Book Reviews 129
I Remember, being the Memoirs of Mrs. John Herndon (Maria
Aurelia Williams) James together with Contemporary His-
torical Events and Sketches of Her Own and Her Husband's
Families. By Charles Albert Sloane, editor and compiler.
(San Antonio, Texas: The Naylor Company. 1938.
Frontispiece, illustrations, and an index. Pp. 301.)
Mrs. James, whose memoirs are here the subject of comment,
was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1859. Her reminiscences, even
were they not sprightly and interesting and significant in them-
selves, are valuable because of her own distinguished family ties,
she and her family being related to John Tyler, the tenth President
of the United States; and to Robert E. Lee, Commander of the
Confederate Armies. Mrs. James is also a direct descendant of
Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, who founded the Plantagenet line in
England, this latter relationship entitling her to membership in
the highly exclusive Plantagenet Society.
The James memoirs are worth while also because of the illus-
trious people and the famous places about which she reminisced.
Through the pages of the book may be found historical comments
on John Herndon James, her distinguished husband; informative
references to the historic rivalry between Indianola and Port La-
vaca; stirring tales about the destruction of Indianola by the hlur-
ricane of 1875; brief commentaries on the history of the famous
forts of Texas-Duncan, Inge, Clark, Mason, McKavett, Graham,
Gates, Scott, Croghan, and Lincoln; brief notices of Jolm L.
Bullis, the noted Indian fighter; description of the activities of
General John B. Hood, R. E. Lee, George B. McClellan, and Earl
Van Dorn who served at Fort Croghan; stories of the founding of
Fort Sam Houston, the great military depot at San Antonio; grue-
some stories of Indian depredations along the Rio Grande; records
of the miraculous cures brought about by Drs. Herff, Chandler, and
Barker; stories of the ministerings of the Episcopal preachers of
San Antonio; and interesting descriptions of the colorful San
Jacinto Festival and Battle of Flowers. Mrs. James glorifies these
past incidents and gives the figures of the pre-twentieth century a
glamour and romance which a closer view perhaps would not reveal:
The gallantry of the men, the eloquence and the saintliness of the
ministers, the bravery and fortitude of the army officers, the beauty
and innocence of the women, and the uncanny success of "the
giants of the medical profession" would seem to indicate that a
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed December 11, 2013.