande), and among other things was
mayor both of Austin and Brownsville. He was best known,
though, for his deeds as a Texas Ranger captain who chased down
renegade Comanches and Mexican bandits and as a cavalry colo-
nel in the Civil War who restored Confederate rule to the lower
Rio Grande country.
Hughes recounts the details of Ford's achievements-and his
failures too-in a clear, sophisticated style. Documentation of the
text is adequate and the bibliography logically organized. One
regrets the lack of source materials on Ford's personal life-the
story goes that Rip's adopted daughter destroyed a number of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/330/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.