The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 482
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ning to prosper when Edward Jenkins was found killed and
scalped, lying in the field where he had been working. His father's
death made a strong impression on young Jenkins, and his mother,
four months pregnant, and with three young children, was forced
to sell some of the land and move to Bastrop. Two years later she
remarried. Her second husband died in the Alamo.
John Holland Jenkins was past sixty years old before he began
to write his reminiscences for the Bastrop Advertiser, the weekly
newspaper of his county. Although he wrote from the distance
of age, his memories are bright with detail. "These touches of
reality," he wrote, "are necessities in historical narration, just as
salt, pepper, and sauce are essential to the right flavoring of soup,
roast, and vegetables." His stories include accounts of the Run-
away Scrape, the Santa Fe Expedition, and the Mier Expedition,
but perhaps even more important than the new insight into these
episodes is the clearer picture of life in early Texas. The grim
details of burial in the wilderness and the constant need for
caution against the Indian menace contrast neatly with the fun
of bee hunting and dancing reels.
Jenkins recalled his early life in a forthright and honest
manner. An example of this is the account of his disillusionment
with Sam Houston. In the retreat from Gonzales Houston cursed
Jenkins and deeply offended the young boy, who ever after was
a supporter of Edward Burleson. In all the episodes Jenkins re-
counts he displays the same candor.
The editor of Jenkins' memoirs is his great-great-grandson,
John Holmes Jenkins, III. Editor Jenkins began working on the
manuscript when he was fifteen and completed it while still a
student at Beaumont High School. J. Frank Dobie in the fore-
word to the book wrote, "I do not vote for Johnny Jenkins be-
cause he became an editor so young but because he has edited
so ably. Many a Ph.D. thesis shows less scholarship and less intelli-
gence than Johnny's editorial work and is not nearly so inter-
esting." One can only echo Mr. Dobie in his praise of Johnny
Jenkins' editing. He has retained all the charm of the memoirs
while adding to their value with careful documentation and the
preparation of detailed biographical sketches. The book is further
enhanced by its prints. Recollections is a valuable contribution to
our knowledge of early Texas. KAY FARQUHAR
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/590/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.