The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992 Page: 528
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and depends heavily on such phrases as "presumably," "must not have been,"
"would have been," "might have," "could have," and "must have been" (pp.
301-303). Many readers will not be convinced and even McLean concludes his
discussion of the matter with the question: "But what became of Frances King,
Rachael Smith, and James Maclhn Robertson?" (p. 303). For most readers, the
marital arrangements of Robertson remain a puzzle.
In many respects, the question of whether or not Sterling Clack Robertson
was married to the mothers of his children is little more than a matter of casual
interest. Any legal consequences were resolved by the Act of December 18,
1837. But the question does emphasize a characteristic of this entire series of
publications. In Volume I, McLean states firmly and clearly that he is telling the
story of a "piece of land," and that it will be "an account of the land and what it
did to the men." Throughout seventeen volumes, he has essentially held true to
that promise. The story of the land has been told meticulously in great detail.
But little of the character or personality of the people has been revealed (ex-
cept for the unrelenting critical view of Stephen Austin). To criticize a scholar
for not producing something that he did not intend to produce is manifestly
unfair. But it would be good to know more about the personality and character,
the manners and habits, the morals and values, of Sterling Clack Robertson,
beyond the fact that he wore "long silver spurs and a brace of Castilian pistols."
Lamar University ADRIAN N. ANDERSON
The Texas History Companion. Edited by Glen Sample Ely. (Austin: Forest Glen
TV Productions, Inc. [P.O. Box 50238, Austin 78763], 199o. Volume I.
Five, one-hour VHS VCR tapes. $125.)
Two of these videocassettes deal with topics-the Texas Revolution and pio-
neer life in East Texas. The other three tapes trace the history of geographic
regions-the Big Thicket, Big Bend, and the Guadalupe Mountains. All of
them use historic photographs, classic and contemporary art, interviews with
historians and residents, maps, and modern motion pictures. The background
music is usually a pleasant guitar, the narration is straightforward and reason-
ably accurate, and the color photography is excellent. They are a credit to
producer, narrator, editor, and photographer Glen Sample Ely.
Teachers of Texas histoi y at the high school or lower-division college level
will find the tapes useful as a supplement or as a filler when the instructor must
be absent. Most helpful will be the cassette on the Texas Revolution, which fea-
tures lively interviews with historian Margaret Henson, director Ellen Murry of
the Star of the Republic Museum, former governor Price Daniel, and director
J. C. Martin of the San Jacinto Museum, among others. The tape explores the
character of Sam Houston, William B. Travis, Davy Crockett, Santa Anna, and
others while discussing the major events and historical controversies of the
revolution. The main detraction of the film is the presentation of old photo-
graphs as if they had been taken in the 182os and 1830s, something that was
technologically impossible. There is also a jarring transition from past to pres-
ent tense in the narrative.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992, periodical, 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/m1/604/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.