The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

vetoed the measures in question as unconstitutional and unnecessary. To sign
such a bill, he said, would be to admit that the original Reconstruction Act,
which he had vetoed in March 1867, was proper and constitutional. Of course,
his vetoes in this case had the same result as in 1867. They were promptly over-
ridden by Congress.
Johnson's "Farewell Address" of March 4,1869, was a lengthy defense of his
conduct as president. "Calmly reviewing my administraton of the government,"
he wrote, "I feel that ... having conscientiously endeavored to discharge my
whole duty, I have nothing to regret." "Events have proven my approach cor-
rect," he concluded, and "the woes which have followed the rejection of forbear-
ance, magnanimity, and constitutional rule are known and deplored by the
nation" (15: p. 515).
Relatively few of the papers in these two volumes deal with Texas. There are
the usual requests for public office, but only a very few letters contained any
information on conditions in the state. Perhaps the most interesting in this
respect was written byJ. Warren Bell, a one-time resident of Tennessee and for-
mer Union army officer who moved to Galveston after the war. His letter of
September 14, 1868, informed Johnson that the reports of lawlessness and mis-
treatment of freedmen in Texas were true in too many cases. I am forced to the
beleif (sic)," Bell wrote, "that were it not for the military authority exerted a very
bad state of things would exist" (15: P. 5657). Bell's wording indicated an aware-
ness that he was telling the president what he did not want to hear.
The editorial work in Volumes 14 and 15 maintains the excellent standard set
in those previously published. Footnotes provide all necessary explanatory mate-
rial and identifications of individuals who wrote letters or are mentioned in
them. The series is an outstanding contribution to the study of the era of Civil
War and Reconstruction.
University of North Texas RANDOLPH B. CAMPBELL
The Strange Demise of Jim Crow: How Houston Desegregated Its Public Accommodations,
1959-1963, A Documentary. Creator and Executive Producer, Thomas R.
Cole. (Distributed by the University of Texas Press, 1997. 60 minutes. ISBN
0-9621294-2-9. $27.95-)
Coming Through Hard Times: An Oral History Video. By Patsy Cravens. (Patsy
Cravens Productions, 1996. 59:54 minutes. $50.0oo.)
It should not surprise us that the growing interest in African American history
has resulted in a number of documentary films that touch on the subject, either
in whole or in part. In recent years filmmaker Jon Schwartz has examined the
racial transformation of a Houston neighborhood (This Is My Home, It's Not for
Sale), and there have been television documentaries examining aspects of black
history in Houston, Dallas, and other Texas communities. There are other film
projects in the planning stage, including a biography of Barbara Jordan and a
study of school desegregation in Hempstead. It is in this context that Thomas
Cole and Patsy Craven have produced their video studies of the African

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 103, July 1999 - April, 2000. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101220/. Accessed July 28, 2014.