The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965 Page: 127
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author's heavy reliance on comments in contemporary newspaper
articles. Whatever the cause, there are missing from the narrative
clear designations of "highs" and "lows" in Austin area history.
Little appears, for example, to contrast Austin at its nadir in
1842-1845, when it was abandoned as capital city of the Texas
republic, with Austin at an apex in development, in 1893, when
the first Austin dam was completed.
Other chapters dealing with topics rather than particular years
between 1839 and 1899 appear to lack coherence among or within
themselves. Chapter XI has the incongruous pairing of the build-
ing of the various capitols and the histories of various newspapers
in Austin. Chapter XII, with the title "Civic Development (Fire
and Police Protection, Utilities)," begins with a consideration of
the county commissioners court. The final chapter in the book
(XV) offers a potpourri of topics-recreation, historic homes,
arts, folklore-some interestingly described but none having much
connection with the others.
The work is also marred, besides, by rather serious errors, both
of omission and commission. One error of omission occurs in the
author's account of Austin's winning for itself in 1881 the
site of the main campus of The University of Texas. Although
the accomplishment involved a long, uphill struggle, the author
devotes less than a page to the episode (p. 187), and fails even to
mention the person primarily responsible for Austin's winning
the struggle-Alexander Penn Wooldridge.
A comparable error of commission occurs at two widely sep-
arated points in the book (p. 134 and p. 247), where the author
gives the impression that the Texas republic compensated the
heirs of Stephen F. Austin for their claim to the land on which
the city named for Austin was laid out. Actually, the Austin heirs
were the only claimants named in the proceedings for the land
in 1839 who were not compensated.
Such recounting of shortcomings does not mean that this is a
book without merit. There is considerable information here on
the routes of trail blazers coming to the future county and city
from down the Colorado River. There is a great abundance of
details on locations of homes, businesses, schools, and other estab-
lishments, and on changes in the nature of establishments at par-
ticularly noteworthy sites. Perhaps above all, there are the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965, periodical, 1965; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/m1/151/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.