Ohio History Journal



Better Known as Johnny Appleseed. By Mabel Leigh Hunt. (Phila-

delphia and New York, J. B. Lippincott Co., 1950. 212p. $2.50.)

History is a mixture of legend and fact. And, of the two, legend is

the more important. For it is what people think happened or say happened,

not what actually did happen, that becomes significant over a period of time.

Truly, no matter how close to an historical fact the research scholar may

come, the mass of people do not pay heed to him. They believe the fiction

that has been created by and for them. And this fiction is what influences

and is perpetuated by future generations and what one is eventually com-

pelled to recognize as the important impact of history as a cultural force.

The stories of Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, Franklin Delano

Roosevelt, and, to a lesser extent, of Paul Revere and Miles Standish are

cases in point. So might I say is the story of John Chapman.

Mabel Leigh Hunt in her recent study Better Known as Johnny

Appleseed attempts to explore the intermingling of fact and legend that

has survived from the times of this nineteenth century planter and mystic.

Her purpose and method, as stated on the flyleaf and in the Preface, is "to

answer, as truthfully as possible, that oft-asked query, 'Was Johnny Apple-

seed a real man?'" by means of "the contrivance of both fiction and

biographical narrative." The book, to the publisher, is "the result of a con-

scientious student's long research and a creator's art." The book, to me, is

not fully satisfactory from the point of view of either the scholar or the

amateur reader.

From the scholar's point of view, I have two major objections to

the work. First, the book adds little or nothing to the work already done in

Appleseed lore. The two most rewarding areas left to the Appleseed scholar

are the study of Chapman's relation to the Swedenborgian faith and the

study of what might be called Johnny Dog Fennel lore (anti-Chapman

material). Neither of these areas is given more than a passing glance.

Second, the material that is covered is covered in the most subjective and

abstract of ways. For even though Mabel Leigh Hunt says that in the

book she is trying to present the real man as he has appeared to her, the

manner in which the narrative is continually built on speculation results

in a view of Chapman almost without meaning. For example (p. 17),

"Although there is no actual record of the captain's motherless children


98 Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

98       Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

coming from Leominster, to call the tiny house 'home,' it is highly probable.

Johnny Chapman's first steps westward!" Or (p. 48), "Young Mistress

Stadden, wife of Isaac, had a mind of her own. Fancy her, now, roundly

scolding Appleseed John. 'I speak wot I tink, Chon Chapmans.'" Such

omission and conjecture eliminates the work from the serious consideration

of the scholar.

From the amateur reader's point of view the book is markedly more

satisfactory. Many adults and many "older boys and girls" (the latter are

definitely included among the book's prospective readers) will find this

romanticized picture of the midwest frontier and its ragged hero charming

and readable. Mabel Leigh Hunt writes well and has an enthusiasm and

energy for her story that binds the reader to the book. Certainly the

device of telling much of Chapman's life in nine stories, each named for

a variety of apple, is arresting and not without appeal. However, even

among this audience, there will be those who will find the style too

"sugary," the presentation too emotional, and the picture of Appleseed

and the backwoods idealized too much. For although many readers, like

Mabel Leigh Hunt, will see the Appleseed story as only "rich and humorous

and lovely, and . . . could never be anything but American"; others, like

me, will remember that it is also poor and humorous and ludicrous, and

can and does happen the world over.

Finally, and nevertheless, let me say that even though I object to

the fact that the book does not investigate the areas that I believe should

be investigated by a new work in Appleseed lore and even though I am

not fully in sympathy with the author's romantic approach to the back-

woods, I realize that Better Known as Johnny Appleseed recreates for its

reader the process by which the frontier and the Chapman legends have

developed into a cultural force for the American people. And, after all,

in the mixture of fact and fiction that is history, this process, romantic and

distorted as it may appear to the historian or folklorist, ever counts for most.


Denison University


Street of Knives. By Cyril Harris. (Boston, Little Brown & Co., 1950.

370p. $3.00.)

