The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 504

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

2,000 feet. From roughneck, Lynch went to derrickman, fireman, dril-
ler, and finally tool pusher. (Early in his career he joined Schoenfeld-
Hunter-Kitch Drilling Company (S-H-K), which drilled wells for the
large oil producers, particularly Phillips Petroleum Company.)
To a great extent, Lynch's success in the drilling business depended
on his knowledge and managerial skills. Despite the romance some-
times associated with the oil patch, drilling is very much a business that
operates on the principles of maximizing profit, cutting cost, and effi-
ciently using human and material resources. The title "Tool Pusher" is
aptly descriptive of the competitive nature of the business; the tool
pusher is charged with keeping the rig operating efficiently, that is,
pushing the drilling operation. As Lynch makes clear in at least a dozen
anecdotes, goof-offs, drunks, and misfits seldom lasted long in the
Historians can only hope that other oil-field workers will come forth
with their own first-hand accounts of life in the oil patch to enlighten
and entertain historians and the general reading public.
East Texas State University JAMES CONRAD, ARCHIVIST
Jessze Benton Fremont: American Woman of the Nineteenth Century. By Pam-
ela Herr. (New York: Franklin Watts, 1987. Pp. xiii+496. Preface,
prologue, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95.)
Thomas Benton was a powerful Senator from Missouri whose repu-
tation was built on nationalist and expansionist goals. Jessie Benton was
her father's daughter. He taught her about politics and government,
encouraged her inquisitive mind, and provided her with companion-
ship as she grew. Precisely because Jessie's interests paralleled her fa-
ther's, she did not conform easily to nineteenth-century proscriptions
about woman's place. Bright, articulate, ambitious, and interested in
politics, government, and the life of the mind, she frequently chafed at
the boundaries placed on her talents by her gender. At the tender age
of seventeen Jessie Benton fell in love with a dashing member of the
U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers, John Charles Fremont. In the
face of her parent's stern disapproval, the two eloped. Jessie's ties to her
father were never quite fully restored after this rupture, and John
Charles Fremont became the center of her existence.
Jessie Benton Fremont threw herself energetically into her husband's
career. She tolerated the long absences of John Charles, helped him
write the reports that made him famous, and defended him until she


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.