The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 487
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tifies Sealsfield as an early-day local colorist whose humor and realism place
him in the front rank of a tradition that culminated in the rise of Mark
Twain. He praises the "rude boisterous tales of a rude boisterous society"
for capturing "the spirit, the atmosphere, the vitality of the Louisiana Texas
borderland as do few other works." Parenthetically, the Billington essay--
in fitting Sealsfield's contribution into perspective-is a model of what a
foreword should be.
Ulrich Carrington, the translator of Postl's stories, has also provided a
lengthy biographical study of the author. This study--heavily, and some-
times awkwardly, metaphored--would have been even better with tighter
editing and with more reference to dates. Another weakness of the bio-
graphical information is Carrington's failure to tell where or when Postl's
stories originated. Homily-laden though they are, they do provide good
In a fine blend of personal history and anecdote, Albert Gilles, an 87-
year-old retired lawyer of Norman, Oklahoma, has recalled some of the
Comanche Indians who lived near his boyhood home at Faxon. In I902
Gilles, then fifteen, began working in his father's store, which was patron-
ized by the tribesmen. The author was young, curious, and had an ear for
languages. He quickly became absorbed in the Indians' life, their customs,
and their troubles. He found much to admire in a people that struggled
heroically to preserve its freedom and its culture.
A caveat should be entered regarding the preface and the first chapter,
both of which contain a number of anthropological and historical inaccu-
racies. The delight of this book is found in subsequent chapters wherein
Gilles recounts personal associations with such memorable characters as
Quanah Parker, the great Comanche leader; Charley Ross, who worked
diligently to improve relations between Indians and whites; Wer-Que-Yah,
the "Jesus-man Comanche"; and, at the other extreme, Mo-Cho-rook, who
was reputedly so cruel that he made even the Comanches' blood run cold.
Gilles maintains that polygamy as practiced by these people not only was
a workable system, but was essential during the expansion of their empire.
One of his saddest accounts is of the Indian children who were spirited
away to white schools, "educated," and then returned to exist in a world
between two cultures.
In terms of both content and format Gilles's book has a slight edge over
Sealsfield-Carrington. Both, however, are worthy contributions to the Amer-
ican Bicentennial program.
Institute of Texan Cultures
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/547/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.