Books: The Bad Old Days

MY LIFE IN THE MOUNTAINS AND ON THE PLAINS by David Meriwether. 301 pages. University of Oklahoma. $5.95.

David Meriwether is solidly fixed in the history of the Old West as a vigorous and colorful Governor of the New Mexico Territory. But until the appearance of this autobiography, now published for the first time some 72 years after Meriwether's death, few will have known anything about his early life as a frontiersman and Indian trader. Dictated by Meriwether to a granddaughter in 1886, when he was 85, the manuscript was hidden away as a...

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