The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979 Page: 224
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
States House of Representatives, over which he presided for a second
term as Speaker.
Scholars working in the field of Tennessee politics will find these
letters most useful. Polk, and most of those with whom he regularly
corresponded, reveal in these letters the characteristically parochial
views of many southern Democrats of this period. But one atypical let-
ter, by Polk to William Warner (June 19, 1837), defending Andrew
Jackson's banking and currency policies, is impressively reasoned and
surprisingly assertive; only rarely do "issues" receive such attention in
The Panic of 1837 had devastating effects on the Democratic party in
Tennessee. Polk and his colleagues from throughout the state were at
first optimistic about the elections of that year, but these letters reveal
a growing concern which was fully justified by the results: Tennessee
Democrats lost in ten of thirteen congressional districts and in the gu-
bernatorial race as well. During the 1837-1838 Congressional session,
Polk and his correspondents were interested chiefly in the fate of the
Van Buren administration's "divorce" (independent treasury) bill. In
mid-1838 Polk announced his intention to forsake Congress in order to
run for the Tennessee governorship in 1839.
As in previous volumes in this series, the editors have provided suc-
cinct footnotes after each letter, identifying persons and events alluded
to therein. The index is much improved over those previous volumes,
thanks to more elaborate cross-referencing.
In Northern Mexico on the Eve of the United States Invasion, David
J. Weber has made available eleven, mostly rare, facsimiles of imprints
describing conditions along Mexico's northern frontier during the quar-
ter century of Mexican independence which preceded her conquest by
the United States. Four of the imprints relate to New Mexico, three
each to California and Texas, and one to Arizona. In his introduction
the editor observes that our view of the Mexican period of southwestern
history has been shaped largely by the writings of Anglo travelers, trap-
pers, and merchants, a view which Weber hopes to balance in part
through publication of these Mexican accounts. The editor has also
written brief introductions to each of the eleven imprints, identifying
the authors and discussing the significance of their work. Some of them
are relatively well known, such as Juan N. Almonte's Noticia estadistica
sobre Tejas (1835) and Antonio Jos6 Martinez's Esposicidn ... (1843)
concerning the Indians of New Mexico. Others are somewhat more
obscure, and some are very brief (Manuel Payno's 1845 description of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979, periodical, 1978/1979; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/m1/260/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.