The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Lyndon B. Johnson was next in line for reassessment, but the historian
died before he could write his biography. Two preliminary evalua-
tions of Johnson are among the articles published here.
The Selected Essays of T. Harry Williams provides readers with a
useful sampling of the author's work. Merely bringing together the
fourteen writings, several of them previously unpublished or not read-
ily available, is itself a welcome service. Moreover, the volume displays
the impressive range of Williams's subject matter, as does its compre-
hensive listing of his books and articles. Finally, it is a reminder of the
lucid prose, sparkling wit, and innovative thought that he applied to
his craft.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library MICHAEL L. GILLETTE
France and England in North America. By Francis Parkman. (New
York: Viking Press, Library of America, 1983. Vol. I, pp. 1,504.
Introduction, appendices, chronology, note on the texts, notes,
index. $30. Vol. II, pp. 1,62o. Preface, appendices, chronology,
note on the texts, notes, index. $30.)
In January, 1687, four French ships skirted slowly along the Texas
Gulf Coast. They had come to found a colony, a colony that would tie
together French Canada and Louisiana along the Mississippi drainage.
Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, then forty-four years old but
already a veteran of wilderness exploration, had planned the expedi-
tion and now commanded it. With him he had more than a hundred
soldiers, farm families, gentlemen volunteers, unmarried girls, and a
handful of priests. La Salle himself was the indispensable man, but
for all his endurance and iron will he was a poor leader of men,
withdrawn, uncommunicative, and obsessed. It was he who made the
tragic mistake, the fatal error. Uncertain as to the whereabouts of the
mouth of the Mississippi, he decided that Matagorda Bay was close
enough. The soldiers and settlers were set ashore and the ships sent
back.
La Salle's exploration of the Mississippi Valley and his bitter defeat
on the prairies of East Texas are the subject of a classic work of nine-
teenth-century history, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West,
by Francis Parkman. This book is now printed in a new edition of all
seven of Parkman's historical works. Titled collectively France and
England in North America, they describe Canada from the first French
settlements to the British conquest in 1763. The seven histories ap-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/. Accessed July 3, 2015.