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

Book Reviews

the validity of his assumptions concerning such matters as who joined
the revolution and why, the inner nature of the Terrazas hegemony,
the profitability of investment in Chihuahua, the nature of daily life in
the municipalities, even the distribution of power and wealth in the
region need to be tested by determined and systematic research in ap-
propriate national (e.g., the Porfirio Diaz collection in Mexico City),
state (e.g., notarial archives in the city of Chihuahua), and municipal
(e.g., the excellent district records at Ciudad Guerrero) archives, as
well as family papers (e.g., Terrazas and Creel), which, if only in bits
and pieces, are starting to become available (e.g., account books of the
Terrazas estate in the city of Chihuahua).
Wasserman's book, however, is a sturdy platform from which to
plunge into deeper historical investigation of Chihuahua and its re-
lation to national and international trends and events.
San Diego State University PAUL J. VANDERWOOD
The Methodist Excitement in Texas: A History. By Walter N. Vernon,
Robert W. Sledge, Robert C. Monk, and Norman W. Spellman.
(Nashville: The Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984.
Pp. x+443. Foreword, illustrations, maps, notes, index. $15.)
Nineteen eighty-four was the bicentennial of organized Methodism
in the United States. The Texas United Methodist Historical Society
chose to mark the occasion by publishing this first serious effort to
chronicle the history of Texas Methodism from the colonial period to
the present. It supersedes the still useful nineteenth-century histories
by Homer S. Thrall and Macum Phelan and a less useful collection of
essays edited by Olin W. Nail and published in 1960. It is a welcome
addition to the study of religion in Texas.
Its subject is an important one. With the Southern Baptists, Texas
Methodists have been the principal shapers of Protestantism in the
state, but their beginnings in Texas were not auspicious. Early on,
Methodist itinerants in Texas earned a reputation for vigorous, emo-
tional exhorting and for rancorous sectarian squabbling. Stephen F.
Austin endeavored mightily to keep them out of the colony, fearing
that they would disrupt the fragile accommodation most Protestant
colonists had worked out with the normally quiescent Catholic estab-
lishment. Of them, Joseph Whipple observed in 1843 that "the pan-
ther is scarcely more keen scented for [the frontiersman's] blood than
the Methodist preacher is for his soul." In the latter half of the nine-
teenth century, however, an ever more decorous and middle-class


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 29, 2015.