The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Otherwise, genealogists whose searches go back to Texas in this pe-
riod will find Volume XII very useful. Throughout this series, McLean
has pursued the background of practically everyone even remotely in-
volved in the Robertson Colony, and he seems to have been more dili-
gent than ever in researching the settlers in this volume.
Readers with a particular and special interest in the Texas Revolution
may be disappointed. There are other document collections that focus
more on the affairs of the Revolution. McLean takes note of this in his
introduction, observing that he intends to emphasize the Robertson
Colony rather than the entire story of Texas.
My particular copy of Volume XII had some blank pages (94 and 95),
but otherwise the production of the book is done in a workmanlike
manner by the UTA Press.
Lamar University ADRIAN N. ANDERSON
The Rise of the Urban South. By Lawrence H. Larsen. (Lexington: The
University Press of Kentucky, 1985. Pp. xi+22o. Preface, tables,
notes, essay on sources, index. $22.)
This study of southern urbanization in the Gilded Age addresses two
major issues in the history of southern cities and of the region in
general: continuity and distinctiveness. Although Lawrence Larsen ac-
knowledges that southern cities lagged behind their counterparts else-
where in terms of population growth, urban services, manufacturing,
and railroad development, he believes that the story "is not one of fail-
ure ... but an uplifting account of a limited victory" (x). Viewed in the
light of their own merits rather than the unrealistic expectations of
New South boosters or the unprecedented growth of northern cities,
southern cities continued their antebellum pattern of gradual growth.
And despite the burdens of the region's one crop mentality and racial
oppression, by 1900 a "layer of cities" had emerged which served well
the region's limited commercial needs and paved the way for more im-
pressive twentieth-century urban growth. Southern cities thus "dif-
fered only in degree from those elsewhere in America" (x).
Larsen draws heavily on the growing body of secondary sources on
southern cities (analyzed in a comprehensive bibliographic essay), but
his primary source is the U.S. census bureau's landmark Social Statistics
of Cities for 188o. It provides most of the data for the nineteen tables
that deal with education, demography, religion, and other subjects.
Much of this information is extremely useful and we can be thankful to
Larsen for compiling it. Yet, as in his previous book on the urban West,


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 28, 2015.