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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 supplements the historical narrative with vivid descriptions ofthe sights, the sounds, the smell ofthe land, and die uniqueness of the setders. Oklahoma Christian University ofScience and ArtsJohn H. L. Thompson The Forgotten Expedition, 1804-1805: The Louisiana PurchaseJournals ofDunbar and Hunter. Edited byTrey Berry, Pam Beasley, andJeanne Clements. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, soo6. Pp. 288. Acknowledgments, illustrations , maps, notes on sources and editorial process, bibliography, index. ISBN 0807131652. $2g.g5, cloth.) In 1 804 President ThomasJefferson authorized William Dunbar, a Mississippi plantation owner, scientist, and surveyor, and George Hunter, "a prominent Philadelphia chemist/apothecary," to explore the Arkansas and Red rivers to the source of each. The men were to provide information concerning the possible resources found in this new U.S. territory and also provide information regarding the region's populations. In addition, theywere to document dieir scientific findings on "the hot springs." Together, Dunbar and Hunter "planned to complete precise mapping of the waterways, to categorize the flora and fauna, and to scientifically test the waters along the Ouachita River" (p. xiii). They also took almost daily solar and lunar observations and recorded some of the difficulties and problems of dieir trip—their white elephant ofa boat (which they later bartered for another more suitable boat at Fort Miro) ; their often arduous struggle navigating the river; the complaints and discontent among the soldiers (a sergeant and twelve enlisted men) assigned to go with them; and, a mishap with a gun in which Hunter accidentally shot himself in the hand. The expedition, later referred to as the Grand Expedition, ifcompleted, would have been an excursion that rivaled the explorations of Lewis and Clark; because of a rumor of warring Osage Indians, however, the trip was shortened to the Ouachita River and the area known as the hot springs. Though the trip was considered a failure by some, "the results of the astronomical and directional observations of both men supplied the information to draw accurate period maps of the Ouachita and Black Rivers and the many streams that have confluences along their banks" (p. xiii). The party spent nearly a month at the hot springs, quartered 1 1 8 Southwestern Historical QuarterlyJuly in rudely renovated summer cabins already there. Here, thejournal notes of both men became more detailed as they made their tests and observations ofthe springs and pondered its cause. Those sections of The Forgotten Expedition that were especially impressive and interesting to me, however, were how the men were able to improvise when their own navigational and scientific instruments proved less than accurate. Also, the litde anecdotes and histories they sometimes included in their note-taking were fascinating; for example: how hunters (white and red) "deposit(ed) their skins &c often suspended to poles or laid over a pole placed upon two forked posts in sight of the river, untill [sic] their return from hunting; these deposits are considered as sacred and few examples exist of their being plundered" (p. 63). Finally, the numerous footnotes explain, clarify, define, and elaborate on locations, terms, and substances referred to throughout the book; for example: Chemin couvert is Smackover Creek in Union County in Arkansas, and "something resembling coal" discovered by Hunter is footnoted as being "possibly lignite, or a lower grade of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 117-118
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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