Dr. William Joseph Calhoun Lawrence and the Base, Mean, Low-Down, Trifeling, Lying, Lazy, Hog-Thieving, Indolent, Dogon', Chisel-Fisted, Cheating
Why should a respected frontier physician—one of the few of his trade in Texas— die in a mutually fatal Western-style shootout with his cousin?
Frontier Texas— from its War of Independence from Mexico, to the late 1800s— was a strictly agricultural region raising cotton and then livestock, and dotted with small villages . . . not much to draw an ambitious physician. There were, of course, no medical schools in the Republic or the succeeding State. A very few doctors were born in Texas. They went East to get their education, and then came back to their beloved homeland. William Joseph Calhoun Lawrence was one of these doctors.
Lawrence wrote letters almost daily (and kept those he received), so the author could piece together the doctor's life, his virtues and obvious faults, and that of his family, his neighbors and his Texas.