The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944

BOOK REVIEWS
The Writings of Sam Houston. Edited by Amelia W. Williams
and Eugene C. Barker. Volume V, August, 1824, to March,
1854, pp. xviii+530; Volume VI, January, 1828, to Febru-
a~y, 1858, pp. x+529; Volume VII, November, 1824, to
March, 1860, pp. xvi+567; Volume VIII, April, 1825, to
July, 1863, pp. xxiii+379. Austin (The University of Texas
Press), 1941, 1941, 1942, 1943. $3.25 per volume.
These four volumes, aggregating, with index, 2005 pages,
complete the publication of The Writings of Sam Houston, be-
gun in 1938. Something of a record has been established by
the celerity with which the successive volumes have appeared
as well as by the general excellence of the editorial work-
the more remarkable in view of uncertainty as to the amount
of material to be included, which 'remained undetermined until
the final volume was finished, and necessary, but troublesome,
changes in editorial technique and policy.
It should be emphasized that there is no great collection of
Houston papers-only scattered and sometimes inaccessible
fragments of writings and speeches. Contemporary newspapers
and other publications yielded important items of which no
manuscript draft is extant, and the Executive Records at Aus-
tin contain many routine and some significant letters. Professor
Barker does not say so, but it is safe to guess that The Austin
Papers presented far less editorial difficulty than the job that
he and Miss Williams have just completed. It should also be
noted that, except in one or two instances, no letters to Houston
are included. The notes do what notes can to give the circum-
stances of the letters and speeches, but the reader will find
himself often wishing that Houston had been as careful a
file-clerk as Austin-or even Lamar.
The editors feel reasonably certain that such Houston papers
as have escaped them "will corroborate rather than correct or
supplement conclusions suggested by the materials in these
volumes, which must be the starting point of all future studies
of Houston's career and character."
What sort of man, then, is revealed by these published writ-
ings?
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/. Accessed July 14, 2014.