Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Letters toward the end of the collection show Bedichek chiding Webb
for criticizing Henry James from the provincial standpoint that he de-
serted "the dear old USA" (p. 501), writing a succinct evaluation of
Webb's character and talent to Joe B. Frantz, exhorting Ronnie Dugger
never to "become amiable or complacent," and shouting Hurray! to
John Henry Faulk for winning a round in his famous court case. The
last letter finds him confessing his ignorance of American literature to
Henry Nash Smith, saying he has read mostly Europeans and ancient
Greeks, and ending, "But I am not irreclaimable. Don't give me up."
This solid collection will help guarantee we don't.
Southern Methodist University MARSHALL TERRY
Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas, Introductory Volume,
Robert Leftwich's Mexico Diary and Letterbook, 1822-1824. Compiled
and edited by Malcolm D. McLean. (Arlington: The UTA Press,
1986. Pp. 611. Preface, introduction, notes, epilogue, appendix,
bibliography, index, illustrations, photographs. $35.)
This introductory volume of Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in
Texas is distinctly different from the previous twelve published volumes.
All of the earlier works were compilations of letters, legal records, and
similar documents arranged in a chronological manner and relevant to
one degree or another to the establishment of the Robertson Colony.
This publication is limited to a presentation of the diary and letter book
of Robert Leftwich for the years 1822-1824. These were the years that
Leftwich spent in Mexico City, acting as an agent for the Texas Associa-
tion of Nashville, Tennessee, in search of an empresario contract in
Texas. Although unsuccessful during the period covered by his diary,
he was eventually able to secure a contract that in time became the basis
of the Robertson Colony.
McLean presents the diary in an unusual fashion. Each page of the
diary is reproduced at 65 percent of its original size on a page in
McLean's volume that also contains a typed transcription. Explanatory
notes are presented at the end of the diary. There is some repetition,
and, as McLean points out, it is apparent that some of the entries were
made after the date listed in the diary.
The diary covers a particularly exciting and turbulent period of
Mexican history-the achievement of independence, the establishment
and fall of the empire of Agustin de Iturbide, and the confusion and
conflict inherent in all of these events. Many familiar names from Texas
history are found in its pages, including Benjamin R. Milam, James
Wilkinson, Haden Edwards, Stephen F. Austin, and Juan Davis Brad-
burn. The diary offers few surprises, if any, but it does reinforce some
long-standing interpretations and occasionally suggests a new insight.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/. Accessed May 25, 2015.