The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 544
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
son, where the candidate might have stayed, and vestiges of such
long-gone towns as Tarrant, where he spoke. Commendably, she
has avoided the major pitfall of this kind of endeavor-the temp-
tation to indulge in variations on a Houston-slept-here theme.
Throughout the book, the photographs are of excellent quality
and composition. Apart from the Houston connotations, many
of the buildings are architecturally interesting (Greek Revival
predominates), and the places shown are scenic, with a serene,
rustic charm. The pictures are miraculously shorn of all evidences
of modern life. Not one TV antenna pierces the yesteryear at-
mosphere-in itself, a remarkable feat.
What also emerges from this study, along with the eye-pleasing
panorama of East Texas, is a portrait in dimension of the man.
Sam Houston comes into focus for the reader as distinctly as the
landscapes before the camera lens. Courageous, obstinate, ambi-
tious, passionate, prophetic, imperious, enigmatic, playful, proud
-his many faces are here revealed.
In the course of this book, Houston's views are set forth on a
variety of matters: slavery, railroads, Indians, Mexico, the Mon-
roe Doctrine, expansionism, freedom of the press, Sunday ab-
stinence laws, his enemies, baptism, and drink, to name a few.
Many of his ideas were as modern as a moon shot. And the
oratory with which he blasted his detractors and espoused his
causes was awesome, indeed. Ranging easily from low humor to
high eloquence, his style could be lofty, anecdotal, profound,
racy, commanding, scathing, tender, or tough. His wit was sharper
than the knife with which he was forever whittling. He could
move his listeners to convulsions of laughter or torrents of tears.
He was a phrase-maker par excellence. "The eyes of Texas" was
of Houston coinage, and also, it seems, was the Texan "Lone
Star." Senate colleagues heard him warn that "... a nation di-
vided against itself cannot stand" in 1850, preceding by several
years Lincoln's almost identical words. The great speeches of
Houston's last years are notable examples of his eloquence, among
them his moving speech to the Texas Secession Convention of
Assuredly, Sam Houston was a controversial figure, igniting
flaming passions pro and con. Although staunchly pro-Houston,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/622/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.