The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982 Page: 105

Book Reviews

system, and he states plainly that his aim was to provide a description
of the manners, customs, and establishments of the United States, in
hopes that they might serve as a "nominal model for our Mexican leg-
islators" (p. 123). Combining his own lucid observations with gener-
ous inclusions from other writers of the period, he does well in achiev-
ing his goal.
Proceeding up the broad American riverways to Pittsburgh, and
from there by stagecoach and boat to most of the capital cities of our
Northeast, Zavala presents a lively, inclusive description of the passing
countryside, the towns and cities, and a number of important figures
of the political and social scene, some of whom were his personal
friends. President Andrew Jackson had him to dinner, and he enjoyed
another meal with Martin Van Buren. Other timely subjects he
touches upon include the American judiciary, the postal system, bank-
ing, Negro slavery, and prisons. He was decidedly impressed by the
Yankee preoccupation with business and material acquisition.
Wallace Woolsey's excellent translation of an item much needed
and long awaited gives us now a fairer likeness of Zavala as a percep-
tive, cultivated gentleman. Historians may be better able now to en-
vision this hazy figure, who, in 1835 at the Consultation, impressed
the observant William Fairfax Gray as "the most interesting man in
Historic Churches of Texas. By Frank A. Driskill and Noel Grisham.
(Burnet, Tex.: Eakin Press, 1980. Pp. xv+336. Introduction,
illustrations, bibliography, index. $16.95.)
Here is a valuable book for anyone who wants to make an ecumeni-
cal tour of the long-established churches of the state. The largest part
of Historic Churches of Texas features churches of seven major de-
nominations. Shorter sections present examples of ethnic churches and
of churches with unusual features. For each church there is at least
one picture as well as an historical sketch. Although it stays out of the-
ology, the book does take note of a number of intracongregational and
intradenominational controversies.
The historical sketches are filled with details of congregational his-
tories from before 1836 to the present. In many cases readers will find
them delightfully instructive about churches that have long been
familiar landmarks to them. We are told that Independence Baptist


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982, periodical, 1981/1982; Austin, Texas. ( accessed March 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.