The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 88
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
evaluate the boom thesis of the Great Frontzer about 1 990. The present
talk of the need to recognize limits may indicate that Dr. Webb will
prove right once again.
Dr. Webb was accustomed to the attacks of a variety of critics. He ex-
pressed his view of critics in a comment he wrote after I had sent him a
snapshot of our year-old son: "I hope you feel about him the way I felt
about the Great Plains: you don't give a damn what anybody else thinks
While I recall few conversations with Dr. Webb about teaching, his
own teaching and his lifelong involvement in the teaching of history at
the public school as well as the college level speak louder than many
words. In founding the Junzor Historian he anticipated by decades the
emphasis on writing as a participatory, learning activity on the part of
students and teachers. In one of my last conversations with Dr. Webb
he did say that as he grew older his greatest satisfaction came from his
students' achievements rather than his own.
Dr. Webb, as mentor, gave his students not only a high standard to
achieve in the academic world. By what he did as well as by what he
wrote, he challenged us to a view of history as "high adventure" in all of
life." He gave us a model of the historian as active participant as well as
The key to Walter Prescott Webb as mentor may be found, I believe,
in the piece he regarded as the best he ever wrote, "The Search for
William E. Hinds." Hinds, whom Dr. Webb knew only through corre-
spondence, encouraged him as a young man and helped to make it pos-
sible for him to attend college. On January 9, i gog, Walter Prescott
Webb received a letter from Hinds inquiring about his plans for the
future. Hinds wrote, "Perhaps I can help you.., after all the best thing
in life is to help someone if we can."' We can be sure that Hinds's ex-
ample was part of what enabled Dr. Webb to be the extraordinary men-
tor he was to those of us fortunate enough to have known him.
"Webb, "History as High Adventure."
IWalter Prescott Webb, "The Search for William E. Hinds," Harper's Magazine, July 8, 1961,
61-64, 65 (quotation), 66-68.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/m1/115/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.