RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
Judge Robert McAlpin Williamson: Texas' Three-Legged Willie.
By Duncan W. Robinson. Austin (Texas State Historical
Association), 1948. Pp. 238. $5.00.
There is hearsay in New York publishing circles to the effect
that a greater number of creative writers are busy with their
books in the Southwest than in any other part of the country.
If there is some slight basis for this rumor insofar as purely re-
gional literature is concerned, a large share of the credit should
go to an intensified public interest in the history, the pre-history,
and the folklore of this section, fostered and developed for the
past forty years by a nucleus of scholars centered principally in
The University of Texas, including such well-known names as
E. C. Barker, W. P. Webb, J. Frank Dobie, the late J. E. Pearce,
and the late John A. Lomax, to name only a few of the more
The present work lies well within this tradition and sheds
lustre upon it. It is written by a literary man of a younger gen-
eration whose first loyalty is to the reader, which means that he
writes in the belief that the first requirement of writing is
readability. The work is a biography, but at the same time, it is
a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, interspersed with
incidents, anecdotes, divertisements, and dramatic episodes, all
subordinated to the main theme, as in any good novel or drama.
It is told in a straightforward, lively style which sweeps the
reader along "to see how the thing turns out," somewhat in the
tempo of Kiplingesque narrative. Yet, it is historical writing in
the best sense. It bears throughout its length evidence of research,
fidelity to the record, judicious appraisal of what is evidence and
what is not, with due citation for practically every factual state-
ment of importance in the whole book.
Judge Robert McAlpin Williamson came to Texas in his early
twenties, when the first tentative flames of the revolution were
licking about in the more secret places. It was a young man's
country where pistol-toters shot it out, and disagreements were
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/. Accessed April 19, 2015.