Journey Through Texas: A Saddle-Trip on the Southwestern Frontier (Used)


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A JOURNEY THROUGH TEXAS (1853-1854), A SADDLE-TRIP ON THE SOUTHWESTERN FRONTIER by Frederick Law Olmsted, this version edited by James Howard, illustrated by Mary Sloan, hardcover, 1962. JOURNEY THROUGH TEXAS, first published in 1857, is the account of a tour of Texas and Louisiana that Frederick Law Olmsted and his brother Dr. John Olmsted took in the winter and spring of 1853-54. Frederick’s doctor-brother came to Texas in the hope ‘that his tuberculosis would be cleared up by the clean air and warm temperature of the prairie West. (Unfortunately, it wasn’t helped much.) For Frederick Olmsted himself, it was the second major phase of his indefatigable travels in the slave South of the middle 1850’s. These comprehensive Southern travels were to yield more immediately a hefty bundle of dispatches to New York newspapers (the New York Times in particular) and more ultimately a trilogy on the slave South that he entitled “Our Slave States.” Journey through Texas is the second panel of the trilogy, standing between JOURNEY IN THE SEABOARD SLAVE STATES and JOURNEY IN THE BACK COUNTRY. Frederick Olmsted had an agreement with Henry J. Raymond of the New York Daily Times to send back letters to the new-founded Times recording his experiences on the trip to and across Texas. Writing of his Southwestern travels was a continuation of the assignment Olmsted had had of reporting to the Times of New York his observations as a Northern traveler in the slave South. As a result of his Texas visit, a series of fifteen articles or letters bearing the label “A Tour in the Southwest” (or “Letters from the Southwest”) appeared from time to time in the columns of the Times between March 6th and June 7th of 1854. These dispatches were signed “Yeoman,” the pen-name that Olmsted had previously used for his newspaper reports on the slavery-ridden South. Then almost exactly three years later, in the winter of 1856-57, Olmsted’s brother Dr. John Olmsted expanded, altered, and otherwise materially changed these paper letters into a book, JOURNEY THROUGH TEXAS. Professor Howard of Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, in his edition has shortened somewhat the text of the first edition (1857) of Olmsted’s Texas journal. He has written an “After-Word” section to supplement Olmsted’s own brief introduction of his book. Professor Howard is professor of American history at Del Mar College. His career has included teaching stints at Texas A. & M, College, the University of Texas, and Southwest Texas State College. He is the recipient of a Ph.D. degree from Harvard in American Studies.