In this historical novel Mr. Harris retells the romantic story of

Aaron Burr's voyage down the Ohio and the Mississippi toward the con-

quest of Mexico. The tale of the Burr-Blennerhassett expedition has in-

terested historical students for many years, and at least four earlier novels

Book Reviews 99

Book Reviews                               99

have been based on the fascinating events in the lives of its leaders. The

plans and motives of these leaders are obscure; it is impossible to say,

for example, whether Burr was an unconvicted traitor or a misunderstood

patriot. The known events leave much room for conjecture, and there

has been no lack of effort to fill the gaps. The book under review is the

latest attempt and a successful one.

The historical novel is a difficult form; it is a mixture of history,

biography, and fiction; it tends to become one or the other of these-

usually the latter. Mr. Harris has combined the three elements with con-

siderable success. Keeping an objective approach, he has used the available

research in the period and recreated the time, the place, and the people.

Aaron Burr, his daughter Theodosia, her husband Joseph Alston, and

Margaret and Harman Blennerhassett are the principal historical characters.

Minor figures are Jonathan Meigs, his son Return Jonathan Meigs, Rufus

Putnam, Joseph Buell, Andrew Jackson, James Wilkinson, and many

others. All are treated fairly, and the actions and motives assigned to them

seem to this reviewer to be plausible and in accord with the known facts.

Specialists in the biography of the historical persons may doubt the

validity of some of Mr. Harris' invention of the emotional and intellectual

background for events, but in general the author treats his historical

characters with intelligence and restraint.

The central character of the book is Hugh Shadwell, Burr's illegitimate

son (Mr. Harris has found evidence to suggest that such a son was with

Burr on this voyage). Hugh is a well-realized, complex, solid person;

but Chrissie, his beloved, who goes on the expedition as a servant of the

Blennerhassetts, is a stock figure--pert, knowing, but pure. Hugh's relation

to Chrissie follows a familiar pattern; but his relation to his father,

although the situation is the usual conflict between generations, becomes a

symbol which carries the meaning of the book. Hugh, who comes to the

West in 1806, is a representative of the new     America which was then

growing on the frontier. His conflict with his father is a part of the

democratic revolt against the aristocratic, authoritarian tradition represented

by Burr and his plan to conquer Mexico for his own glory and power.

Despite certain elements of the movie scenario in the love story, this

is a good historical novel. It is a tale of interesting people living in in-

teresting times. There is nothing new here for the specialist in the history

of the middlewestern frontier, but this book was not written for him.

This is a book for the general reader who wants to know more about

frontier life on the rivers, and in the forests, towns, and taverns, who

100 Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

100      Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

wants to refresh his memory of Burr and the Blennerhassetts, who wants

to think of the origins of the America we know.


Ohio State University


The Army Air Forces in World War II. Edited by Wesley F. Craven

and James L. Cate. Vol. IV, The Pacific--Guadalcanal to Saipan, August

1942 to July 1944. (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1950. xxxii +

825p., foreword, illustrations, maps and charts, notes, glossary, and index.


This volume, fourth in a projected series of seven, is actually the third

to appear. It carries the air force story in the Pacific from the first offensive

air assaults against the enemy to the point in the war where the Japanese

homeland was brought within range of heavy bombers.

The main weakness of this volume is the lack of a unifying theme.

Pacific geography, the many theaters of war, and the separate commands

divide the story into fragments. For this the editors are not to blame;

in fact, they disarm the critic by referring to this weakness in their fore-

word. A more legitimate criticism is the heavy use of alphabet designations

for the many commands, units of the army, and various allied services,

a device which saves wordage but tends to impede the smooth flow of the

text. While a glossary is provided, it is only a partial one and the forgetful

reader must refer to Volume I to find the meaning of some of the letter

combinations. It would have been better to extend the practice, sometimes

followed by the editors, of repeating every page or so the full name of

the organization after the identifying letters.

