The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 89
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The Amateur Historian
poetry, and so on. (Your writer is attempting a music-drama
for the centenary year 1936, upon that pin point in time and
space, Gonzales on the night of March 13, 1836.) Yet are there
not a thousand doors and windows still, each and all inviting
one far, far, and far? Gonzales on the 13th of March, 1836,
presupposes the history of the Texan colonists; it presupposes
the history of the American people, and of the English and other
races; it needs the history of Mexico and Spain, and even South
America; it requires close study of the North American Indian;
of the frontier animals and plants; the rivers, forests, prairies;
the climates and seasons; the disasters of nature and the scourges
of human life.
So I have thought it well to make my address an appeal to
the amateur historians of Texas, briefly suggesting some of the
thousand and one windows and doors not yet closed down upon
us. For be it remembered these windows and doors are closing
down about us all the time. Perhaps the main urgency to this
paper is this ceaseless closing down of windows and doors
The most usual windows and doors to this house of history
are the memories of old men and women. Their memories are
like tunnels from the present under the mountain of time inter-
vening to the clear light of early times in Texas. True, few
of these old men and women (and indeed, many of them are not
old), can remember Gonzales in March, 1836. But many of them
knew the later years of the pioneer and revolutionary heroes.
Many of them heard the stories of those terrible times from men
and women who lived through them somehow; heard them over
and over until they knew, and know, them by heart.
There are difficulties. The greatest is this, that these men
and women with memories are themselves immersed in great
affairs of their time. Men holding great executive positions have
no time for memories. All their energies of mind and body are
challenged by the duties and responsibilities of affairs, public
and private. Their reminiscent era must come after. And no
man gives way until compelled. So when we find them really
reminiscent, all too often old age and disease have set their
heavy seal upon them. Further, they are not historical scholars.
They are likely to spend their energies retelling badly what has
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/93/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.