The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 348

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Smither, Harriet, ed. Journals of the Fourth Congress of the
Republic of Texas, 1839-1840, to which are added the Re-
lief Laws. Texas Library and Historical Commission,
State Library, Austin, Texas. [1930.] 3 vols. iii, 378;
355; 282 pp. Edition limited to 500 copies.
Aside from the intrinsic interest and value of the Journals of
the Fourth Congress of the Republic, this publication is an ex-
cellent piece of historical reconstruction. Because of the failure
of Congress to authorize their publication and to appropriate
funds to defray its expense at the time, they remained unpub-
lished until the present, as explained by the editor. If the Jour-
nals of the two Houses had been available in manuscript the work
of publication would have been simple for the editor, but unfor-
tunately those of the House were lost. With painstaking care
and industry the editor has pieced together all available informa-
tion from such sources as contemporary newspapers; reports,
messages, joint resolutions and bills in the Congressional files in
the State Department; the archives of the General Land Office
and the State Library; and printed reports in the Grand Lodge
Library at Waco. From all these various sources the Journals
for the House have been reconstructed with much accuracy and
skill, while the Journals of the Senate have been documented
wherever possible.
In the first and second volumes the Journals of the two Houses
are printed with numerous notes and illuminating references,
while the third volume consists of the departmental reports and
annual messages together with the Relief Laws. The latter are
now published for the first time from a manuscript volume in
the State Department entitled "Laws of Texas Fourth Congress,
Relief Laws."
The three volumes will be useful not only to the legislator and
the student of law but to the historian as well. The numerous
reports, messages, and journals give much information as to po-
litical, social, and economic conditions during the days of the
Republic. This publication fills a gap in the legislative history
of Texas, and is an excellent example of true historical recon-


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.