The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES
Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, 1861, edited from
the original in the Department of State by Ernest William
Winkler, State Librarian (Austin: The Texas Library and His-
torical Commission. 1912. Pp. 469).
This volume is the second collection of documentary material
to be issued by the Texas Library and Historical Commission since
its creation four years ago; and it should be taken as an earnest
of what the commission could do in the way of aiding research in
the field of 'Texas history were it supplied by the state with
adequate funds. Very little of our rich archives has been pub-
lished except the diplomatic correspondence of the Republic, the
laws and the legislative journals-which last are not complete.
The commission is authorized by law to publish the archives, but
the scantiness of the funds supplied has made it impossible to
undertake the publication of anything but small and scattered
units. Thus, the former volume consisted of the secret journals
of the Congresses of the Republic.
The choice of the secession journal for the second volume is
justified not only by the importance of the subject but by the in-
herent value of the journal itself and of the accompanying papers
of the convention. The journal is remarkably full. It begins
with an account of the manner in which the convention was
called, and contains the full text of practically every resolution
and report, as well as the addresses of the commissioners from
the other cotton states. The debates are lacking, but it is not
difficult to follow the mind of the convention in the record that
is left. Inserted in the printed journal is a folded page photo-
graph of the signatures to the Ordinance of Secession.
There are four appendices, only one of which is found with the
original journal. The first is an address to the people, prepared
after final adjournment, setting forth the various acts of the con-
vention and the reasons for them. This was originally issued as
a pamphlet. 'The second is the report of the Committee of Pub-
lic Safety, a valuable document, which was appended to the jour-
nal and was also published in pamphlet form. The scarcity of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/. Accessed November 25, 2014.