The major portion of the book is devoted to air force activities under

General MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific. To this reviewer, who served

in that theater, much of the information was new and some confirmed his

own impression, namely, that MacArthur is seldom if ever willing to

accept any decision but his own. Thus, according to MacArthur's chief

of staff, General Sutherland, if Admiral Nimitz were given the over-all

command of the Pacific area, MacArthur "would retire one day, resign

the next, return to the United States as a civilian and undertake an active

newspaper and radio program to educate the public" (note 14, p. 766).

Even the historical office responsible for this series received on one occasion

the hostile attention of General MacArthur. When its study of enemy losses

in the battle of Bismarck Sea reduced the claims of the original communique,

"GHQSWPA on being apprised of the conclusions of this study in

Book Reviews 101

Book Reviews                            101

Washington, elected to stand on the original figures; indeed, one message

forwarded over MacArthur's signature even      contained the remarkable

suggestion that some action might be taken against those responsible for

calling the claim into question" (p. 148).

The material on the China-Burma-India theater is more concerned

with problems of manpower, supplies, and command than with air attacks

on the enemy. The command arrangements were never satisfactorily solved,

and the review of this problem in Chapter 13, while not introducing any

materials not covered in state papers, memoirs, and journalistic reports, is

a salutary reminder that there has never been any one simple solution to

the China matter.

The editorial supervision of this volume is of the same excellence

as of the first two. The choice of illustrations deserves a special com-

mendation, for there is a preponderance of ground photographs and very

few of those tiresome aerial shots of damaged enemy airstrips.


Cleveland College,

Western Reserve University


And the War Came: The North and the Secession Crisis, 1860-1861.

By Kenneth M. Stampp. (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press,

1950. viii + 331p. $4.50.)

This volume, covering the five critical months from Lincoln's election

to the attack on Fort Sumter, presents a scholarly and meticulous study

of the North and the secession crisis. When a disruption of American

democracy seemed imminent, northern politicians, neglecting a serious con-

sideration of the basic issues which had made for sectional discord, sub-

stituted political and constitutional abstractions for logical discussion of the

possible threat offered to the political, social, and economic institutions of

the planting states by the ascendancy of the Republican party. The author,

in discussing the exercises in logic which pervaded the halls of congress, the

press, and the pulpit, points out the rather paradoxical position of the

champion of southern rights in advocating the legality of peaceful secession

and the establishment of an independent southern confederacy and at the

same time interpreting the decision of the central government to enforce

federal laws as unprovoked aggression.

It is shown that northern editors, along with leaders of the Republican

party, doubted the seriousness of the secession threat and looked hopefully

for the enactment of legislative measures, which, as in 1850, would stem

102 Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

102      Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

the secession tide. While politicians and self-appointed mediators became

hopelessly enmeshed in a web of constitutional abstractions, northern mer-

chants began to feel the impact of evaporating southern markets. As a

result the most ardent advocates of sectional adjustment were recruited

from those who most keenly felt the economic force of threatened secession.

In discussing the unsuccessful plans for compromise, as presented to the

congressional committees of thirteen and thirty-three, the author concludes

that the "champions of appeasement were always breaking their lances on

the tough realities of the 'Irrepressible Conflict' " and that they could not

devise "constitutional amendments which would obliterate the chronic

antagonism between the agrarian and industrial economies." Indeed, the

"fraud of the conciliators" is clearly shown by the fact that during the

discussion of proposed remedies, southern representatives were absent from

congress and northerners refused to surrender any "law which brought

especial benefit to their constituents."

Of especial interest is Lincoln's attitude toward the secession crisis.

The president-elect, believing that the economic panic was artificial and

overestimating the Union sentiment in the South, faced the future with

"philosophical calmness." The events of December, however, convinced

the Illinoisan that the possibilities of effecting a reconciliation between

the sections were remote indeed. In viewing the situation, Lincoln, ignoring

the meaningless suggestions of Horace Greeley and the inconsistencies of

southern radicals and northern abolitionists, refused to subscribe to the

theory of peaceable secession, opposed any territorial adjustment which

might reflect unfavorably upon his administration and offer a threat to the

solidarity of the Republican party by abandoning the cardinal principle

of the Chicago platform. At no time, however, did Lincoln hint that the

government would abstain from collecting its revenues or holding or

recapturing federal property.

