The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 93
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The Amateur Historian
The maps suggest a fourth question: Why so much fraud
and rascality in Texas land speculations? A good answer has
been given that these land frauds were no worse in Texas than
in the frontier states and territories of the United States. There
are many fine articles on Texas lands, but none that I have read
give names and dates, and also give a spade its proper name.
A fifth question--the Indians. I have read all the apologies
for the Texans down to date, I believe. Were the Cherokee In-
dians justly treated in 1835, 1836, 1839 ? For all these years
cover just one general action. My own answer is most emphati-
cally no. Their treatment was good politics but bad faith.
A sixth question: What was the effect of immigration on the
politics and economic development of Texas from 1835 to 1860?
How many times did these incoming voters reverse previous pop-
ular judgment at the polls? In what years did these waves of
immigration reach their highest crests? How many years dur-
ing various decades did it require to equal by fresh immigration
the population already present?
A seventh question: Why has no exhaustive critical biography
of Thomas Jefferson Rusk ever been published? To me, he is
a figure in Texas politics fully as important as Sam Houston or
Stephen F. Austin, and in national politics more so. His suicide
was as great a calamity for the moderates before the Civil War,
as Abraham Lincoln's assassination was after it.
An eighth question: What was the effect of the enormous
whiskey drinking of the time upon the character and duration
of life of public men between 1830 and 1860? Certainly the
study of the period changed my own views favorably to prohibition.
The great list of suicides and early deaths of able men of the
era can fairly be laid to hard, steady drinking.
And so on and on, an almost endless list of unsettled ques-
tions remains for the amateur historian's might or mite. Cer-
tainly, he can gather local facts and traditions inaccessible to
the regular historians. And as a little matter turns the balance
in a larger, and that turns the scales upon a still larger one, it
may well be that some insignificant facts yet unknown may re-
verse even time-honored historical judgments in Texas.
I devote the rest of this paper to almost unused keys and
latches to these doors and windows to the past. Enough 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/m1/97/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.