The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Dr. Steen is to be congratulated on an ingenious and original
conception as well as on his skill in presenting his material. The
Texas News is accurate, readable, entertaining, and informa-
tive-and what more can be asked of any newspaper? It is agree-
able reading, recommended by this reviewer to both young and
mature lovers of Texana.
Old Bullion Benton: Senator from the New West. By William
Nisbet Chambers. Boston (Little Brown c Company), 1956.
Pp. xv+517. Frontispiece, notes, personal acknowledgments,
bibliography, and index. $6.oo.
Amazing accuracy and a sprightly style characterize Old Bullion
Benton. This book does belated justice to the career of a major
American statesman, whose five terms in the Senate and one in
the House were marked by courage, controversy, and protective
regard for the welfare of the common man. If Benton is known
primarily as a leading lieutenant of Andrew Jackson, let it be
remembered that he was also a force in his own right. This is a
point which John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and James K.
Polk reluctantly admitted as events unfolded. No President of
the United States from James Monroe to James Buchanan was
untouched by the Benton impact. Theodore Roosevelt took
three months to compose a life of Benton. Professor Chambers
devoted ten years. But the degree of Chambers' superiority to
Roosevelt and William M. Meigs may be measured more accu-
rately by end-products than by duration of composition.
The broad sweep of the American past, from the storm
clouds of 1812 to the shadow of the Civil War, has rarely if
ever been portrayed or interpreted more skilfully than in this
volume. For a third of a century, Thomas Hart Benton stood,
spoke, wrought, and wrote at or near the center of the Washing-
ton stage. For a third of a century, his name was identified with
virtually every important issue and debate. These facts undoubt-
edly aided the author in resolving biographers' recurring prob-
lem of how much general history to include in closeup studies of
political titans. Many a scholar, nevertheless, would have fumbled
opportunities which Chambers grasps. On several occasions when


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed December 1, 2015.