Lincoln's basic ideas concerning the crisis, although somewhat modified

by his official family, were brilliantly reiterated in his inaugural address.

When compromises had failed, as they had by the time of the inauguration,

northern business interests, champions of appeasement, endorsed the use

of force against the secessionists in the interest of protecting their invest-

ments and restoring the prestige of the national government. Some northern

businessmen, in abandoning their earlier support of reconciliation, were

not unaware of the economic opportunities offered by an appeal to arms.

It was readily perceived that the economic possibilities offered by army

contracts, an eventual monopoly of the rich western carrying trade once

the Mississippi River was closed to northern commerce, and the elimination

Book Reviews 103

Book Reviews                            103

of unemployment problems as mobilization became a reality, would more

than compensate for the temporary recession occasioned by southern debt

repudiation and the temporary loss of southern markets. Since the average

northern citizen was not especially interested in the plight of the in-

dustrialists, the economic motives were soon rationalized and translated

into such patriotic objectives as national security and manifest destiny.

Other northern groups, including the nonpolitical abolitionists and certain

religious groups, animated by the high ideals of the nineteenth century

middle classes and believing that southern society was essentially degenerate,

sought to convert Lincoln's attempt to preserve the Union, with or without

slavery, into a holy crusade to abolish Negro slavery, punish the South,

and place the stamp of traitor upon those who sought to establish and

maintain southern independence.

The closing section of the study treats of Lincoln's crisis strategy. It is

shown that the Sumter expedition was designed to relieve the president

of responsibility for initiating hostilities and to force the Confederacy to

assume the role of the aggressor. The bombardment of Sumter by con-

federate batteries crystallized public opinion in both North and South,

and an attempt was made to settle the issues of the "Irrepressible Conflict"

on the field of battle. It is significant, however, that after four years of

civil conflict the immediate products of the crusade were the "shoddy

aristocracy of the North and the ragged children of the South." The Union

had been preserved, but among "the masses of Americans there were no

victors, only the vanquished."

The author has admirably presented his thesis, as stated in his preface,

namely, that "there was no basis for sectional harmony as long as Negro

slavery survived and as long as Northerners used their overwhelming

political power in Congress to advance their special interests at the

expense of the South."

It should be clear at this point that Dr. Stampp has made a

substantial contribution to the field of sectional history and to an under-

standing of the secession crisis. The author, in his painstaking and indus-

trious investigation, has examined a wide variety of sources for his subject,

including manuscript collections, public documents, periodicals, newspapers,

and secondary works. The volume, well written and attractively bound,

contains a classified bibliography and an excellent index.


Ohio State Archaeological

and Historical Society

104 Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

104      Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

Backwoods Utopias: The Sectarian and Owenite Phases of Communi-

tarian Socialism in America: 1663-1829. By Arthur Eugene Bestor, Jr.

(Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, 1950. xi + 288p., appendix,

bibliographical essay, and index. $3.50.)

Many Ohioans will be interested in this fine study of the attempts to

establish forty-five utopian communities in early Ohio and fourteen other

states. The volume not only discusses the establishment of the cooperative

and communistic settlements between 1663 and 1829, but also examines

the philosophies and social ideas behind them. The author chooses to

revive the word communitarianism to mean the institution of the socialistic


"Communitarian socialism," a term which actually may be a redundancy,

was a pattern of ideas of social reform in small experimental religious and

sectarian communities. It represented an attempt to produce a better life

through collective efforts. Communitarianism was voluntary, was based upon

planning and experimentation, and sought strength in group isolation.

The seeds of the communitarian idea came from "a restricted zone of

religious radicalism that stretched from central Europe to the British Isles."

The first communitarian colony in the United States was established on

the Delaware River in 1663 by a group of Dutch Mennonites, led by Pieter

Corneliszoon Plockhoy. Later came better known groups, such as the fol-

lowers of Johann Conrad Beissel who founded the Ephrata community in

1817 by a religious group which had emigrated from Wurttemberg.

