The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 118
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
beyond the Mississippi." It supplies a most remarkable text-
book, as the style, organization, and general content utilize the
very finest techniques in presentation.
The area studied is imperial in extent. The inhabitants, at
the time of the appearance of the European, varied widely in
cultural development; some lived in villages and possessed an
attractive culture; others were nomadic, cruel, and uncultured.
Beginning with Calhoun's proposals there seems to have been
an honest desire to establish a "Red Man's Canaan," for there
was a feeling that a vast area west of the Mississippi was
uninhabitable for the white man and would make a lasting
home for the Indian. The story of the conflicts of the whites
for possession of this last home of the Indian occupies much
of the volume. It is not a pleasant account in many instances.
The Government seems to have been more or less actuated in
its treaty dealings with the Indians according to the pressure
exerted by the whites. Considerable space is given to trappers
and traders, recognition being accorded the contributions made
by them to the knowledge and future development of the coun-
try as well as to their immediate exploitation of the furs and
Indian trade. The Oregon and Utah movements are fully de-
scribed. Mining rushes into California and almost every nook
and cranny of the vast mountain area with the resulting inrush
of the criminal elements, formation of vigilance committees,
and gradual development of orderly processes of society and
government are vividly portrayed. Transportation and com-
munication command special attention-the pack train, stage
coach, freighter, pony express, telegraph, and iron horse-each,
in turn, making its bow. The movement of cattle, first to the
centers of the East and mining sections of the West, in long
drives, then to the railheads for shipment to the fattening pens,
and later to the great grazing grounds of the short grass coun-
try, is shown. The mastery of the obstacles of the "great Ameri-
can desert" through such instruments as the windmill, sod-
house and dugout, barb-wire, and improved farm machinery,
together with improved dry-farming methods, has been re-
counted with thorough knowledge. The most interesting and,
perhaps, the most valuable contributions are the vivid pen
sketches of numerous and colorful characters: mail-clad con-
quistadores and black-robed padres, French and Anglo-Amer-
ican explorers, Indian chiefs, mountain men, missionaries,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/124/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.