The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

and narrative, and his writing style makes this book fun to read
-a rare quality for intellectual history.
Yet, one might honestly wonder why this book was published.
Other historians have touched upon its theme and Davis provides
no new insight into the workings of the reconciliation of the sections.
Some interesting topics such as the similarity of white racists' and
black militants' views of Lincoln are broached but not thoroughly
explored by the author. This lack of depth causes one to wonder if
$7.95 is not just a bit too much money to ask for such a slender
South Carolina State College MICHAEL D. PIERCE
Fruits of Propaganda in the Tyler Administration. By Frederick
Merk and Lois Bannister Merk. (Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1971. Pp. x+259. Footnotes, documents, tables, index. $9.oo.)
Frederick Merk's new work, written in collaboration with his wife,
Lois Bannister Merk, describes how President John Tyler used propa-
ganda to influence the people of Maine to accept a negotiated settle-
ment made with England over the state's disputed northern boundary.
The authors further show how similar methods, applied more selective-
ly and with some duplicity, helped convince reluctant northerners of
the desirability of Texas's annexation. In every respect the book reach-
es the high standards of excellence we have learned to expect from this
amazing octogenarian.
In 1841 many residents of Maine, invoking the principle of states'
rights, opposed Secretary of State Daniel Webster's attempt to solve
the vexing problem of Maine's northern boundary through negotia-
tion. President Tyler, himself a staunch states' rights advocate, none-
theless believed that one state should not be allowed to drag the
nation into an unnecessary and unwanted war. Tyler and Webster
therefore launched a program of statewide propaganda in Maine,
directed by the administration and paid for through an executive
fund authorized by Congress for secret use in foreign intercourse.
Thus, in Maine, the way was paved for the Webster-Ashburton
A little later, when Abel P. Upshur and then John C. Calhoun
replaced Webster at the State Department, Anglophobia was used
(discreetly) to raise southern fears of English-sponsored abolition in

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 28, 2014.