The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975

Book Reviews

Texas and of the Texas government and people toward Mexico. One finds
interesting comments on Houston's role in the annexation movement, and
gains an understanding of the inability of the French and British emissaries
to fathom the man. France had been too indifferent too long toward Texas,
and her belated and half-hearted efforts to forestall annexation failed. Much
of the fault rested at the feet of Dubois de Saligny whose ineptitude embar-
rassed his government and brought for a while strained relations between
France and the United States.
By the publication of these documents, with an excellent biographical
sketch of Viscount Jules de Cramayel, the Texas State Historical Associa-
tion has made more readily available valuable source materials which fur-
nish new and interesting insights into Texas of the mid-z 84os and its diplo-
macy. Barker is to be congratulated for her scholarship and fine editing.
An appendix contains a listing of the documents for ready reference, and a
valuable name, place, and subject index covers both volumes, and now
makes Volume I more usable.
Texas A&M University J. MILTON NANCE
The Southern Dream of Caribbean Empire, 1854-1861. By Robert E. May
(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973. Pp. x+286.
Bibliography, index. $Io.)
The relationship between slavery and expansionism in the I85os began
attracting scholars years ago. Diplomatic, old South, and Civil War histo-
rians have often noted the impact of the Cuban annexation drive, William
Walker's Nicaraguan invasion, and James Buchanan's Mexican protectorate
scheme on the sectional debate of the decade. Fortunately Professor Robert
E. May was not dissuaded from his research on this topic, despite its popu-
larity in middle-period scholarship, and has produced a well-written and
superbly researched investigation of the South's fascination with tropical
slave empire.
May begins naturally with the historic roots of Caribbean slave empire,
employing contemporaneous material to illustrate Southern reveries about
the future of slavery. The emphasis is on the years following the Narciso
L6pez expeditions to Cuba (1849-1851) and the failure of Franklin
Pierce's Cuban purchase scheme in 1854. After that, the idea of acquiring
Cuba became more and more a proposal identified with slave interests in
the South. May devotes an entire chapter explaining the Cuban debate in
the Congress in 1859, when champions of annexation argued for a $30
million appropriation as the first installment to buy the island from Spain.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/. Accessed July 28, 2014.