The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 142
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the nineteneh century and into the twentieth, and he voiced
them in Austin, pre-1861 Washington, Richmond, reconstruction,
Washington, and finally, as chairman of the state's first regulatory
When a Harvard professor who had no Texas connections
asked Texas-bred Ben Procter what he knew about Reagan, he
was able to recall a statue on the campus of the University of
Texas, where Procter had played football and made Phi Beta
Kappa, and that many Texas schools bear Reagan's name. That
was in 1957, and that is when work on his biography began.
Not many biographers, starting from scratch, have tapped so
much and such varied material in so short a period-or mastered
it more thoroughly.
Although Procter subtitles the work simply The Life of John
H. Reagan, it belongs in the category of the "Life and Times"
biographies. A life of Reagan it certainly is, with a wealth of
incidents, a few anecdotes, and data on his ancestry and progeny;
but it is also an account of the times through which Reagan
lived-the background against which his role in public life was
performed. Here the reader can trace the relations of Reagan
with Texas leaders from Sam Houston to J. S. Hogg and E. M.
House; his attitude toward secession; his role in the Confed-
erate cabinet-the only original member to remain till the break-
up, when he went to prison with Jefferson Davis; his misinter-
preted views on how Texas could avoid radical reconstruction,
which put him into political eclipse until the First Reconstruc-
tion Act of 1867 vindicated his prophecy; why he endorsed Re-
publican A. J. Hamilton for governor; how, though still dis-
franchised, he was president of the Democratic State Conven-
tion of 1872 and supported the Liberal Republicans who were
trying to unseat President Grant-who restored Reagan's citizen-
ship in 1873; and how he helped write the present state con-
stitution in 1876.
From then on, Reagan was a national figure. No Texan since
Sam Houston was better known, in and out of Congress; and
none was more aware of the economic changes that necessitated
unprecedented federal legislation or more willing to sponsor it.
By a close vote in 1887, the legislature promoted him from the
House, where he had served twelve years, to the United States
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/164/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.