The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 248
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But, at all times, historians and political scientists in particular
will be grateful to Mr. Burnham for smoothing their research
Roughly two-thirds of Presidential Ballots: 1836-r892 consists
of the distribution of the vote by counties, presented in tabular
form. For example, if you wish to study the 186o franchise break-
down in Bexar County, Texas, you simply turn to page 766 and
find it ready for you. Or perhaps you are interested in knowing
the partisan division of Uvalde County, in the years before its
residents regularly saw John Nance Garner depart for Congress;
the basic statistics are waiting for you on page 809. While the
counties of every state are covered, the Texas part of this table
alone is fifty pages long.
The letters "D" for Democratic, "R" for Republican, and "W"
for Whig, show party control (rather than the exact vote) by
counties in a second table. Other contents include the distribution
of counties held by each party; the distribution of the vote by
sections and states, and the electoral vote. An appendix is given
over to sources, notes, county organization data, and local cases of
an unusual nature. The index is brief but adequate. A preface,
an introduction, and a primarily historical 162-page narrative pre-
cede the statistical material.
There are a few errors in the book, such as "1864" in place of
"1868" on page ioi, line 8, and "34,384" instead of "33,384" on
page 944, line 8. The meaning of some words like "cynamic"
(page 145) is doubtful. Louisiana's 1844 Plaquemines Parish vote
deserves discussion. Texans, who have cause for special interest in
the Compromise of 1850, will be surprised to read on page 44 that
John C. Calhoun "finally approved the Compromise uncondi-
tionally." If so (to borrow and pervert the once-fashionable
cliched), he was "out of this world" at the time.
Those, however, are but the blemishes one expects to find in
a work of this scope and substance. There is a great deal more to
say in favor of Mr. Burnham's product. Not only does he put
proper emphasis on counties as indices of national trends, but he
does not lose sight of states or even cities in his interpretations.
The analysis of the small Grant vote in 1868 is illuminating, as is
the resum6 of President Lincoln's narrow state margins four years
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/274/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.