The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 609
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nell's book. It touches on some of the published accounts of social
and political doings of the times, not only on Galveston Island,
but also on the mainland. Leading figures of the period were
S. M. Williams, Robert and D. G. Mills, John S. Sydnor, Ferdi-
nand Flake, Willard Richardson, William Walker, Mrs. Thomas
Watson, and William Pitt Ballinger, whose diary was a major
source of information. Other characters are named without clearly
designating whether they were gentlemen, scoundrels, cowards,
or of what nature; although there are plenty of stories about some
of them; stories which probably will never be seen on printed
Fornell calls attention to the peculiar possibilities of Galveston,
in particular, to be the leading city of Texas for many years; but
touches quite lightly on why it fell by the wayside. He mentions
differences in attitude of certain citizens of Houston, for example,
with those of corresponding citizens of Galveston, but does not
dig into why there were differences. Perhaps everyone on the
mainland, from the start, felt that Galveston was "expendable,"
as the writer seems to sense in the last paragraph of his book:
Thus, while the beleagured Islanders were still loyal to Texas
and to the Southern cause they had learned that their survival
during this war depended solely upon their own devices. In these
circumstances those who were required to remain in the city during
the conflict recovered their old social unity which had been so
badly damaged by the devisive effects of the secession crisis and aided
each other in exploiting the few commercial opportunities arising
from the war.
The book dwells on law violations by banks, commission mer-
chants, filibusters, slavers, but only to the extent that there are
fully documented sources. Mention is made of disasters and other
matters such as hurricanes, fevers, railroads, channel shipping,
newspapers, climate, and schools, but without comment as to
basis or results in many instances. Much white paper is devoted
to black men: local "city" slaves, farm slaves, freemen, law en-
forcement and the lack of it, but no real explanations as to rea-
sons. Perhaps all of this is not germane to a book of factual his-
tory which can be supported from documents now available, but
it would make interesting reading.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/673/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.