The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 315
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Reading Interests in Texas, 83o's to Civil War
state. With the exception of notices on Yoakum, Kendall, and
Lamar, the newspapers examined in this survey throw no light
on Texas books that should have appealed to a wide home audi-
ence: Olmsted's A Journey Through Texas, the paper-backed
romances, and novels by Charles Wilkins Webber, Alfred W.
Arrington, and Captain Mayne Reid. The sale of Olmsted's book
was possibly affected by an article in De Bow's Review for August,
1857, which claims that Olmsted did not write without "bias
and prejudice." Kendall's Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expe-
dition is frequently praised by Texas newspapers. A San Antonio
editor gives special attention to War Between the United States
and Mexico in the Western Texan for November 18, 1852:
We are indebted to Col. G. W. Kendall for a sight of his splendidly
Illustrated History of the War between the United States and Mexico.
.. Col. Kendall's reputation as a writer is too well known to require
any endorsement from us. ... We are surprised to learn that any of
the thousand copies printed yet remain on hand. Several copies have
been purchased in this city.
Public printing in Texas before the Civil War, as shown in
Ernest W. Winkler's Checklist of Texas Imprints, was especially
heavy in government documents and publications of Baptists
and Freemasons. "During the days of the Republic printing was
done at eighteen different places. Between 1845 and 1861 print-
ing establishments spread to forty-one separate villages and
towns." While almost thirty periodicals were conceived by Texas
presses, the most successful venture in printing was the Texas
An edition of 1o,ooo copies of the Texas Almanac for 1857 was "pre-
pared, printed and published" in 1856. .. the edition for 1858 was
raised to 25,000 copies; three-fourths of them were sold before they
In addition to these materials, reading interests had further
stimulation in the early library and lyceum,48 each a subject in
42Ernest W. Winkler, Checklist of Texas Imprints, x846-z86o (Austin, 1949),
43Handbook of Texas Libraries, Number Four (Houston, 1935).
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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/m1/427/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.