The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 12
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
to Mexican racial characteristics and sensibilities. What was
needed in Texas he said was
men, . . not open mouthed politicians, nor selfish visionary
speculators, nor jealous ambitious declamitory demagogues who
will irritate the public mind by inflamitory criticisms about tem.
porary evils and by indulging in vague surmises. We need men of
enlightened judgement, disinterested prudence, and reflection, with
a great stock of patience, unshaken perseverance and integrity of
purpose. Men who will calmly put their shoulders to the wheel
and toil for the good of others as well as for their own, and who
will be contented to rise with the country without [trying] to
force it forward prematurely to overtop the genl. level of pros-
perity by undue individual advancement. A band of such men
firmly linked together by the bonds of mutual confidence and
unity of purpose and action could and would make Texas the
garden of North America.24
He did not, of course, as we. have seen, escape misconstruction
by his own colonists, but this he philosophically recognized as
inevitable, and even necessary, in a way to the success of the colony.
To have been universally popular amongst the settlers for the
first two or three years [he said] would have endangered all, for
it would have excited vague jealousies in the [fear?] alone that I
was conciliating popular favor in order to wield it in a particular
way. To have been universally unpopular endangered all in an-
other way, for it would have totally destroyed that degree of popular
confidence and character abroad which was necessary to draw emi-
gration and it would also have deprived me of the power of con-
trouling the settlers sufficiently to have prevented them from de-
stroying themselves. . . . The reflecting and worthy part of
the settlers have always adhered to me firmly throughout, [The
other class] abused me over their grog and at times have had weight
enough to require humoring and management to keep within
bounds, but they effectually removed all suspicion that I was court-
ing the favor of a rabble for the purpose of wielding it, and in this,
way they did me and the colony a service, though without know-
ing' or intending it, and I used their abuse of me to advance the
public good and establish myself more. firmly in the confidence of
He was conservative in declaring that the "reflecting and worthy
part of the settlers" adhered to him, and they were always a vast
2'Austin to Wharton, April 24, 1829, Austin Papers.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919, periodical, 1919; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/m1/20/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.