The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Book Reviews
NORMAN D. BROWN, Editor
Lone Stars and State Gazettes: Texas Newspapers before the Civil
War. By Marilyn McAdams Sibley. (College Station, Tex.: Texas
A8cM University Press, 1983. Pp. xiv+405. Foreword, acknowl-
edgments, illustrations, appendix, bibliography, index. $21.50.)
A Texas reader would expect the author of a book on Texas news-
papers before the Civil War to be steeped in the history of the state,
fully familiar with the events and personalities of the antebellum
period, and an authority on the relevant historical source materials.
Such a reader will not be disappointed with the author of this book.
Sibley, professor of history at Houston Baptist University and past
president of the Texas State Historical Association, has produced a
well-researched, detailed account of Lone Star newspapers from 1813
to 1861.
The author begins with a chapter describing antebellum Texas
newspapers and editors in general. The most analytical chapter in the
book, it indicates that politics accounted for the founding of more
newspapers than any other single factor. Sibley also stresses the rapid
rate of turnover in early Texas papers and offers various explanations
for the frequent births and deaths of these journals: the inexperience
of many publishers in the newspaper business, a shortage of newsprint
due to poor transportation on the American frontier, unpaid subscrip-
tions, political reverses. The introductory chapter also makes the im-
portant point that the antebellum newspaper was primarily a means of
expressing the editor's own views and only incidentally a way of pro-
viding news to the readers.
Three subsequent chapters trace the founding of the earliest Texas
newspapers, from the Gaceta de Texas in 1813 down to the papers
spawned by the Texas Revolution. Many of these journals no longer
exist or exist only in rare and scattered copies. Chapters five through

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed July 11, 2014.