In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

1 1 6 Southwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly Reeves's service in the Oklahoma and Indian territories, with one chapter focusing on his life in Paris, Texas. Much of the book, I am sure to the gratitude of future students of African Americans in the American West or the history of criminal justice, transcribes key documentary evidence from Burton's research. Yet, these long blocks of text, while useful and interesting unto themselves, detract from a clear elaboration of the book's interpretative framework. While day-to-day details of Reeves's life as a deputy U.S. marshal are explicidy evident, less clear is the forest for those trees. While Burton clearly sees the value of reclaiming Reeves's life as a pioneer African American peace officer, interpretations beyond that fact are harder to discern. The contradiction of an African American peace officer in the position of policing U.S. conquest of Native Americans and the West in general is in need of further elaboration. "This was a dangerous time to be a black lawman in the Indian Territory," Burton writes of Reeves's work out of Muskogee in 1906 (p. 280). Despite changing population and shifting racial dynamics, Reeves was not deterred from "doing hisjob as efficiendy as he could," as Burton attests (p. 280). In another example, Burton's role as an African American peace officer arresting white men for lynching blacks simply calls out for more theorizing. Such racial dynamics suggest important issues that Burton sometimes glosses over. What do the experiences ofmen like Reeves tell us about the relationship of criminaljustice to conquest in the American West, especially forAfrican Americans and Indian people? More elaboration on these critical interpretive points would certainly strengthen this book. Yet, because of its intense focus on the details of Reeves's experience, giving readers access to firsthand documents, Black Gun, Silver Star is a nice addition to the literature and should interest scholars of African Americans, Native Americans, law enforcement, and regional historians ofArkansas, Oklahoma, and to a lesser extent, Texas. California State University-Monterey BayDavid A. Reichard Dreams toDust: A Tale ofthe Oklahoma Land Rush. By Sheldon Russell. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006. Pp. 296. ISBN 0806137215. $26.95, cloth.) Dreams to Dust: A Tale ofthe Oklahoma Land Rush is a work of historical fiction that focuses on the land run of 1 889 and the plans to make Guthrie the Oklahoma state capital. The novel is filled with vivid descriptions of the hardness of the land, and the desperation and greed ofthe setders. Although the depiction ofthe setders is stereotypical in that these are individuals who have achieved little elsewhere and Oklahoma territory is their last chance, the characters become interesting because of the twists and turns of the story line and the historical events faced. Sheldon Russell does a goodjob blending historical fact with fanciful speculation to create novel circumstances. For instance, in the hot summer of 1834, Gen. Henry Leavenworth and a regiment of dragoonsjourneyed into the southwest of what is now the state of Oklahoma. Accompanying the expedition was a young Kiowa girl who was captured by the Osage. Leavenworth was attempting to return the girl as a gesture offriendship. Russell uses this historical incident to create the 2007Book Reviews117 central figure ofCreed McReynolds, who is the son of the Kiowa girl Twobirds and an assistant army surgeon. Creed had risen to the top of his law school class and comes to the territory to become wealthy and powerful. Recognizing his Native American heritage, Creed believes it is antiquated for the world he inhabits. He recognizes the need to set things right and to continue the struggle (p. 34). Creed plans to redefine the tools of the struggle. He tells a friend, "It's not about hunting buffalo and stealing horses anymore___ It's about money and power" (p. 34). Along the way to setting things right, Creed interacts with a number of colorful characters, from a powerhungry editor to a black deputy U.S. marshal who is touched by the spirit world. The historical account of the Oklahoma Land Run is already an event filled with drama and excitement. This work of historical fiction...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 116-117
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.