The Shakers arrived in Ohio in 1805, their first settlements being

Union Village, near Lebanon, and Watervliet, near Dayton. The third

communitarian colony in Ohio was that of the Society of the Separatists

of Zoar, founded on the Tuscarawas River near New Philadelphia in

1817 by a religious group which had emigrated from Wurttemberg.

This community, in which all property was held in common, lasted

till 1898. Owenite communities, the first nonsectarian communitarian

efforts in Ohio, were begun in the state in 1825, a few months after the

first Owen experiment was begun at New Harmony, Indiana.

The bulk of Dr. Bestor's book is an analysis of Robert Owen's ideas

and their application and influence in the founding of communitarian

colonies in the United States. The author examines in great detail the

efforts to make the Owenite projects operate and the causes of their

failures. Robert himself stumbles from idea to idea, scheme to scheme,

with an "enormous capacity for self-deception." His sons were less easily

duped. The history of the Owenite communities is written after exhaustive

Book Reviews 105

Book Reviews                         105

research among collections throughout the country, many of them never

before examined. The result is an exceptional study of Owen's intellectual

history, of the abortive effort at New Harmony, of the enthusiasm and

disillusionment of a number of American reformers who joined Owen in

his communitarian projects, of the influence of Owen in the founding of

imitative colonies, and of the influence of Owenite communitarianism upon

the life of the period.

This reviewer feels that the volume leaves something to be desired

in its discussion of the sectarian communities. Undoubtedly it was the

author's intention to discuss the sectarian phase merely as an introduction

to his discussion of the Owenite projects. At any rate, that's what he does,

and the "Holy Commonwealths" rate only eighteen pages, plus part of

another chapter, out of the entire book. Unfortunately, the subtitle of the

book leads the reader to expect a larger discussion of the Shakers, Rappites,

Zoarites, and other religious communitarian colonies, which preceded the

Owenite efforts, "kept communitarianism alive," and "were untouched

by what Owen did," to quote the author.

Dr. Bestor concludes his volume with a "Checklist of Communitarian

Experiments" from 1663 to 1860, the most complete list available; a

"Statistical Summary"; an excellent "Bibliographical Essay"; and an index.

The following communitarian experiments located in Ohio are listed

in Dr. Bestor's book:

A. Foreign-Language Sectarian Communities

1817 SOCIETY OF THE SEPARATISTS OF ZOAR. Zoar, Tuscarawas County.

B. Shaker Villages

1805  UNION VILLAGE. Union Village (four miles west of Lebanon),

Warren County.

1806  WATERVLIET. Shakertown (on Little Beaver Creek, six miles south-

east of Dayton), Montgomery County.

1822     NORTH UNION. Now Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga County.

1825     WHITEWATER. Shaker Village (twelve miles southwest of Hamilton),

Hamilton County.

C. Owenite Communities

1825     YELLOW SPRINGS COMMUNITY. Yellow Springs.


TERESTS AT KENDAL. Kendal, now part of Massillon.

106 Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

106     Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

D. Other English-Language Communities

1830  KIRTLAND (communistic family established by Sidney Rigdon before

his conversion to Mormonism). Kirtland.

1835     EQUITY. Tuscarawas County.


1843 MARLBORO ASSOCIATION. Marlboro, Stark County.

1843 DR. ABRAM BROOKE'S EXPERIMENT. Oakland, Clinton County.

1844  PRAIRIE HOME COMMUNITY. Near West Liberty, Logan County.

1845 FRUIT HILLS. Warren County.

1847 THE BROTHERHOOD. Clermont County.

1847  UTOPIA. Utopia, Clermont County.

1853 RISING STAR ASSOCIATION. Near Greenville, Darke County.

1856  MEMNONIA INSTITUTE. Yellow Springs.

E. Fourierist Phalanxes

1844  OHIO PHALANX (originally named the AMERICAN PHALANX). Bell-

aire, Belmont County.

1844  CLERMONT PHALANX (originally called the CINCINNATI PHALANX).

Villages of Rural and Utopia, Clermont County.

