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The Republic of Texas was still in its first exultation over independence when John Salmon Rip Ford arrived from South Carolina in June of 1836. Ford stayed to participate in virtually every major event in Texas history during the next sixty years. Doctor, lawyer, surveyor, newspaper reporter, elected representative, and above all, soldier and Indian fighter, Ford sat down in his old age to record the events of the turbulent years through which he had lived. Stephen Oates has edited Ford's memoirs to produce a clear and vigorous personal history of Texas.