The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974 Page: 154
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
social and intellectual history of the region are indebted to Dale L. Walker
for his splendid study of his El Paso colleague.
Southwest Texas State University WILLIAM C. POOL
Frontier Crusader: William F. M. Amy. By Lawrence R. Murphy. (Tuc-
son: University of Arizona Press, 1972. Pp. xii+313. Illustrations,
notes, bibliography, index. $9-50.)
Arny was a religious journalist, an agricultural educator, a philanthropist,
and a free-soil politician before he became the agent to the Ute and Jicarilla
Apache Indians in 1861. Born in Georgetown, Virginia, in 1813, he was
forty-eight years old when he entered the Southwest to spread "the gospel
of civilization." Subsequently he was territorial secretary of New Mexico,
"special agent" for all Indian tribes in the territory, agent to the Rio Grande
Pueblos, and Navajo agent. Murphy's book is largely a sympathetic eval-
uation of Arny's peculiar and futile administration of Indian affairs.
More than half the book concerns Arny's pathetic career as an Indian
agent, from 1861 to 1875, though it is clear from Murphy's account that
his subject's most solid achievements were in Illinois and Kansas before the
Civil War. Arny aided Alexander Campbell in founding Bethany College
and combined the editorship of Campbell's prolific press with itinerant
evangelism, until a quarrel with the church elders caused his flight to
Illinois in I85o. When he settled near Bloomington, it was one stage re-
moved from raw frontier. Six years later, his farm was a model for scien-
tific agriculture, and the town he founded (later called Normal) was the
site of the state teachers college, which he had promoted as secretary of the
Illinois board of education.
In 1856 Arny ran as an "Anti-Nebraska" candidate for the Illinois leg-
islature, but withdrew because he would not endorse his fellow candidates.
Nevertheless, he threw himself whole-heartedly into the complex affairs of
the Kansas Finance Committee. In the fall he moved to Lawrence, and
the next year he helped establish the town of Hyatt. Arny served Hyatt as
mayor, successfully promoting a railroad for the region, but a drought and
a prairie fire cruelly ruined the new-born city. Arny labored for the Kansas
relief society in 1859-I 86o, working with Samuel C. Pomeroy and John
Evans. The election of Lincoln then gave him an opportunity to secure a
federal job. He would have preferred to work with the Indians of southern
Kansas, but that position had a better Republican applicant. Lincoln in-
stead offered Arny the Ute agency.
This book is good biography, carefully researched and beautifully pro-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974, periodical, 1973/1974; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/m1/172/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.