1844  TRUMBULL PHALANX. Phalanx Mills, Trumbull County.


kingum River, seven miles above Zanesville, Muskingum County.


Ohio State Archaeological

and Historical Society



Diplomacy and Indian Gifts: Anglo-French Rivalry Along the Ohio

and Northwest Frontiers, 1748-1763. By Wilbur R. Jacobs. (Stanford, Stan-

ford University Press, 1950. 208p., illustrations, annotated bibliography,

index, and end maps. $5.00.)

The conflict between the French and English for empire in the new

world was not to terminate until control of the vital Ohio Valley region

had been secured by one of these contestants. The struggle for this control

occurred in the fifteen-year period after the indecisive Treaty of Aix-la-

Chapelle of 1748. France and England each realized the important role

that the Indians could play towards its success or failure. Competition for

Book Reviews 107

Book Reviews                            107

Indian friendship and alliance became extremely keen. The story of the

efforts and methods employed by both parties in this international rivalry

is portrayed in this volume.

The concomitant of successful diplomacy with the Indians, indeed

the sine qua non, was, according to Jacobs, the gift. The general history of

this period is already known to students. The very important role of presents,

given by the French and the English to the Indians, is the contribution

to the knowledge of the period that is herein set forth.

Gifts ran the alphabetical gamut from awls to wines; they ranged in

size from beads to horses; and they took care of about every conceivable

need of the Indian from the cradle to the grave, and, it was believed by

some, even into the hereafter. Presents were used as threats, as bribes, as

favors, as rewards, as donations, as subsidies, and as charities. Politicians,

explorers, diplomats, churchmen, philanthropists, traders, individuals, com-

panies, colonies, and empires distributed them.

Presents, Jacobs asserts, were "the civilizing influence . . . of Western

culture [which] reached ahead of the fur trade far into the wilderness

to the Mississippi Valley" (p. 5). The so-called conspiracy of Pontiac

was "to a surprising degree, a direct result of the lack of presents after

1763" (pp. 12, 183-184). Presents were successfully used by Jesuit priests

"to pacify savage tribes who practiced cannibalism" (p. 32). These and

many other things are indicated in support of the author's general thesis

of the importance of presents in relations between the Indian and the

white man.

Diplomacy and Indian Gifts, a revision of Jacobs' doctoral dissertation,

is the result of much conscientious and painstaking research. The author's

style of writing, however, is labored, and does not lend itself to ease in

reading and comprehension. It is necessary to refer back to chapter titles

repeatedly to determine the direction in which the remarks are leading.

The reader is overwhelmed by the numberless kinds of presents and their

uses, but he is not given a clear picture of their role in diplomacy on the

mid-eighteenth century frontiers of the Ohio and Northwest. Further,

"Ohio" in the subtitle is misleading. "Upper Ohio" or "western Penn-

sylvania" might more correctly have been used. Aside from "White River"

instead of "Great Miami River" (p. 108), errors of fact are virtually nil.

"Ethnology" would have been more nearly correct than "anthropology"

(p. 16). Some of the customs and mores of the Indians used as illustrations

were not as universal among all the tribes as one is led to conclude. The

annotated bibliography is valuable. It is not understood, however, after

the Preface had mentioned published articles based upon materials in this

108 Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

108      Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

work which appeared in certain historical journals, why only part of them

were subsequently listed in the Bibliography.

Geography is such an important part of this volume and place names

are so frequently mentioned, that maps would have materially aided in

understanding the text. While of interest, the end map is of little use in

the geographic orientation that is needed. Abbreviations are employed so

repeatedly in footnotes that a table of these would have greatly facilitated

their understanding. Such citations as "P. R. O., C. 0., 5/1328, L. C. 43-

72, C. 0. 47-72 (film)" (note 80, p. 128) are of little value, because it is

necessary to comb through pages of notes to discover the explanation of

these complicated abbreviations. The reader remains hopeful to the end

for a summary and general conclusions that might be offered. This hope

is unrewarded, however, by the concluding sentence: "The old conflict

went on" (p. 185).

