The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900

Book Reviews and Notices. 149
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
The Laws of Texas. Compiled and arranged by H. P. N. Gammel,
of Austin. With an Introduction by C. W. Raines. Austin:
The Gammel Book Company. 1898. Vol. V, pp. xii + 1686;
Vol. VI, pp. 1703.
Since the publication of the last number of THE QUARTERLY,
volumes V, and VI of Gammel's Reprint of the Laws of Texas
have come from the press. That these volumes are to be invaluable
to the lawyer, valuable to the student of history, and intensely in-
teresting to the merely curious, has been emphasized. The years
of legislation covered by them are from 1853 to 1871. Three dis-
tinct and important periods in the history of a State great in mate-
rial but unappreciated wealth and in the elements to be developed
into an ideal commonwealth, were covered by the legislation here
published; the first period, from 1853, when Texas had become re-
leased from the embarrassment of onerous debts to the beginning
of the war; the second, the period of that enormous conflict; and
third, that darkest period in the 1 istory of Texas and the South,
when it was demonstrated that written constitutions are inefficient
against the dark passions of men, and when the atrocities of crimes
against individuals were rendered insignificant by the political
crimes against all the people and posterity.
Volume V begins with an address to the people of Texas from
a committee of the Secession Convention, setting forth the political
views of a majority of the people of the State. This is followed
by the Constitution of 1861 and the provisional Confederate Con-
stitution.
Five hundred pages of the volume are devoted to the war legisla-
tion. While the ordinary affairs of government were not ignored,
almost every act had upon it the signs of the great conflict, while
the very type used in printing the laws indicated the necessity for
extreme economy in the conduct of the civil affairs of the govern-
ment. Stay and appraisement laws were passed; limitation laws
suspended. Very much of the legislation had direct reference to
the military operations of the State, and to meeting the condi-

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/. Accessed July 25, 2014.