The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 293

Book Reviews

Legislature from 1873 to 1874. In the latter year, with Thomas A.
Tidball, J. P. Smith, and J. J. Jarvis, he organized a private bank
with $30,000 in capital stock. From this enterprise emerged the Fort
Worth National Bank in 1884 with Van Zandt as president, an office
he held until his death in 1930o.
In 1883, Tidball, Van Zandt, and Company purchased from E. P.
Knott of Clay County one-half interest and about 85 sections of
ranching land in Childress County. A year later the Childress County
Land and Cattle Company bought an interest in the Knott, Tidball,
Van Zandt, and Company (including both the ranch and the cattle),
and Van Zandt was elected president of this new firm. The ranch was
operated until 1 899 when it was sold to Gustavus F. Swift of Chicago.
Following the death of his first wife, Van Zandt was twice wed
and from these three marriages fourteen children were born.
There is human interest in this modest account told by an unassum-
ing though able individual. It not only makes a contribution to social
history, but also adds a bit to the story of Fort Worth. The auto-
biography is well edited by Sandra Myres.
Texas Christian University WILLIAM CURTIS NUNN
The Franco-Texan Land Company. By Virginia H. Taylor. (Austin:
University of Texas Press, 1969. Pp. xiv+331. Illustrations, map,
bibliography, index. $7.50.)
The role of land companies in the settlement of the West has
received considerable attention in the last decade. The growing group
of excellent volumes which examine the activities of such private
ventures in Texas has a new member in this thoroughly researched
study of what until now was a practically unknown concern.
The Franco-Texan Land Company emerged from the attempts,
after the Civil War, to build a transcontinental railway with its
terminus in the South. A group of speculators headed by John C.
Fremont gained control of the Memphis, El Paso, and Pacific-a
Texas company which had received extensive land grants from the
state in 1856-and by misrepresenting the financial and legal position
of the railroad sold $5,340,000 worth of land bonds to the French
public. Most of that money mysteriously disappeared, the line went
into receivership, and through a series of complex manipulations
"Fremont's Texas swindle" was absorbed by the Texas and Pacific


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.