The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982 Page: 110

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

such things could get past the editors of one of America's most pres-
tigious publishers is puzzling.
A more fundamental problem concerns the author's approach. Er-
does has consulted few contemporary newspapers and no unpublished
diaries, letters, or other primary sources. The secondary accounts he
has used contain a fund of stories that vary greatly in their truthful-
ness, and he has accepted them far too readily. Neither has he done
much to put the saloon in the context of western communities and
their changes. In short, Erdoes's work lacks the analysis needed to
offer much original insight into this important frontier business.
The result is an attractive and diverting book, by far the most com-
plete printed collection of anecdotes about western drinking life. It is
less history, however, than a tribute to the persistent appeal of what
the public would like the old West to have been. It is old "panther
sweat" and "forty rod" in a new bottle.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville ELLIOTT WEST
A Journal of Travels into the Arkansas Territory During the Year
1819. By Thomas Nuttall. Edited by Savoie Lottinville. (Norman:
The University of Oklahoma Press, 1980. Pp. xxviii+361. Edi-
tor's introduction, author's preface, illustrations, sources, index.
Thomas Nuttall, the brilliant naturalist born in England, is well
known to western historians for his several scientific expeditions in
America during the first half of the nineteenth century. He was recog-
nized in his time for his botanical discoveries, served for a number of
years as a lecturer in natural science and as curator of the Cambridge
Botanic Garden of Harvard, and published several books. Reproduced
here is the book containing the journal of his trip from 1818 to 1820
into present Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Nuttall's southwestern itinerary took him from Philadelphia to
Pittsburgh, down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Arkansas Post,
up the Arkansas and other streams to a point near modern Guthrie,
and down the Arkansas and Mississippi to New Orleans. He made a
side trip to the Red River, witnessed the arrival of the first governor
of Arkansas Territory, and visited the new military post of Fort Smith.
The focus of his journey was the Arkansas country, but he described
the land, flora, settlers, Indians, villages, rivers, and forts along his
route. His work is a prime source on the early American Southwest.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982, periodical, 1981/1982; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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