THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXX OCTOBER, 1966 No. 2
Iritish Jmpressions of xas ad
MARY LEE SPENCE
T HE SPECTACLE OF THE INDEPENDENT TEXAS REPUBLIC EXIST-
ing on the American-Mexican frontier in the 1830's and
1840's stimulated the writing of articles, pamphlets, and
books in Great Britain. An amazing number beginning with Texas:
An English Question and concluding with Charles Hooton's St.
Louis' Isle, or Texiana, appeared in the ten-year period from 1837
to 1847. Like campaign biographies in an election year, these
British publications were written primarily for propaganda pur-
poses, although a few were meant to entertain and bring a few
pounds into the authors' pockets. Some of the writers were actual
observers of the country and people about which they wrote;
others obtained their information and opinions second hand. Two
of the best accounts by British observers were not published until
more than a century later, although undoubtedly such a delay
was galling to their literary ambitions.'
From time to time articles on the new republic appeared in
various British magazines. In 1837 Chambers' Edinburgh Journal,
a weekly, entertained its readers with four articles on Texas and
two on the traits of Spanish misrule.2 While it drew its informa-
tion from authorities on both the Mexican and Anglo-Texan inter-
ests and made an attempt to be impartial, it was actually pro-
Texas. Most of the fourth article on Texas was devoted to the
'These were the journals of Francis C. Sheridan and William Bollaert. Before
his death, Bollaert began revising the journals of his Texas experiences for pub-
lication. W. Eugene Hollon and Ruth Lapham Butler (eds.), William Bollaert's
Texas (Norman, Oklahoma, 1956), ix, xvii-xix.
2Chambers' Edinburgh Journal (London), VI, March 18, 25, April 1, 15, 22, 29,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed March 9, 2014.