The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

induced by the manner of the presentation of the subject matter
in the book itself. From such criticism he does not ask to be
spared. If this book, just as it is, courageously written by the
author in full consciousness of its radical departures from both
orthodox form and language-if, I say, despite these real or
fancied handicaps it succeeds in conveying a valuable increment
of scientific knowledge to a clientele of intelligent, interested
readers unversed in the technical language of taxonomy, it will
not have been written in vain. Let him in whom it engenders
much happiness, by ignoring it refuse to be made unhappy; but
let him to whom it brings a worthwhile degree of pleasure ignore
the attitude of the professional and, without apology to any man,
enjoy it to the fullest. B. C. THARP
University of Texas
Charles Elliot R. N., 180o1-875: A Servant of Britain Overseas.
By Clagette Blake. London (Cleaver-Hume Press, Ltd.),
196o. Pp. xv+ 130. Illustrations, index. $4.00.
Clagette Blake's study of Charles Elliot points up the early
nineteenth century problem in communication and the necessity
for members of the foreign and colonial service to make inde-
pendent decisions. Despite the accepted notion that the period
was one in which the British government viewed its empire with
lazy indifference, officials in the field were as a whole more ambi-
tious and often more competent than their Whitehall superiors.
Elliot's career in China and Texas typifies the devoted service
rendered by many agents of the crown. Difficult and even dan-
gerous negotiations were not uncommonly climaxed by meager
rewards or even pointed rebuffs from home.
Born in Dresden in 18o0 (his father was minister plenipoten-
tiary to the court of Saxony), Elliot entered the navy at fourteen
and from then, until his retirement from the governorship of St.
Helena in 1869, he remained in the service of the British Gov-
ernment. After fifteen years in the Royal Navy, Captain Elliot
received his first diplomatic appointment in 1830 as Protector
of Slaves in British Guiana. Called home in 1833, his detailed
reports strengthened the movement for abolition. Next assigned

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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 August 27, 2014.