The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

BOOK REVIEWS
The Writings of Sam Houston, 1818-1863. Edited by Amelia W.
Williams and Eugene C. Barker. Volume I, 1813-1836.
(Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1938. Pp. xxi,
526. $3.25.)
Sam Houston, who wrote his name more vividly into the
history of the Southwest than any of his Texan contemporaries,
has been in his grave these seventy-five years. The broad outlines
of his career and the details of many of its incidents have been
familiar to students of Southwestern history since the days of the
Republic of Texas; but there have been a number of obscurities
which have long been subjects of conjecture on the part of his-
torians and laymen alike. The publication of Houston's available
writings will clear up many of these, but some will unquestionably
remain even when this compilation shall have been completed.
For Houston was never the man to set down on paper all that
he knew, or hoped, or suspected; he was even less prone to record
all of the plans which his busy and fertile brain conceived.
Many men of less stature have more carefully preserved their
papers than did the Hecro of San Jacinto. Perhaps he shared
Jackson's much-quoted opinion that somehow "History will take
care of Houston's fame." At any rate, there exists nowhere a
collection of Houston manuscripts comparable, say, to the Austin
Papers, or the Lamar Papers, or even the Poinsett Papers.
The Houston Papers have long been scattered among descendants
and private collections, and some of them are withheld from
examination, so that the ambition which several workers in Texas
history must inevitably have entertained to edit the Houston
papers has all these years been unfulfilled. Now comes the first
volume of The Writings of Sam Houston, edited by Amelia W.
Williams and Eugene C. Barker. The editors know, and regret,
as will those who have occasion to use the work, that many known
items could not be included. All available Houston writings from
1813 through 1836, whether previously published or not, and one
group of letters to Houston, have been included.
The established reputation of the editors is sufficient guaranty
of the quality of their work. There is hardly an instance where
they have failed to supply brief, pertinent information to illum-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed April 19, 2015.