The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

his comments about Lee, Davis does suggest that "his habitual avoid-
ance of any seeming harshness, which caused him sometimes, instead
of giving a command, to make a suggestion, was probably a defect"
(p. io). Although he mentions Lee's failure to take Little Round Top on
the second day at Gettysburg, Davis admirably sidesteps any condem-
nation of him by stating that he will simply leave it "to the historians"
(p. 11) to evaluate the seriousness of this shortcoming. This article on
Lee, which was published in The North American Review, was probably
the last thing that Davis wrote before his death in late 1889.
Alexander H. Stephens's "Suppressions of Robert Edward Lee" came
out in the Southern Bivouac in early 1886 after Stephens's death. Vice-
president of the Confederacy and later governor of Georgia, Stephens
was not a military man, he never really knew the great southern com-
mander, and his article seems somewhat superficial and, in part, ques-
tionable in historical fact.
As should be expected, Simpson has done an outstanding job in in-
troducing and providing notes and references for the two articles. His
footnotes to Davis's twelve-page article are fifty-four pages long and
provide more history than does the basic article. The thirteen-page
Stephens selection deserves only a modest ten pages of notes and
references.
Although Robert E. Lee will not revolutionize interpretations of the
Civil War and will not have a great effect on our understanding of his-
tory, it makes interesting reading.
Texas A&M University ALLAN C. ASHCRAFT
Cotton: The Plant That Would Be King. By Bertha S. Dodge. (Austin: Uni-
versity of Texas Press, 1984. Pp. ix+ 175. Preface, illustrations, bib-
liography, index. $14.95.)
In this brief volume, Bertha S. Dodge's point of departure is Senator
James H. Hammond's famous statement "Cotton is King," made in the
Senate in 1859. Thereafter, in rapid fashion, she traces cotton culture
and its manufacture from primitive times to the modern era.
The author's wide sweep of the subject includes the spread of cotton
culture-the rise of the South as the chief grower after the invention of
Whitney's gin, the industrial revolution in textile manufacturing, the
effect of cotton (its culture and manufacture) on life-styles and em-
pires, and cotton's supremacy over other fibers from the late eighteenth
century until synthetics began to challenge it seriously about the time of
World War II.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/. Accessed October 21, 2014.