The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 128
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
James S. Hogg, Thomas M. Campbell, and John B. ConnallyJr. (To see the au-
thor's list of failures, buy the book.) Yet when one turns to accounts of particular
administrations, it may not be altogether clear why some administrations made
the cut and others did not. Richard Hubbard is counted as a failure. Hendrick-
son notes (p. o101) that "During his tenure as governor . . . the legislature did
not meet; thus, Hubbard was forced to deal with several major problems on his
own." Hendrickson also says (p. 104) that Hubbard attempted several worthy
projects, "but in the absence of legislative support, he accomplished little." How
could the legislature lend support if it was not in session? And why was it not in
session? Readers are not told. Was Hubbard regarded as a failure at the end of
his tenure, or only after the passage of time? In light of his continued influence
at the national level, he would not appear to fit the model of a failure. Yet poor
old Fletcher Stockdale's only achievement in a five-week administration in 1865
was to escort his successor to the capital and surrender the reins of government.
Hendrickson sets severe constraints on himself. Sam Houston, for example,
gets twelve pages, others less. In that format, it is difficult to bring these people
to life. One misses the color of the personalities, the repartee of their cam-
paigns. Clearly this is a "Just the facts, Ma'am" approach. In fairness, the author
promises no more. But Texas politics minus any of the unrelenting rambunc-
tiousness may cause some readers to feel short-changed. If one had only Hen-
drickson's book to rely on, one might surmise that Texas campaigns were
statesmenlike. Indeed, compared to Louisiana's, they probably are. Another
problem arising from telling the story too quickly is that readers often are given
no clue as to the identities of certain personalities whose names surface, then
quickly submerge. How many would have a clue as to Memucan Hunt and James
Morgan, for example?
Occasionally there is a factual wobble, as when Hendrickson states that the in-
famous "Cart War" played out between Gonzales and San Antonio. Actually, the
cart road ran from Indianola to Goliad to Helena to San Antonio, well south of
Gonzales County borders. The worst trouble spots were between Goliad and He-
This is a likeable and useful book. In light of its self-imposed limitations, it is
hard to see how it could have been improved. In his conclusion Hendrickson as-
sesses briefly the accomplishments of Texas's five living ex-governors, empha-
sizes the need for problem-solvers in the state's highest office, and decides that
voters have short-changed themselves. Who could argue?
Stringtown AL LOWMAN
The New Latin American Mission History. Edited by Erick Langer and Robert H.
Jackson. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995. Pp. 212. Introduc-
tion, index. ISBN o-80327-953-1. $16.95, paper.)
The "new" Latin American mission history is an attempt to study the missions
from the indigenous perspective, a perspective ignored or misrepresented in
much of previous scholarship. This collection of six essays examines frontier
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/m1/156/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.