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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976

Book Reviews

are shown in DeWitt County instead of Karnes (p. 157). Some information
is so inaccurate as to be really mind-boggling. How could anyone exclude
Gillespie and Comal counties from the list of those dominantly German,
while including Lavaca and McLennan counties (p. 151)?
Much of the research is so shallow as to be inexcusable for a professional
scholar. I get the impression that the author never read much besides the
Handbook of Texas and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly during the
last quarter-century. A recent, detailed soil map of Texas is overlooked, for
example, as is an equally detailed map of ethnic groups. Sources for the
geology map date exclusively from the I849-1933 period, except for the
ever-faithful Handbook of Texas. Rex Strickland's doctoral dissertation, the
definitive work on early northeastern Texas, is not among the works cited
for "The Northeastern Texas Frontier, 18o1-1820." Apparently 1960
instead of 1970 census data were used for the maps showing distributions of
Mexican-Americans and blacks, a lapse inexcusable in a publication dated
In sum, I find the book poorly conceived and researched, filled with
factual errors, and burdened with art work that cannot even begin to pass
for legitimate cartography. The best I can say is that Texas now has an
historical atlas.
North Texas State University TERRY G. JORDAN
Blacks in Bondage: Letters of American Slaves. Edited by Robert S. Star-
obin. (New York: New Viewpoints, i974. Pp. v+196. $7.50.)
This collection of letters written by American slaves and ex-slaves living
in Liberia through the efforts of the American Colonization Society will
be greatly appreciated by historians of slavery and related subjects. Most of
the letters have been available to scholars in various archives but were
neglected and never before made so readily available for study.
The letters are categorized into three areas: "The Black Elite Report on
Slave Life"; "Protest, Escape and Rebellion"; and "After Slavery." Each
category is prefaced with a well written and succinct narrative which gives
helpful analyses of the content of the letters. Writers and recipients of the
correspondence are identified and put in historical context when possible.
Spelling and punctuation were kept as in the originals. Notes at the end of
the volume tell whether the slave or an amanuensis wrote the letter.
Included in the notes are the location and archival identification of the
original letters. An eight-page preface to the volume is a model discourse
on the way in which the historian's use (or misuse) of archival materials on


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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