The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

Book Revzews

about birds from the turkey buzzard to mockingbirds and cardinals, as well as
insects such as fireflies, tumble bugs, and ticks. Those curious about urban life
will find a considerable portion of this work devoted to San Antonio, a city
whose cosmopolitan atmosphere enchanted her.
Texas A&M University Press is to be commended for reprinting this fine
work. Those who have any interest in frontier Texas in the late nineteenth cen-
tury will find this highly readable book invaluable.
West Texas State Unzverszty GARRY L. NALL
The Hzstory of Texas. David B. Edward. (Austin: Texas State Historical Asso-
ciation, 1990. Pp. 27+xii+354. Introduction, preface, appendix, index.
$6o.oo, limited; $24.95, cloth; $15.95, paper.)
The above work is a reprint of a book originally published in Cincinnati in
1836. The author lived intermittently in Texas from 1830-1835, most of the
time in Gonzales. With a poor sense of timing, he appears to have left that place
just prior to the skirmish that signaled the beginning of the Texas Revolution.
Although he was writing an "emigrant aid" book, Edward was more truthful
than others promoting Texas at the same time. He stressed the constant danger
of Indian raids, the often sickly nature of the climate, and the generally hard
prospects of survival in colonial Texas. Yet, anyone contemplating removal
would be encouraged by the author's description of the opportunities for suc-
cessful farming in Texas. Pursuant to the above, his book included helpful
hints as to the acquisition of land and detailed accounts of the Imperial Colo-
nization Law (1823), National Colonization Law (1824), and Coahuila-Texas
State Law (1826).
Unlike most of his contemporaries writing about Texas, Edward adopted a
benign view toward Mexican colonial policies. The "Texasians," as he called
them, had been the recipients of handsome land grants and a forgiving attitude
toward previous indebtedness. Far from being grateful, however, the "war
party" had needlessly stirred up trouble at Anahuac and Velasco in 1832.
Edward's support clearly lay with the "peace party" and the leadership of
Stephen F. Austin. Still, the author is certainly critical of Santa Anna's assump-
tion of dictatorial power in 1835 and destruction of the Republic of Mexico. A
proponent of independence, Edward believed that separation from Coahuila
and statehood within Santa Anna's Mexico was not feasible.
This book is not without some flaws. At times the writing is verbose and a
number of lengthy documents are included that could profitably have been left
out. Also, the charge that the author simply lifted some passages from the ear-
lier work on colonial Texas by Mary Austin Holley seems to have been substan-
tiated. Present-day readers must remember, however, that this book was writ-
ten for an audience considering relocating in a new and forbidding land. I
believe that the writer presented a fair portrayal of Texas-"warts and all."

279

STANLEY E. SIEGEL

Unaverszty of Houston

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/. Accessed September 16, 2014.