The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 491
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The Texas State Police During Reconstruction
matory charges, made against the force by conservatives in the heat
of the political struggle with the Radicals for state control, have been
incorporated into the legend of Reconstruction in Texas. This one-
sided view of the agency has distorted an important part of Texas
history. The facts and contemporary observations available suggest that
the State Police force was far more successful and well-received than
historians have inferred."' The services rendered by the force to a
large segment of the Texas population in a time of great need have
largely gone unrecognized. Instead, the mere name of the agency, to
most students of Texas Reconstruction, carries the worst possible con-
notations of corruption and depravity. This stigma is undeserved. It
should be recognized also that the Texas State Police was not opposed
and abolished because of corruption, expense, or brutality. It was de-
stroyed because of political antipathy and racial bias. To the Conserva-
tive Democrats of 1873 the State Police force was guilty of two unfor-
givable sins: it was part of Radical rule, and it armed the Negro and
placed him in a position of authority over white men. The unsub-
stantiated charges made by the conservatives were largely rationaliza-
tions of their political and racial attitudes and should not blind the
historian to the fact that the State Police accomplished much, or pre-
vent him from giving individual policeman just praise.
10sThe previously-mentioned article by Field is the one exception. He does give a
more balanced treatment of the State Police and anticipates this writer's interpretation
in some ways. Though the article points the way for a more revisionist treatment of the
police, it is largely based on secondary accounts.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/563/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.