The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

Book Reviews

Marian O. Boner, and "The Colorful and Flamboyant Lawyers of
Texas," by Traylor Russell, also largely concern the personal achieve-
ments-scholarly and otherwise-of various Texas lawyers.
The remaining essays, with one exception, are general summaries of
secondary material rather than contributions based on original-source
research. Both "A History of Law Licensing in Texas," by former U.S.
Senator Ralph W. Yarborough, and "A History of the Texas Courts,"
by Judge Spurgeon E. Bell, exemplify the type of article whose intent
is not so much to critique as to review and to outline general develop-
ments. The one exception, "Law and Lawyers in Pre-Independence
Texas," by Hans W. Baade, provides a scholarly examination of the
Anglo bar in Texas prior to the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Although the book will not break any new historical ground, it does
preserve some facts and stories regarding the bar and the characters
who have practiced before it for more than one hundred years. In "The
Colorful and Flamboyant Lawyers of Texas," the story is related that
William P. ("Wild Bill") McLean, a Tarrant County lawyer in the
early 1900oos, provoked the anger of a judge during a trial.
"Are you trying to show contempt for this court?" the judge asked.
"No, Your Honor, I'm trying my best to conceal it!" the lawyer is
said to have replied (p. 224).
Perhaps many Texas lawyers would like to be remembered for lines
like these-later inserted in a Mae West movie in the early 1930s; cer-
tainly anecdotes of this kind provide pleasant browsing material re-
garding the history of the Texas bar.
Houston A. FRANK SMITH
CRAIG SMYSER
Black Leaders: Texans for Their Times. Edited by Alwyn Barr and
Robert A. Calvert. (Austin: Texas State Historical Association,
1981. Pp. x+ 237. Introduction, photographs, index. $11.95, cloth;
$6.95, paper.)
This volume is a worthwhile contribution to black history. Pub-
lished by the Texas State Historical Association, Black Leaders ex-
plores in biographical fashion the careers of various black Texans from
slave times to the recent era. As editors Barr and Calvert state, the pri-
mary purpose of this collection is to recognize those black Texans who
led the effort to "devise and carry out measures for their own social
advancement, and for the general improvement of their condition" (p.

567

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed July 28, 2014.