The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

tion of church and state has not separated students from religion.
Essentially the history of a parish and not of what is called with
fine academic infelicity a "Bible Chair," these pages illustrate
that religious influence active for many years among students
attending what the early opponents of state universities called
"godless institutions."
Apart from this implied history of church influence in educa-
tion, there are constant reminders of the fact that, in the cultural
history of Texas, churches have helped develop an appreciation
of beauty. This was true long before schools of fine arts flour-
ished. Of course, this influence was not always lasting: Dr. Battle's
description of how plain song failed to win a Texas congregation
is a memorable anecdote in the history of the arts in Texas. The
comments here on church music, church architecture, and the
practice of preaching are among the book's best passages.
Three other qualities attract a reader, even a reader to whom
the story is largely unfamiliar. Skillful use of tables and sum-
maries makes facts easily accessible. Illustrations chosen with
sense and engraved effectively emphasize personal elements in
the narrative. The book's real triumph is its account of person-
alities. A pleasant courtesy, always judicious, never gets lost in
the inflated writing or mawkish back-glancing apology which
make some books of this sort unreliable history and unendurable
This story is as accurate and complete as it can be made or
needs be. Its implications are significant (seekers after Texana
can find here more than one searching glance at the social history
of their state). But above all it mixes in its pages great humanity
and simple spirituality. Now and then local history can do with-
out that combination. Man cannot.
The University of Texas
Yellow Fever in Galveston, Republic of Texas, 1839: An Account
of the Great Epidemic. By Ashbel Smith. Biographical sketch
by Chauncey D. Leake. Austin (University of Texas Press),
1951. Pp. xx+135. Illustrated. $2.50.
The interest of this small, well-designed, and attractively jack-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 30, 2015.