Southwestern Historical Quarterly
San Antonio, and only through his cooperation was its publication
Much credit for publication of the book must surely go to the
Pearl Brewing Company which deposited the original sketchbook
with the McNay Art Institute. The book design by Jo Alys Downs
adds a pleasing touch to the publication.
The titles to the sketches serve as mileposts along the route of
Eastman's travels. About half of the sketches were made along the
Mississippi River before the artist-soldier arrived in Texas. These
sketches include "Grand Tower, Mississippi River, Looking South,
October, 1848," "Sugar Plantation above New Orleans, Looking
North," and "New Orleans from the Tower at the Barracks,
Those of us who have a special love for what Seth Eastman has
sketched in Texas will look fondly upon his first sketch of Texas-
"Pilot's House, Entrance to Matagorda Bay, Texas, November,
1848." Then as he traveled westward, he sketched "Post Oak,
Texas, November 1848" and "Seguin, Texas, Looking North,
All along the route he sketched beautiful live oak trees. His
live oaks stand with all the majestic beauty and dignity that only
a long span of life can give a tree.
It is perhaps fitting that his first sketch of a mission in San
Antonio would be "Front View of Mission San Jose, 5 miles south
from San Antonio, Texas, November, 1848." The various sketches
of the Alamo as Eastman saw it in 1848 made this book a valued
part of a library of Texana.
Those who live in the Texas hill country will be pleased to
find--drawn with etched fidelity-homes of the German pioneers
among the hills and dales north of San Antonio, especially in and
around Fredericksburg. Old houses, fences, barns, wagons, trees,
churches and here and there an early "Dutch" settler at work fill
many of the most interesting pages of the sketchbook.
Seth Eastman had a great ambition to sketch Indians, but only
a few are included in the sketchbook. If he had any frustrations
about not being able to sketch Indians, it is not reflected in the
sensitive appreciation he had of the countryside he covered in
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed March 15, 2014.