There are a number of things that might have been corrected by more

careful editing and proofreading by the Stanford University Press. For

example, the use of "ibid." is not at all consistent in many places throughout

the volume. Whether or not it is used in similar circumstances would

appear to depend on the whim of the author. The virtue of consistency in

such matters seems to have been ignored or overlooked. Reduced type for

certain length quotations has been arbitrarily employed. Typographical errors

and punctuation discrepancies occur frequently. In several instances, repetition

of identical information is given without need or justification. Acknowl-

edgment of the source of Sir Jeffery Amherst's picture is omitted, while

all others are indicated. A cursory check revealed a number of mistakes in

bibliographical information. These things detract from the scholarly con-

struction of the book and should have been corrected.

Jacobs' book brings to a focus a phase of Indian history that has

long been neglected and overlooked. The Indian was more than a mere

pawn in frontier diplomacy.


Ohio State University


Two Captains West: An Historical Tour of the Louis and Clark Trail.

By Albert and Jane Salisbury. (Seattle, Superior Publishing Company, 1950.

xix + 235p., illustrations. $7.50.)

This is a book with many facets. It is, most significantly, a photo-

graphic record of the route of Lewis and Clark's "Corps of Discovery."

More than one hundred and fifty well selected pictures depict the camp

Book Reviews 109

Book Reviews                            109

sites, landscapes identifiable from the journals of the expedition, animals

frequently encountered, and so on. Interesting entries from Clark's and

Floyd's records are reproduced in half-tone. These pictures are thoroughly

satisfying, since the press work, paper stock, and size of the cuts, are all

designed for that end.

The greater part of the text of the volume is a condensed account

of the expedition, cleverly combining impressions and quotations from the

diarists of the Corps. Quotations are usually identified in the text, but

there is no other documentation, since the authors believe that laymen do

not care from what sources quotations are taken, so long as they are

authentic, and that students would be satisfied only with the original

records. Despite the limitations of space, Mr. Salisbury achieves satisfactory

dramatic effect and gives reality to the leading personalities: Lewis and

Clark, Floyd, Gass, Ordway, Sacajawea, and Clark's servant, the giant York.

Eight maps on a present-day base cover the route from St. Louis to the

Pacific. Principal camp sites on both outward and return trips are identified

and dated. These maps, together with the informal instructions on "how

to get there now" will certainly prove useful to the many tourists who

have a fondness for historical side-excursions.

The accurate location of historic sites is often a matter of real

difficulty. There is abundant reason to believe that the Salisburys were

intent on accuracy. On many occasions they enlisted the aid of local en-

thusiasts, to whom they give proper acknowledgment. Great dependence

is placed on descriptive passages in the original journals, and these are

quoted frequently. There is no evidence that astronomical observations of

the original party were used for verification. The rivers, so accurately

described by the first travelers, are in their old courses, for the most part,

and the authors mention all evidence of older stream beds when that seems


This book is the cooperative work of a family of enthusiasts. The

parents did the writing, prepared the maps and photographs, to be sure,

but the book is doubtless the better because three young Americans,

Bert, Lil, and Joe Salisbury went along on the "historical tour." Their

mother's "Travelogues" which appear at the end of each section are

delightfully informal. "When we neared St. Joseph, OUR Joseph (no

relation) got the measles. Lewis and Clark had plenty of problems but

they didn't ever have to approach a motel operator and ask if they could

spend a quarantine period in one of the cabins. Mr. and Mrs. Zoettl, of

Faucett, Missouri, didn't hesitate. 'Why, when folks are in trouble,' Mrs.

Zoettl said, 'you have to help them out.'"

110 Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

110     Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

The book deserves to be widely read. One can think of no better

introduction to this highly important episode in the expansion of the

United States. To have it at hand while reading the brilliant Bakeless

biography of the two captains would guarantee a most worthwhile week

of reading. The scholar, however familiar with the story, will find profit

in the photographs. Many readers will take special delight in the well

executed woodcuts which Carter Lucas prepared as decorations for end

papers and chapter headings.


Denison University