The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 409
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the style of Thwaites' "Early Western Travels Series" (1904-1907). If this
third volume is any indication, this still-incomplete series will deliver on its
promise to reprint immediate, inspiring, and insightful writings that are
ephemeral and scarce and that capture the early West in microcosm (see Web
site <http://www.teleport. com/-jdwooglu/plainsand_rockies. html>).
Using the Wagner-Camp-Becker bibliography The Plains & the Rockies as his
guide, compiler David A. White will ultimately reprint verbatim at least 24
percent of the bibliography's items with what is to this point astute judgment
and insightful notes.
The volume is well organized. White begins each section with an overview,
including an essay, table of travel times, and a map showing the locations for
events mentioned. Then the introduction to each reprint usually presents its
printing history, author's brief biography, some historical background, high-
lights of the events, and the story's social impact upon Americans.
Section E recognizes important writings by missionaries and Mormons. Most
of these are Brigham Young's general epistles or compiled extracts from The
Missionary Herald of Boston. Young's epistles share information about establish-
ing Mormonism, including wandering west, settling, and enforcing the reli-
gion. The Herald has life records of missionaries as they themselves reported it.
Section F acknowledges documents by representatives of Indians and cap-
tives of Indians. Of the autobiographical captivity accounts, two are non-fiction
and two fiction. Although there is nothing about Texas in Section E, all four
reprinted captivity accounts are set in Texas, and notes mention in detail two
more accounts of captures by Indians in Texas.
Having a much less direct style of presentation, the writings of Indian repre-
sentatives are government documents. While all documents in both sections
have been printed before, some have been reprinted here for their first time.
These two sections will be of great interest to social historians of the West not
only for quick access to the documents but also for White's work.
The most striking quality of White's work is its unity. He creates this in two
ways. One is frequent cross-referencing, which mentally breaks down the estab-
lished sections and volumes to connect events in the West and to connect the
West to the East. The second way is how White's notes connect the disparate
sources within each section. The picture of the American West that emerges is
very full and remarkably seamless-as seamless as a textbook.
The editing and annotating is consistently rigorous. For example, when
White extracted materials from a newspaper, he extracted the complete contri-
butions on the selected individual(s) from that paper, often establishing this
publication as the first to do so. Such is the case in Section E with Presbyterian
missionary John Dunbar's contributions to The Herald. Also when White had to
select an account from among multiple versions, he selected the earliest and
least corrected. This is especially important in Section F with the captivity nar-
ratives, which quickly generated their own sub-genre of pulp.
This series is not for everyone, but it should be an essential selection for
educational or research institutions emphasizing the American West. Its high
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999, periodical, 1999; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/m1/466/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.