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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Book Reviews
Edward Burleson: Texas Frontier Leader. By John H. Jenkins and Kenneth Kes-
selus. (Austin: Jenkins Publishing Company, 99ggo. Pp. xxiii + 448. Pref-
ace, maps, illustrations, black-and-white photographs, appendix, bibliog-
raphy, index. $25.00.)
Edward Burleson, Texas frontier leader described by contemporaries as "the
hero of thirty battles, who was never known to retreat," played a major role in
the early history of Texas. Born in North Carolina and reared in Tennessee
and Alabama, Burleson came to Texas as an Austin colonist in 1830. He settled
in present-day Bastrop County on what was then the Texas frontier. For the
next twenty years he was active in Texas public affairs. A delegate to the con-
vention of 1833, he later commanded Texas troops in the capture of San
Antonio in 1835. He was second in command to Sam Houston in the success-
ful San Jacinto campaign, commanded the frontier regiment in 1839-1840,
served in both the house and senate of the Republic, was vice president of
Texas in 1841-1844, served as president pro tempore of the first four state
senates of Texas, and was cited for bravery in the capture of Monterrey during
the Mexican War. At the time of his death in i851 he was one of the most
revered men in Texas. His funeral was held in the chamber of the Texas house
of representatives and he was the first individual interred in what became the
Texas State Cemetery.
Surprisingly, until now there has been no published biography of Burle-
son. John H. Jenkins, Texas historian, bibliophile, and collector extraordi-
nary, was determined to correct what he believed a major oversight in this
neglect of Burleson, who was the unofficial guardian of Jenkins's great-great-
grandfather, John Holland Jenkins. For years the younger Jenkins gathered
scattered materials relating to Burleson and was working on this biography
with co-author Kenneth Kesselus at the time of his tragic death in 1989.
The finished book would please Jenkins. Burleson emerges as a frontier
champion fighting against enemies on all fronts, be they Indians, Mexicans, or
Sam Houston. While admitting to some Burleson shortcomings, particularly in
the political arena, the biographers generally defend Burleson as a man of
bravery, courage, and action. They believe Burleson deserves more credit for
the capture of San Antonio in 1835 than he is often given by modern histori-
ans. They are particularly critical of Sam Houston for his failure to support
western interests represented by Burleson.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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