The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972

Book Reviews

he also explores their economic, social, and educational status. Black
Texans voted throughout the period and participated extensively in
Republican party politics. Moreover, they attempted various forms
of fusion in efforts to defeat the Democrats, aligned with the Popu-
lists, and in the 18go's some blacks broke their traditional allegiance
with the Republicans and supported the Democrats. On the local
level, especially in the black belt districts, they controlled many
political offices and elected blacks to the state legislature. But whites
continually eroded black voting rights and in the 1890's, through
intimidation, reapportionment, and White Men's Leagues, steadily
reduced black political activity until it was virtually eliminated in
90o2 with the passage of the poll tax.
A basic problem in writing about black Texans in the latter
nineteenth century is the lack of relevant source material. Since
blacks were not of the letter-writing or diary-keeping middle class,
most primary views are lost to historians. Even black newspapers,
an invaluable source of information, are in scarce supply for the
modern researcher. Necessarily the story must be reconstructed from
white sources, which inevitably leads to some distortion. As a result,
at times Rice's book appears white-oriented because it fails to exhibit
an understanding of the black point of view. The author also might
have given more consideration to the black culture in Texas. These
criticisms, however, should not detract from the obvious merits of
the book.
California State College, Hayward BRUCE A. GLASRUD
The Nat Turner Rebellion: The Historical Event and the Modern
Controversy. Edited by John B. Duff and Peter M. Mitchell.
(New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Pp. viii+244. Paperback,
$3.95.)
The slave rebellion of 1831 in Tidewater, Virginia, led by the
almost mythical figure of Nat Turner, engulfed four counties and
caused 239 known deaths among both races. The southwestern states,
always as fearful of slave uprisings as their southern sisters, read
about this bloodbath with horror. Readers of the Arkansas Advocate,
for example, avidly followed republished dispatches from the Rich-
mond Enquirer; one such dispatch is included in this anthology as
an historical source. The basic source is, of course, Nat Turner's own
Confessions.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed July 31, 2014.