The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 635
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December, 1837-May, 1838) Mrs. Holley kept diaries now in the
Archives of the University of Texas Library. The first diary covers a
few weeks of the last year of the Mexican colonial period of Texas;
the second diary covers some five months of the second year of
Texan independence. Neither has any value for political history,
but both are rich sources of social history.
Mrs. Holley was in her fifties when she made the two trips here
described. Yet she was a tireless, uncomplaining traveler who never
did more than suggest discomfort. She ate and drank heartily, gar-
dened, rode, danced, sang, and played her guitar.
The 1835 diary contains a good description of the lower thirty
miles of the Brazos River bottoms. That of 1837-1838 describes not only
that area but also Galveston Bay, Buffalo Bayou, and the city of
Houston. The latter diary is embellished by fifteen pencil sketches
by Mrs. Holley of Houston and Brazoria County scenes. These
are for the most part miserable, but they are the only surviving
pictures of the places at the time they were made.
James Perry Bryan of Lake Jackson, a distant cousin of Mrs. Holley,
transcribed and annotated the diaries. He had access to the Brazoria
County Abstract Company indexes that provided him with citations
to the county archives of Brazoria County. He failed, however, to use
the county archives of Harris County and newspapers contemporary
with the diaries. He also failed to use the Holley letters in the Archives,
University of Texas Library, Mattie Austin Hatcher's Letters of an
Early American Traveller (Dallas, 1933), and Rebecca Smith Lee's
Mary Austin Holley (Austin, 1962) as sources for his annotations.
These failures are immediately apparent in that his book alludes not
once (except as an author) to George Lewis Hammeken (1811-1881),
who is mentioned a number of times in Mrs. Holley's letters and in
pertinent passages from Hatcher and Lee. There are many typograph-
ical errors and errors of fact in Mr. Bryan's annotations. Among the
most grievous of these is the spelling as Lewis of Louis J. Wilson's
first name. Many of the citations are wrong. Hammeken published
no article entitled "Memory of Austin Regarding His Death" (foot-
note 134); and C. L. Sonnichsen's book on feuds is not named I'd
Rather Die Than Run (footnote 129) .
The diaries originally appeared in the Texas Quarterly, VIII,
No. 2 (Summer, 1965), 6-128. That publication was poorly copyread
and more poorly proofread. The only changes seemingly made in
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/701/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.