RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
The Handbook of Texas. Walter Prescott Webb, editor-in-chief;
H. Bailey Carroll, managing editor. Austin (The Texas State
Historical Association, 1952. 2 vols. Pp. 1930. $30.00.
Several months ago a lady from South Carolina wrote to me
for information concerning a cousin of her grandfather's, a man
named Mood, "who had something to do with education in
Texas." I checked the indexes of several Texas histories, examined
the records of the University of Texas, and wasted several hours
in other fruitless exploration before I learned that the man in
question was Francis Asbury Mood, a native of South Carolina
who had come to Texas in 1868 for reasons more creditable than
those of some of his contemporaries, had served as president of
Soule University, Chapel Hill, Texas, and later had been one of
the principal founders of Southwestern University.
If my friend had waited six months to ask her question, I could
have answered it in a matter of seconds by consulting the new
Handbook of Texas. This remarkably valuable compendium of
a wide variety of facts about things Texan (and Texian, too, for
that matter) will save untold hours of labor for many professors,
newspapermen, and others of the curious in years to come.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association after twelve
years of preparation, the two-volume Handbook of Texas became
at once the most important single title in any Texas library. A
total of 15,896 topics are covered in its 1,930 closely but legibly
printed double-column pages. Many of these topics are treated in
succinct articles written by the top authorities on these particular
subjects. The article on Stephen F. Austin, for instance, is the
work of Eugene C. Barker. Walter Prescott Webb contributed
the piece on the Texas Rangers, while Amelia Williams wrote of
the Alamo, C. L. Sonnichsen of John Wesley Hardin, Joe B.
Frantz of Gail Borden, Herbert Gambrell of Anson Jones, and
Alex D. Kreiger of Texas archeology.
More than 1,ooo people, working under the general direction
of Editors Walter Prescott Webb and H. Bailey Carroll, have con-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed July 24, 2014.