The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 102, July 1998 - April, 1999 Page: 526
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Admittedly, some of the best chapters have little to do with Dallas. Starling
gives generous time to Warren's family in Buffalo and his pre-Texas life. Readers
expecting a stolid story of early Dallas will find a better narrative, one that starts
in the fevered 182os speculations of Buffalo, ranges through the dangerous
183os Rocky Mountain fur trade, and finally turns to the land booms of early
Texas. The lure of land was an important factor in the settlement of Texas as
this admirable book documents. Readers with twin passions for land and history
will appreciate greatly Suzanne Starling's exciting narrative, her mannered prose
style, and the masterly use of primary documentation.
University of Texas at San Antonio JOHN MILLER MORRIS
Remember Goliad: Their Silent Tents. By Clifford Hopewell. (Austin: Eakin Press,
1998. Pp. xi+169. Preface, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 1-57168-195-7.
"Remember the Alamo" is a phrase that is well known to most Texans. Some
citizens may even know that the byword originated as a Texian battle cry at the
Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. "Remember Goliad" was also a battle cry
at that most decisive military action. The reverse of the Texas State Seal once
included the motto "Remember the Alamo-Goliad." Goliad was removed in a
1991 revision of the design, leaving all the honor to the Alamo defenders. Today
few Texans remember Goliad or understand its tragic place in Texas history.
Clifford Hopewell remembers Goliad. His chronicle of the Texian occupation
of Goliad and the subsequent massacre of those soliders is an admirable attempt
to get others to remember and to understand the relevance of that sacrifice.
Hopewell presents the Goliad story chronologically, detailing the roles that
Fannin and his soliders played in the Texas Revolution. Chapters are devoted to
the start of the rebellion, the seige and storming of Bexar, the formation of a
new government, and the fall of the Alamo. Also, Sam Houston's participation,
always seen as positive, is interwoven through the narrative. The author has
attempted, to the extent that his sources allow, to explain how those events
effected the capture, occupation, and defense of Goliad by Texian forces.
Hopewell's interpretation, however, is hopelessly dated. The tale of Fannin
and Goliad that he reports is the same old story. Sam Houston is seen as the
hero, with Hopewell claiming: "Houston was an excellent choice for the position
of commander of all Texas forces. A natural born leader with a charismatic per-
sonality, he was a powerful physical specimen."
Fannin, however, "was a brave and compassionate man.... But he made a ter-
rible mistake in tactics by dividing his force almost in half, as he should have
remembered that his troops came first. He should have more promptly followed
Houston's orders to retreat to Victoria, and let King, Ward, and the colonists
catch up to him if they could."
The work's core failure is the small number of primary sources that Hopewell
examined. John H. Jenkins's The Papers of the Texas Revolution, i835-1836 were
not used. Nor was William C. Binkley's Official Correspondence of the Texan
Revolution, 1835-1836 (1936) reviewed by Hopewell. The Audited Military
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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/m1/597/?rotate=270: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.