The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

thoritative outline of the life of Juan Seguin yet published, one that suggests the
potential richness of a book-length biography of this fascinating figure.
Southern Methodist University DAVIDJ. WEBER
Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas: Volume XVII. By Malcolm D. McLean.
(Arlington: University of Texas at Arlington Press, 1991. Pp. 629. Preface,
tables, illustrations, bibliography, index. $35.00.)
Subtitles in Professor McLean's series on the Robertson Colony of Texas have
not always reflected the concentration of materials within the volume in ques-
tion. Such certainly is true in Volume XVII. Since the subtitle reads "Sterling C.
Robertson vs. Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas," one might ex-
pect a considerable number of legal documents from the case, perhaps even
some court rulings and awards. Not so; there are only three documents, each of
less than a page (out of 472 pages of documents), which report the continua-
tion of the original suit filed in an earlier volume. Readers in search of signifi-
cant materials on the litigation over the lands of the Robertson Colony will have
to await a later volume or look elsewhere.
Nevertheless, Volume XVII, which contains materials from the period of De-
cember, 1838, through August io, 1840, presents a number of interesting items.
Stephen F. Austin is dead but not forgotten, for Professor McLean occasionally
takes an opportunity to insert a critical comment. In keeping with the tradition
of the series, however, land and Indian affairs account for most of the entries.
Several entries feature descriptions of battles between Indians and settlers. Oth-
ers report on the organization of militia companies, describing the legislative au-
thority of these units and sometimes giving some insight into the practical
problems of finance and personal sacrifice. A number of entries deal with the
conflicts leading up to Battle of the Neches and the subsequent expulsion of the
Cherokees from East Texas, and several bloody battles which took place within
or near the boundaries of the colony are described in detail. Most of the docu-
ments concerning land involve legal challenges to land grants issued during the
period of Mexican rule, and few, if any, are conclusive. Elijah Sterling Clack (E.
S. C.) Robertson, Sterling Robertson's son, held temporary but influential posi-
tions in the postal service of the Republic; documents relating to his activities
tell something about the development of this important service.
The personal side of the Robertson family is featured somewhat more than
usual in Volume XVII. Letters pertaining to the schooling and early career of E.
S. C. Robertson present the picture of a young man who matured and accepted
responsibility at an early age and who enjoyed the love and respect of his father.
Other documents, however, suggest that Sterling Robertson had differences with
other family members; George C. Childress, for example. And the drafts of two
wills, one in April and the other in August, 1840, leave the impression that the
empresario may have been in poor health. Both wills bequeathed most of his es-
tate to E. S. C. Robertson, leaving nothing to his other acknowledged son, cer-
tainly an unusual action but apparently one which he did not explain.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117154/. Accessed September 21, 2014.