The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 266

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

for unruly, disobedient Texans on his roster. It was Wheeler who pre-
sided over the Ranger demise, the result of the consistent hostility of
Democratic legislators toward what they considered a Republican crea-
tion, resentment from northern counties over neglect, and some op-
position to the frequent occurrence of excessively forceful arrests. De-
spite outcroppings of pulpish prose, the account is sound, as is its
research base built from newspapers, unpublished reminiscences, and
Ranger records-their survival a good tale in itself.
The book points up two southwestern themes: the Texas-Arizona
connection and the unrelenting reality of the Mexican border. It also
provides insight into early twentieth-century Arizona, a showcase of
frontier conditions that persisted beyond statehood in 1912. This vast
desert to alpine landscape, whose population density in 1900oo was just
over one per square mile, was a haven for West Texas and Mexican
wrongdoers. Local authorities simply could not overcome criminal ob-
stacles to social stability, a requirement for Arizona's general develop-
ment. The Rangers, never numbering more than twenty-six, might
have been heavy-handed at times, and some of them, like quick-draw
artist Jeff Kidder, might have had questionable law-enforcement cre-
dentials. But overall they were effective. O'Neal convincingly estab-
lishes that fact and provides the basis for future study.
Southwest Texas State Universzty JAMES A. WILSON
Sentinel of the Southern Plains: Fort Richardson and the Northwest Texas
Frontier, x866-1878. By Allen Lee Hamilton. (Ft. Worth: Texas
Christian University Press, 1988. Pp. xviii+251. Introduction, ac-
knowledgments, maps, illustrations, photographs, afterword,
notes, bibliography, appendix, index. $14.95, paper.)
The post-Civil War conflict between the Plains Indians and the fron-
tier army has produced a plethora of historical literature. The ground
has been plowed by historians so frequently that little virgin territory
remains to be cultivated. Allen Lee Hamilton's Sentinel of the Southern
Plains: Fort Rzchardson and the Northwest Texas Frontier, r866-1878, nei-
ther breaks new ground in retelling the story of the pacification of the
Southern Plains nor revises the standard interpretation of the events
that transpired there. The book is unique in focusing on the final phase
of warfare on the Southern Plains from the perspective of Fort
The first chapter surveys the history of the North Texas frontier dur-
ing the three decades before the establishment of the post and sets the
stage for the showdown between the Indians and the army following


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.