OTIS A. SINGLETARY, Editor
The San Saba Papers: A Documentary Account of the Founding
and Destruction of San Saba Mission. Translated by Paul D.
Nathan and edited by Lesley Byrd Simpson. San Francisco
(John Howell-Books; designed and printed by Lawton
Kennedy), 1959. Pp. xx+157. Map. $12.50.
Among bibliophiles whose primary interests lie in the realm
of Western Americana, the name of Lawton Kennedy has long
been hailed as a pre-eminent imprimatur of excellence in con-
temporary book design and production. Texans, therefore, will
assuredly acclaim Kennedy's latest book, The San Saba Papers,
which not only maintains the superlative quality of earlier pub-
lications, but also for the first time is devoted to a Texas subject.
The text of The San Saba Papers is devoted to a documentary
account of the destruction of San Saba in 1758 which was pre-
served in the Galvin Family Papers, Santa Barbara. Herein the
drama of the tragic episode is unfolded with the compelling
urgency of first-person narrative as the depositions of survivors,
both military and ecclesiastical, relate the Spanish failure to
subdue the Texas frontier. Both the translation by Paul D. Nathan
and the editing by Lesley Byrd Simpson are in keeping with the
overall excellence of the publication.
In reading through this moving account of the San Saba mas-
sacre of 1758, one is irresistibly reminded of the site and its more
recent history. The remains of the old presidio still stand about
one mile northwest of Menard as a silent monument to the Span-
ish frontier in Texas. Although a splendid restoration was ef-
fected in 1936, thereafter a lack of continuing state funds left
the fine old landmark to fall again into a sad state of disrepair.
One is also reminded of the importance of the presidio site
in the mid-nineteenth century history of the state. The site was
always a great trail marker in West Texas and figures in the rec-
ords of Marcy, Roemer, and Bowie, as well as many others who
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed December 4, 2013.