The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 493
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187os in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, took his wife to Texas in
1879 to seek their fortune in cattle raising. After two years, which were
commercially unsuccessful and apparently unrewarding personally,
they returned to Britain where he inherited the family estates and be-
came a Liberal member of Parliament. The rest of his life was filled
with liberal causes, travel, and writing. His enormous literary output
included biographies, histories, and books about his travels abroad and
in Britain. He died in Buenos Aires in 1936.
This collection of sketches of the sojourn in Texas and Mexico is in-
tended to throw light on this little-known phase of Graham's life and
demonstrate that his progressive ideals, which led him in Parliament
and in print to champion the oppressed in Britain and the empire, was
influenced by his observations of the mistreatment of minorities in
The sketches are unconnected vignettes that were originally pub-
lished from 1890 to 1932 in British journals. Some reveal Graham's re-
vulsion for injustice and prejudice. "Un Pelado" tells of the hanging of
a Mexican for killing an Anglo shopkeeper. The reader is left to pon-
der who was the victim. "A Chihuahuefio" is an admiring portrait of a
Hispanic village idler, folk philosopher, and guitarist. "Long Wolf" and
"Three Letters on the Indian Question" are sensitive comments on the
end of the Indian way. Other sketches-such as "Hope," a touching ac-
count of an old German immigrant couple who dream of their youth in
Swabia, and "A Hundred in the Shade," a tale from New Orleans-are
thin slices of life in the region. In "A Hegira," Graham tells about the
flight of eight Apaches who escaped their captors and were making
their way back to their homeland. This balanced, moving comment
about Indian/Hispano fear and prejudice is the best of the sketches.
The inclusion of two pieces is questionable. "Waggon-Train" was
written by Graham's wife and adds nothing to a volume that is sup-
posed to reveal something of his art and mind. "Progress" contributes
even less. This is a summary with scant comment of Tomochic, a novel
about a village of religious zealots who stood against the dictatorship of
Porfirio Diaz. There is little of Graham in "Progress" except his skill in
retelling a good story.
Too much can be made of Graham's benevolence toward Indians.
His Noble Savage, vanishing-race view was common among many self-
styled American reformers. His attitude is best expressed in "Long
Wolf" when he urges that every American child should learn the his-
tory of the "conquest of the West" (p. 117) and that the "names of Kit
Carson, General Custer and Colonel Cody should be as household
words to them" (p. 117). He adds quickly, however, that Indian leaders
also should not be forgotten: "They too were Americans" (p. 117).
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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/m1/547/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.