Notes and Documents
William Stuart Red, Historian:
Appreciation and Criticism
RICHARD B. HUGHES*
W ILLIAM STUART RED (I857-1933) STANDS HIGH AMONG PREPRO-
fessional scholars who by their writings and zeal to preserve
primary sources launched the historiographical enterprise in Texas. A village
pastor by vocation and a founder of Austin Presbyterian Theological Semi-
nary, Red was also author of two indispensable volumes on Texas churches
and builder of ecclesiastical archives at the University of Texas at Austin
and the Historical Foundation of the Reformed and Presbyterian Churches
at Montreat, North Carolina.
While still a young man, Red set out to determine the role of religion in
the Anglo-Mexican conflict of early Texas, and, of even more importance
to him, to preserve the history of his denomination, the Southern Presby-
terian Church. He was uniquely prepared for his tasks. Born east of Gay
Hill in Washington County, the son of Dr. George C. Red, an eminent
elder and trustee of Austin College, and Rebecca Stuart Red, who, as
headmistress of Stuart Female Seminary in Austin, was one of the state's
important educators, William grew up among the leaders of the first and
second generations of Texas Presbyterians. His ties with the church
"fathers" were many. His uncle was James W. Miller, who in I844 began a
distinguished Texas ministry of over forty years. Red's wife, while a young
girl studying music in Boston, had lived with the widow of William M.
Baker, the Presbyterian pastor and novelist. William Baker's father, Daniel,
was the founder of Austin College and a preacher whose evangelistic gifts
earned him the title "the Whitefield of the South." While editing the Texas
Presbyterian, Red studied the voluminous papers of pioneer churchman
W. Y. Allen which the newspaper had published serially from 1876 to 1885.
Allen, a Presbyterian preacher and careful observer of the Texas Republic,
was the surviving founder of "Old Brazos," the first presbytery of the
Southern Presbyterian Church in Texas. Red later condensed and pub-
lished Allen's letters in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.
*Richard B. Hughes is professor of history at St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas.
'Mabelle Purcell, Two Texas Female Seminaries (Wichita Falls, ), 27, 30, 35,
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/. Accessed May 22, 2013.