Samuel Bangs: the First Printer in Texas
SAMUEL BANGS: THE FIRST PRINTER IN TEXAS*
LOTA M. SPELL
The date and the personalities involved in the introduction of
the press into the southwest have been subjects for research and
speculation for many years, and, as the region was once a part
of Mexico, the search for data which would throw light upon the
problem has not been limited either to the United States or to
English-speaking historians. J. Eleuterio Gonznlez, in writing of
Nuevo Leon,1 devotes considerable space to his belief that the
Anglo-Americans who came into Texas in 1813 brought with them
a press which was captured at San Antonio by the Mexicans and
taken to Monterey; but neither in the official report of the battle
nor in the list of captured goods is there any reference to a press
or parts of a press.2 In some brief unpublished notes, H. R.
Wagner states that the first document printed in the southwest
which has come to his knowledge is a proclamation of Arredondo,
which was issued at Monterey on July 21, 1820.8 Other writers
have referred to the press brought into Texas by the Long ex-
pedition in 18194 on which a newspaper, the Texas Republican,
was printed. Of this paper three numbers were reported by other
papers in the United States5 as having been received.
From evidence that there was a press in Texas in 1819 and also
one in Monterey in 1820, Wagner jumps to the conclusion that
the Monterey press was the press of the Long expedition, thus:
*Reprinted, with slight revisions, from The Hispanic American His-
torical Review, XI, 248-258, with the courteous permission of the editor.
1Colecci6n de Noticias y Documentos para la Historia del Estado de
Nuevo Le6n (Monterey, 1867).
2Mexico. Archivo General. Historia, Operaciones de Guerra, Arre-
dondo, 1813-1820. Translation in the Quarterly of the Texas Historical
Association, XI, 220-236.
8MS. notes on early printing. Photostat copy in University of Texas
'Lamar Papers. Calendar No. 703, Lamar's Life of Long. Original in
State Library. Printed in Lamar Papers, II, 59. Calendar No. 1966,
Eli Harris, Providence, Louisiana, January 18, 1841, to M. B. Lamar, in
6E. W. Winkler, "The Texas Republican," Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, VI, 162-165; VII, 242-243; XVI, 329-331. C. S. Brigham,
"Bibliography of American Newspapers," in Proceedings of American
Antiquarian Society, New Series, XXXV, 98.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/. Accessed January 31, 2015.