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

Book Reviews

his private papers and took the scissors to that portion of his
memoirs which dealt with intimacies-for, without these, Hughes
could not truly bring Ford to life in his pages. Also, in the chap-
ters on the Mexican and Civil Wars, the author occasionally gets
away from his subject and writes straight history, obscuring Ford
with excessive facts about the general course of events. Aside
from these shortcomings, Hughes has done a laudable job in
recording and interpreting the life of a sadly-neglected Texas
Ranger. Because Rebellious Ranger is painstakingly accurate,
utilizing the best available sources, it should obviate the need
for any further biographies of John Salmon Ford.
STEPHEN B. OATES
Arlington State College
Prologue to Conflict. By Holman Hamilton. Lexington (Univer-
sity of Kentucky Press), 1964. Pp. viii+236. Preface, maps,
appendices, bibliographical essay, index. $5.00.
The territory acquired under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
satisfied the manifest destiny of the United States and at the same
time created internal strifes which nearly destroyed the Union.
Following the Missouri Compromise, a sensitive balance between
the pro- and antislavery states had been carefully maintained in
the United States Senate. If the institution of slavery was not
permitted to freely expand into the southwestern territory, how-
ever, this equilibrium obviously would soon be upset. By the
spring of 185o, the sectional attitudes of the nation had devel-
oped into a dilemma which appeared to be insoluble by peaceful
means. But for the untiring bipartisan efforts of a large number
of congressional leaders, a civil war might have been precipitated
in 1850. The basic issues involved in the Compromise of 1850
were truly a prologue to the conflict which was to follow a decade
later. Traditional opponets abandoned local interests in the spirit
of compromise to support Henry Clay's Omnibus Bill, which was
designed to solve the five facets of the complex sectional contro-
versy. The Omnibus Bill was a package measure which provided
for (1) the admission of California as a free state, (2) the organ-
ization of territorial governments for New Mexico and Utah
without any restriction on slavery, (3) the purchase from Texas
of its claim to the portion of New Mexico lying east of the Rio

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed July 14, 2014.