The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971

Book Reviews

Two are especially significant: refusing to pay debts and suing fellow
church members in the courts.
The key to Baptist growth during this era and later was un-
doubtedly emphasis in the local churches, the associations, and the
general bodies on missions. The churches also accentuated the im-
portance of schools and schooling, helped young preachers secure
an education, and maintained schools.
This study is well-conceived, well-researched, and well-written. It
is a substantial contribution both to the history of religion and the
history of the Texas frontier in general.
Hardin-Simmons University RUPERT N. RICHARDSON
Houston: The Bayou City. By David G. McComb. (Austin: Univer-
sity of Texas Press, 1969. Pp. 315. Illustrations, bibliography,
index. $7.50.)
The biography of a city, especially if that city is raucous, mush-
rooming, sprawling Houston, can be an exciting story. In this study,
David G. McComb has captured much of the excitement that at-
tended the town's progress from John Allen's optimistic speculative
venture "at the head of navigation" of Buffalo Bayou to what has
become the sixth city in the United States. The volume is attrac-
tively designed, well-documented, and exhaustively indexed. Basing
his research on a wide variety of source materials, McComb has
focused his attention primarily on the commercial and industrial
development of the city and its spectacular population explosion.
The result is a highly readable, informative book that describes,
without undue chauvinism, the rise of the Bayou City.
Houston owes its rise and development to such factors as its
focus as a natural center for the state's railroad network, its favor-
able location as the commercial headquarters for Southeast Texas,
and the construction of the Houston Ship Channel. It grew despite
a hot, muggy, and at times unhealthy climate, poor natural water-
ways, and the bitter opposition of Galveston. Perhaps most important
for Houston's rise to national importance has been the exceptional
leadership by broad-visioned men and women at every stage of the
city's development. In this reader's opinion, the book would have
benefitted from greater emphasis on the roles of such leaders as

285

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed December 19, 2014.