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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

While Perman's book looks most closely at the development of op-
position to Reconstruction in the South, Rable's study of violence
focuses on how that opposition achieved success. He suggests that Re-
construction failed because of the persistence and strength of southern
resistance to change. In his view, that opposition found its chief outlet
in violence, which reflected the attitudes of white southerners and
served as the means of bringing about Democratic redemption. Rable
draws for examples upon the entire South, but his material on Texas
is limited.
In Rable's analysis the course of violence evolved through three
stages. Between 1865 and 1867, during presidential Reconstruction,
most violence was random and emerged from economic and social
turmoil rather than political issues. Between 1867 and about 1872,
however, this violence was increasingly channeled to political effect by
Democratic leaders. In this middle period organizations such as the
Ku Klux Klan lacked effective organization and never achieved the
desired results. It was not until after 1872 that Democratic leaders ap-
plied the lessons learned during the Klan years, carefully exercising
violence in a way to sap the strength of their enemies without pro-
voking federal intervention. In Rable's view the purposeful use of
violence finally led to Democratic victory.
Rable successfully demonstrates the violent character of the post-
war South. In proving the sequential development of violence, how-
ever, he is less successful. The ability to differentiate between planned
terror and random, incidental, or personal violence is critical to his
argument. Proof of the conspiracy of Democratic leaders is likewise es-
sential. Unfortunately, the evidence that exists thwarts efforts to assess
the cause of, or determine the persons responsible for, individual inci-
dents of violence.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock CARL H. MONEYHON
The Matamoros Trade: Confederate Commerce, Diplomacy, and In-
trigue. By James W. Daddysman. (Newark: University of Dela-
ware Press, 1984. Pp. 215. Acknowledgments, introduction, notes,
maps, illustrations, appendix, bibliography, index. $27.50.)
Matamoros, Mexico, which is located opposite Brownsville, Texas,
about twenty-six miles up the Rio Grande, developed into one of the
great cotton markets of the world between the years 1861 and 1865.
Through Matamoros, with the endorsement of Mexican officials, Con-
federate and Texas agents traded more than 320,000 bales of cotton


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 27, 2015.