The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 68
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Soulhwestern Historical Quarterly
with the area and period it will prove to be disappointingly meager.
For instance, there is only one sentence devoted to the robust
Kempers, and the Burr episode has been purposely excluded. These
gaps are redeemed by the fullness of footnote references, which
will not only guide the student to the published material but will
lead him to the abundant manuscript sources in the national
archives at Washington and the state repository at Jackson. A
prediction may be ventured that many a prospective thesis writer
will be directed by his harassed advisor to carry a marked and
thumbed copy of the volume as a clew to the relevant sources yet
untapped by research.
No less valuable to the student of frontier migrations and
genealogy is the comprehensive index. Listed there are scores of
names that are familiar to Texans and, while similarity may
delude, surely among all this group of families there must be
found immigrants into the farther West.
Within the scope projected by the editor, the Papers are in-
structive for the insight that they give the reader into early
political and land administration. His deepest impression is that
politics, bitter and uncompromising, was the chief business of the
tax-paying citizen and that the acquisition of unclouded land titles
was the chief care of the propertyless "squatters" and newcomers.
A wearisome succession of letters from territorial officials and
would-be appointees carries a constant refrain of the venial ras-
cality and unprincipled demagoguery of their respective opponents.
Only more space is devoted to petitions and memorials from set-
tlers who found some clause in the Land Act of 1803 serving as
a barrier to the acquisition of land. William Dunbar distinguished
twenty-two distinct types of land claims. No wonder the com-
missioners of the federal government were confused at times and
rendered decisions that seemingly were unjust to some particular
group of claimants. All in all, President Jefferson's letter to Gov-
ernor Robert Williams, November 1, 1807, expresses a shrewd
appraisal of the confusion of a frontier society when he says, "it
seems that the smaller the society the bitterer the dissensions into
which it breaks."
REX WALLACE STRICKLAND.
College of Mines and Metallurgy.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/m1/76/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.