The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 428
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
assistant, Henry Smith (also an instructor at SMU), and urged Smith to
get Herbert P. Gambrell of the SMU History Department to write an
introductory preface. A fourth member of the SMU faculty, Smith's
close friend Jerry Bywaters, contributed the illustrations.15 McGinnis also
arranged to have J. Frank Dobie review the book for the Dallas Morning
News "Book Page," which McGinnis edited.'16
Ironically, though the publication of Herman Ehrenberg's anti-
Catholic diatribes might have been embarrassing to Charlotte Churchill,
it was their omission, and the deletion of many other passages from the
original memoir, that brought an even deeper embarrassment to its
young editor. Like Churchill, Henry Smith was soon fleeing from the
Herman Ehrenberg he had once pursued.
Smith agonized over the gap between his publisher's private insis-
tence on a bowdlerized text, and the book's public promotion as an his-
torically accurate and reliable eyewitness account of the Texas
Revolution. Loath to embarrass his colleagues by exposing the book's
shortcomings, yet unwilling to continue his association with such a
flawed product, he tacitly disavowed With Milam and Fannin, and careful-
ly avoided any references to it in his future resumes, allowing scholarly
forgetfulness to erase completely any connection between the obscure
Henry Smith who edited Ehrenberg's memoir and the mature Henry
Nash Smith who in 1950 published Virgin Land: The American West as
Symbol and Myth."
In his unwillingness to repudiate publicly the Tardy Company's 1935
edition of Ehrenberg, Smith may have been especially anxious to protect
the reputation of his friend Herbert Gambrell. On July 18 (three weeks
after Charlotte Churchill had fled Texas for Europe), Smith had
implored Gambrell to write a scholarly preface to excerpts from
Churchill's translation that were scheduled to be published in the sum-
mer issue of the Southwest Review--a preface that was also used for the
15 McGinnis to Churchill, June 6 and June 13, 1935, Southwest Review Collection; Henry
[Smith] to Herbert [Gambrell], July 18(7) [sac], 1935, Herman Ehrenberg Folder, Herbert and
Virginia Gambrell Papers, 1904-1981 (Dallas Historical Society Archives; cited hereafter as
Gambrell Papers); Crisp, "Sam Houston's Speechwriters," 224-230. I am very grateful to Gaylon
Polatti for his assistance in the discovery and utilization of the Gambrell Papers.
16 Associate Literary Editor [Henry Smith] to Mr. James Tardy, Sept. 19, 1935, papers and cor-
respondence of the editors of the "Book Page" of the Dallas Morning News, Private collection of
Lee Milazzo, Dallas, Texas. I am deeply indebted to Lee Milazzo for making this collection avail-
able to me, and to David Farmer of the DeGolyer Library at SMU for assisting me in locating the
17 Mznzature Catalog, Current Books (Dallas, Texas: Tardy Publishing Company, Inc., September,
1935), 2-3, in Bywaters Correspondence with Henry Nash Smith, Jerry Bywaters Special
Collections Wing (Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library, SMU); Henry [Nash Smith] to John
[Chapman], Dec. 13, 1935, in Henry Nash Smith Papers (Bancroft Library, University of
California, Berkeley; cited hereafter as Smith Papers); Henry Smith, "Editorial Experience" in
Curriculum Vita [c. 1941], Smith Papers; Henry Nash Smith, Vzrgn Land: The Amenrican West as
Symbol and Myth (1950; reprint, Cambridge. Harvard University Press, 1970); Crisp, "Sam
Houston's Speechwriters," 224-230.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999, periodical, 1999; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101219/m1/499/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.