The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994 Page: 148

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Southwestern Historical Quarterly

mate authority. The outcome of that military encounter supported Gorostiza's
contention: of the 183 defenders at the Alamo, only thirty-two were bona fide
colonists, signifying that the vast majority were foreign adventurers. Moyano in
no way debunks earlier historical scholarship; she merely offers a prism through
which a different light illuminates human actions upon a familiar terrain.
The two books are complementary. Whereas Life in Mexico Under Santa Anna
minutely scrutinizes the heartland, Mexico y Estados Unidos selectively surveys the
peripheral borderlands.
University of Texas at San Antonio FELIX D. ALMARAZ, JR.
The Texas Revolutionary Experience: A Political and Social History, 1835-1836. By
Paul D. Lack. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992. Pp.
xxv+332. Acknowledgments, introduction, conclusion, appendix, notes, es-
say on sources, index. $39.95.)
Texas historians have never lacked for books dealing with the military cam-
paigns of the Revolution. The internal political and social history of the years
1835 and 1836, however, has not attracted the same interest. With this work,
Paul D. Lack has superbly filled that void.
Colonial Texans were most reluctant revolutionists. As late as November,
1835, they were still content with Mexican statehood. Formation of the Provi-
sional Government (November, 1835-March, 1836) only heightened friction
between the local "war" and "Tory" parties. Personalities intensified differences
between Gov. Henry Smith and the council, but whether to align with the Mexi-
can Federalists or with Santa Anna was the chief source of contention. Ultimate-
ly, Anglo feelings of racial supremacy doomed a Texas-Mexican Federalist
alliance and contributed to the desire for independence. General Houston's vic-
tory at San Jacinto rescued the faltering ad interim government (March-Septem-
ber, 1836) and gained independence.
Internal frictions persisted under the Republic. Angered by President Hous-
ton's refusal to execute Santa Anna, the army threatened rebellion. The Chero-
kees, who had honored their promise of wartime neutrality, began negotiations
with Mexican agents when Congress denied their land claims. Mirabeau B.
Lamar was elected president in 1838, largely on a promise to move the capitol
from Houston to a more western location. When he returned to office in 1841,
Houston tried unsuccessfully to abandon Austin in favor of Washington-on-the-
Brazos. Devising a land policy that was equitable to the recently arrived volun-
teers and the old colonial settlers proved extremely difficult. While the above is
familiar, Lack provides fresh insight and tells the story well.
Until now, the role played by Tejanos and slaves in the Revolution has been
suppressed. Mexican Texans were harshly treated by both armies; their property
was destroyed and their cattle run off. Although Tejanos fought at the Alamo,
Goliad, and San Jacinto, with few exceptions they were shunted aside after inde-
pendence. Santa Anna believed that Texas slaves could be induced to rebel if
they were promised emancipation. Such pledges were forthcoming, but the re-


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994, periodical, 1994; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 22, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.