The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 569
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never the partisan, Dr. Friend sets forth her evidence clearly and
with minute analysis. Still, she does not deny the reader the ben-
efit of her opinion. For instance, she sets forth as the most plausi-
ble explanation certain reasons why Houston left his wife and the
governorship of Tennessee and went away to his Indian friends.
Likewise she is convinced that the evidence absolves Jackson from
any scheme to seize Texas. Concerning Houston's early interest
in Texas, the following summary (p. 16o) is masterly:
Before Houston was ever in Texas, he had, at different times, en-
visioned three different futures for Texas: a separate Mexican state,
a part of the United States, an independent republic. He was an
opportunist, but his force was such that control of the tide was more
characteristic of him than drift with the current. His annexation
technique, in the long view, seems to have been masterful and
More than half the book is devoted to Houston's career after
the annexation of Texas. The study reveals that in the Senate of
the United States, where he sat during the period of early Texas
statehood, Houston was far more than a whittler of trinkets for
children. Almost without aid from his Southern colleagues he
wrought courageously and sometimes effectively to lessen the
rancor and strife of radicals both North and South. To be sure
he met defeat at times, but he could take care of himself in con-
tests with men of the stature of John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster,
Henry Clay, and Stephen A. Douglas. With equal force the author
relates again the story of Houston as governor and his valiant
fight against secession.
It must not be understood that this book is made up of nothing
but the pith of politics and war. It is rich in Houston anecdotes
and incidents that portray the man as well as the soldier, poli-
tician, and statesman. It is calculated to change one's conception
of Sam Houston. The picture is still blurred in spots, but the
features in the main are clearer than we have ever seen them
before. There is the Houston of contrasts: the man who might
appear dressed in best taste or, more likely, wearing a panther
skin vest or some other token of his love of the bizarre; who
could, on one occasion, harass his host and landlady by spitting
on her clean porch and having his servant cut off the posts of a
fine old bed and, on another, move from his presidential "man-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/662/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.