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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

and New Mexico. A cholera epidemic in Texas proved fatal to
General Worth on May 7, 1849. Today, the cities of Fort Worth,
Texas, and Lake Worth, Florida, pay tribute to the name of Gen-
eral William Jenkins Worth.
Written originally as a doctoral thesis, the biography shows
good scholarship. For background, the biographer supplemented
the basic work of Justin H. Smith's Mexican War with George
Wilkins Kendall's unpublished manuscript on the Mexican War.
Though no sympathy is gained for General Worth, the writer has
written a book deserving close scrutiny by all interested in Amer-
ican history.
Mississippi College
The Nebraska Question, 1852-1854. By James C. Malin. Law-
rence, Kansas (Privately Printed), 1953. Lithoprinted from
typescript. Paper-bound. Pp. 455. $4.00.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was, according to long-established
legend, the most controversial law ever passed by an American
Congress, and in its train there followed a series of evil conse-
quences which led to the tragedy of the Civil War. It was, said
Salmon P. Chase and Charles Sumner and such "Independent
Democrats," a "gross violation of a sacred pledge," a nefarious plot
of the Slavocracy to extend the borders of slavery. It was, said the
Republican Party which sprang full-blown from the nation-wide
revulsions against the Act, a bid by the scheming Stephen A.
Douglas for Southern support of his presidential ambitions. It
was, said Democratic apologists-Douglas among them-an appli-
cation of the "principles of 1850," popular sovereignty, to terri-
tory made free by the Missouri Compromise of 182o.
In the years that followed, historians uncritically accepted one
or the other of these partisan allegations and solemnly enshrined
them in the "histories" they wrote. Von Holst and Rhodes and
Hart repeated the charges of the Independent Democrats and
Republicans, and joined voices in excoriating Douglas. No one
looked behind the record, sought out the documents, and essayed
an impartial evaluation. No one, that is, until Frank Hodder-
one of the few great historians the nation had produced-peered
into the record, compared the attending circumstances, and con-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 5, 2016.

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