The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992 Page: 277

Book Reviews

from imprisonment in Mexico and were later given pensions. Also, he incor-
rectly attributes to President Antonio L6pez de Santa Anna the order to deci-
mate the recaptured Mier prisoners.
He tells us that the Battle of Mier was "a turning point in the brief history of
the Texas experiment in nationhood" (pp. 87, 96), and that it had done much
to strengthen in Texas the desire for annexation (p. 194). Both statements are
incorrect. The percent of the vote in 1836 annexation was .0258 percent,
whereas, on October 13, 1845, it had increased to .o6 percent, dichcating a less
popular demand for annexation.
Wandeing.s i the Southwest, r855. By J. D. B. Stillman. Edited by Ron Tyler.
(Spokane: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1990. lo ). 193. Acknowledgments, in-
troduction, black-and-white photo, black-and-white plates, map bibliogra-
phy, Index. $37.50.)
Jacob Davis Babcock Stillman was a native New Yorker who was a physician
by profession but an adventurer at heart. After receiving his M.D. degree from
New York City's College of Physicians and Surgeons, he practiced at Bellevue
Hospital. In 1849, however, the California gold rush energized his venture,
some spirit, and he embarked upon his first westward escapade. Stillman trav-
eled around the Horn to San Francisco thence to Sacramento where he was
instrumental in helping to establish the city's first hospital. Stillman returned to
New York in 1850 and resumed his practice. His yen to travel beyond the Mis-
sissippi was rekindled after Frederick Law Olmsted's trip through Texas was
publicized. To satisfy his own aroused curiosity about the state as well as to
study its resources and natural history, Stillman resolved to visit Texas in 1855.
Arriving at Indianola in May, Stillman spent precious little time at the sea-
port since it apparently had little appeal to him. He acquired a horse at Port
Lavaca and traveled inland to San Antonio via Goliad and Helena. In order to
help sustain himself while in Texas, Stillman opened a medical office in San
Antonio. Meanwhile, he became acquainted with Adolph Douai, editor of the
San Antonzo Zeztung, and visited Castroville, Sisterdale, and New Braunfels. At
the latter town, the German settlers made an indelible impression upon him.
The New Yorker was especially touched by their camaraderie exhibited at fes-
tivals when the social strata fused. Stillman's last jaunt before leaving the state
in November 1855 was to Fort Lancaster, a federal post located less than a mile
above the confluence of Live Oak Creek and the Pecos River on the military
road between San Antonio and El Paso. His account of the Journey, encamp-
ment, soldiers' wearing apparel, the geology of the Pecos Valley, and a harrying
escape from Indians exemplifies a vivid writing style and provides an insightful
description of western Texas.
Stillman chronicled his Texas wanderings in a series of letters that were pub-
lished in the Cvayon, a New York City periodical devoted to landscape art, from
June 1855 to April 1856. Since many intellectuals of the mid-nineteenth cen-
tury considered science and art interrelated, the journal was an ideal medium
to print the missives.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992, periodical, 1992; Austin, Texas. ( accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.