New Orleans Newspapers and Texas Question, 1835-1837 109
NEW ORLEANS NEWSPAPERS AND THE TEXAS
JAMEs E. WINSTON
"Without a press," wrote General Maximo Gomez, the Cuban
chieftain, on the eve of the Spanish-American war, "we shall get
nowhere." So at the time of the Texas revolution, the fact that
the journals of the southern states, and especially those of New
Orleans, were friendly to the patriot cause, was a powerful factor in
determining the final destiny of the Texas republic. The attitude
of the newspapers of this city touching the questions of recognition
and annexation during the crucial years 1835-1837, was a potent
factor, at least in the South, in arousing and crystallizing public
sentiment on these two important issues.
A number of years ago Dr. Alexander Dienst pointed out in his
article, "New Orleans Newspaper Files of the Texas Revolution,"
that the standard of journalism in this city at that time was high,
the editors being influential party leaders as well as fluent writers.1
This period has been described as the golden age of New Orleans
journalism. "Well written and printed, the newspapers of the
Crescent City up to the time of the Civil War led those of the
whole country in the matter of good taste and typographical
beauty."2 Further examination of these old newspaper files only
serves to strengthen the impression of Dr. Dienst that the great
moral support accorded Texas at the time of her revolt against
Mexico has not been sufficiently emphasized.8 Pages might be
filled with extracts from the editorial columns of the four dailies
that were on the whole friendly to the Texan cause in support of
this view. One brief statement from the Commercial Bulletin
of May 4, 1836, must serve to illustrate the tone of the New
Orleans journals: "In the sacred name of right, justice and
1Alexander Dienst in the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Asso-
ciation, IV, 140-151.
'John S. Kendall, "Early New Orleans Newspapers," Louisiana His-
torical Quarterly, X, 383-401.
'Dienst, as cited, 142. For a detailed narrative of the services ren-
dered Texas by the citizens of New Orleans at the time of the revolu-
tion, see the Louisiana Historical Quarterly for July, 1927.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/. Accessed January 30, 2015.