The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985 Page: 327
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
ments deal with other matters, most concern land grant records, Indian
affairs, early activities of the Texas Rangers or their predecessors, and
land speculators and their role in bringing about revolution. In keep-
ing with the pattern established in earlier volumes, Malcolm D. Mc-
Lean has included a calendar of the documents, a narrative introduc-
tion interpreting the documents, and the actual documents arranged
chronologically. Two or three extraneous items are also included, a
practice likewise in keeping with the tradition of the series.
Readers with an interest in Indian wars or the rangers will find the
pertinent documents useful, but it is the material related to the role of
land speculators, especially Samuel M. Williams, that will generate the
most interest. McLean's position is clearly and simply stated: "The
Mexican army was actually sent into Texas to arrest those land specu-
lators. . . . the Texans refused to surrender them. .. . that is what
precipitated the Texas Revolution...." (pp. 65-66) McLean argues
that Samuel Williams and other land speculators, linked in a corrupt
conspiracy with equally corrupt officials of an illegally established state
government, attempted to secure title to millions of acres of Texas
land; that Santa Anna's brother-in-law General Martin Perfecto de C6s
intervened to stop the dubious transactions and to arrest the con-
spirators; and that the speculators in turn stirred the citizens of Texas
to revolt in an effort to protect themselves.
This interpretation of the cause of the Texas Revolution is not new.
As McLean observes, Eugene C. Barker discussed it in a July 19o6
article in The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association. At
least two of the standard texts used today describe the activities of land
speculators, and a number of general and special studies deal with
them. Most, if not all, of the significant documents related to the affair
and included by McLean seem to have been seen and used by other
historians at one time or another. A question of historical interpreta-
tion is involved: McLean has studied the documents and arrived at
one conclusion; most other Texas historians have reached a quite dif-
ferent one. Indeed, some argue that Texans held the land speculators
in such low esteem that a vigorous response to C6s was delayed. Al-
though many will question McLean's conclusion, it is nevertheless one
within the bounds of historical reason, particularly if one discounts
the influence of events taking place elsewhere in Mexico. Another
aspect of McLean's work, however, is of more concern to this reviewer.
Throughout the series McLean has expressed a consistent viewpoint
that questions the integrity of Stephen F. Austin, Samuel Williams,
and their associates but that offers little criticism of Sterling C. Robert-
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985, periodical, 1984/1985; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/m1/375/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.