The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Bangs, as Mrs. Spell points out, was much more than a capable
printer. He introduced the apprentice system into Mexico, train-
ing many young men in the craft and teaching some also to mold
type. In addition, he spread the use of printing by introducing
new presses in many places. He showed a spirit of enterprise that
makes him deserve much more recognition than he has received.
Toward that recognition this excellent biography makes a fine
beginning. WAYNE GARD
History of Travis County and Austin, 1839-1899. By Mary Starr
Barkley. Waco (Texian Press), 1963. Pp. vii+388. Illustra-
tions, maps, appendices, references, index. $10o.oo.
A book-length treatment of the history of the capital city of
Texas and its county has been surprisingly long in forthcoming;
hence, this work cannot be but welcome to Austin and Texas
history enthusiasts. Unfortunately, because of certain weaknesses,
the welcome may not be as universal or wholehearted as it would
have been otherwise.
The most obvious weakness (other than the many typograph-
ical errors), probably lies in the author's ignoring the limits of
her topic, as stated in the title. Instead of concentrating on Austin
and Travis County before 19oo, the writer all too often turns to
developments of more recent years. The deviation is especially
evident in her description of houses of worship and related insti-
tutions, where she mentions some not even in existence until after
The author, in addition, directs the book to an audience far
smaller than a work of this nature should have. Repeatedly she
refers phenomena like changes in the physical composition of the
city and county to the attention of her fellow "Austinites." A
work on the long-time capital city of a state cannot be strictly
local in emphasis; this one is not; and the intent of its author
should not have been.
In matters of organization also, the work is somewhat disap-
pointing. The several chapters dealing with years between 1839
and 1899 do not convey a sense of historical evolution or progres-
sion. In place of such momentum, there is a near-static quality
about the work, a condition possibly stemming, in part, from the


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 30, 2015.