The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But as time passed, even "foreigners" who immigrated here
to join the faculty came to realize that fields of scholarly research
are not necessarily more important because they are remote in
time or place. Consider, for example, young George Pierce
Garrison who came from Georgia by way of the University of
Edinburgh to teach rhetoric and history. Before the turn of the
century he began to see that although the finest models of rhet-
oric might still be found in Old England and New England,
the untouched materials of history lay all about him in Texas.
He gradually convinced himself that it was as legitimate for
him to collect and digest the materials that reflect the human
story of this region as it had been for Macaulay to look into the
record of his native England or for Boston-bred Prescott to
search the archives of Spain for the beginning of Mexico and
Peru. To my way of thinking that marks a significant beginning
in the transformation of the university in Texas into The Uni-
versity of Texas. Garrison's adjustment of his perspective is quite
as important as anything he ever wrote; and those who followed
here along the path he blazed have demonstrated his wisdom.
During the forty years since Garrison's death, his students
have illuminated the story of this region and have done some-
thing toward re-interpreting American history; and their stu-
dents continue the work in ever broadening fields. If I under-
stand the animus of this Texas School of Historians, it is that
local, regional, history is important, not simply because it holds
sentimental interest for people of the region, but because it
is history. It is history that can be got at, and it is history that,
unless those within reach of its sources work in it, might not be
recorded. They are neither antiquarians nor boosters. They are
aware of the infinite variety of fragments that make up the
fabric of history. They have assigned themselves the task of
fitting their region's story into the broad mosaic. They do not
believe that the Texas facet is the only, or even the principal,
part; but they know that the broad picture would be incomplete
without it. They know, too, that their work must be judged by
universal canons of historical evidence, perhaps the more closely
judged because it is of and by a region.
As the university grew in wisdom and stature and in favor
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/20/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.