The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 226
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Cover: This '-plate daguerreotype of Edward Burleson (1798-1851) taken
by an unknown artist in 1850 is the only known photograph of the former vice
president of the Republic of Texas. After arriving in Texas in 1830, he was in-
volved in many critical events during the years of the revolution and the
republic, including the Battle of San Jacinto. While doing research for his well-
known historical painting The Battle of San jacinto, artist Henry McArdle corre-
sponded with Edward Burleson's cousin, Rufus Burleson, who told the story of
this daguerreotype in a letter to McArdle dated October 31, 1887. According to
the letter, which is now located in the McArdle Scrapbook in the Texas State
Archives, Edward Burleson's daughters caught him one day in 1850 in San
Marcos "in his everyday farm suit and by entreaties forced him into a picture
gallery . . . and had a poor likeness taken." Apparently this is the only photo-
graph he ever allowed to be taken of him. As his cousin stated in the letter to
McArdle, "The truth is that grand old hero of 30o battles had such contempt for
all the tricks and artifices that little souls use to magnify themselves that he
never had a likeness taken of himself," except for the one taken that day in San
Marcos. In an article on page 299 of this issue, John H. Jenkins discusses
Edward Burleson's role in the creation and popularization of the well-known
quote, "Thermopylae had her messenger of defeat; the Alamo had none."
Courtesy Archives Division, Texas State Library.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/226/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.