The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

enthusiasts and students of southern history of the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. The latter particularly should seek to
read the book, for it gives a curiously revealing glimpse into the taste
and sentimentality of that lingering war generation.
Lamar State College WILLIAM SEALE
Travelers in Texas, 176z1-86o. By Marilyn McAdams Sibley. Austin
(The University of Texas Press), 1967. Pp. 236. Illustrations,
critical essay on sources, bibliography, index. $5.00.
The letters "G.T.T." scrawled on vacant houses in the Old South
meant that the occupants had Gone to Texas. In some cases, the man
of the house had decamped just ahead of the sheriff, but by far the
majority of those who populated the vast country between the Sabine
and Rio Grande rivers were respectable people with the wanderlust,
lured by the siren's call of a fresh start. They were joined in passing
along the highways of Texas by filibusters, traders, government agents,
land speculators, refugees, adventurers, revolutionaries, gold seekers,
army wives, and warriors. All came for reasons of their own; few, how-
ever, were mere tourists. Some lingered only briefly; thousands of oth-
ers became residents, so that Texas, almost unpopulated in 1761, num-
bered more than 6oo,ooo people a century later.
Many of these travelers left records of their impressions and adven-
tures along the way which collectively tell a panoramic story of the
land and its exploration and settlement. These accounts fall into three
categories: reports of official or quasi-official governmental representa-
tives-soldiers, diplomats, and in the Spanish era, Roman Catholic
priests; private letters and journals not intended for publication; and
the great bulk of material written for publication. Mrs. Sibley has
skillfully woven these accounts into colorful chapters about travel
conditions, travelers' impressions of Texas and its people, Indians,
frontier justice, slavery, and immigration. The discussion ends with
a critical essay on over two hundred of the more important published
travel accounts. The book neatly complements bibliographical works
by Thomas W. Streeter, Bibliography of Texas, 1795-1845 and Thomas
D. Clark (ed.), Travels in the Old South: A Bibliography, 1527-86o0.
The latter is thin on Texas. Scholars working on any aspect of Texas
history during the period 1761-1860 are in the author's debt for this


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed August 29, 2015.