DescriptionReverend Chester Newell. History of the Revolution in Texas, Particularly of the War of 1835 & '36; Together with the Latest Geographical, Topographical, and Statistical Accounts of the Country, From the Most Authentic Sources. Also, an Appendix. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1838. First edition. 12mo, x, , 215 pages. India paper fold-out map titled "Texas, 1838." Brown blind-stamped cloth over boards with gilt lettering on spine topped by a gold star. Front edge of rear board bumped. Heavy foxing on endpapers; moderate foxing throughout. Map is lightly foxed with a soiling at the left edge. Clear dust jacket.
In 1837 Rev. Chester Newell traveled through Texas for health reasons and as a result of his experiences there, wrote one of the earliest histories of the Republic. Newell's account is obviously pro-Texas, but it is more objective than many other books on the subject from that time period. Includes reviews of the history of the region while part of Mexico, the Texas revolutionary war, the region's geography, topography, statistics, soil and climate.
Historians and Texana experts call this book one of the most informative and trustworthy histories of the young Republic. One of the earliest books about the Texas Revolution to be published, (Basic Texas Books 151A) praises its value: "The work begins with an excellent summary of Mexican history from 1821 to 1835, followed by a sketch of Texas history from 1832 to 1835, ending with Cos' retreat from San Antonio. The events of 1836 are described, including quotations from participating Texans and from Mexican accounts, such as Almonte's diary. Of particular value are the account of Santa Anna's capture [and his] confrontation with Houston shortly afterwards. Newell was one of the first to seduce Sam Houston into giving particulars of the campaign... The quotations from participants are of considerable value. The descriptive portions add much to our knowledge of the early Republic.... The account is pro-Texan throughout, but more objective than many other contemporary Anglo-American versions.... Newell describes the towns of the Republic, offers advice to immigrants, analyzes the people of Texas, and projects the future. His predictions, some sage and some ludicrous, are remarkable."
The late John H. Jenkins, noted antiquarian book collector, sixth-generation Texan, and author of Audubon and Other Capers, had wonderful things to say about Newell's book, which contained Jenkins' favorite quotation about the character of Texans in the early days: "There is existing in the minds of the people in many places, if not generally, at the North, a strong and bitter prejudise [sic] against Texas. ... Because it has been represented to be the resort of criminals, of insolvent and fraudulent debtors, of outlaws, and bad characters of every description. ... No, it is believed only that a large part of the people of Texas are of the character described. Well, admitting they are, should the entire population and country be then reviled?"
References: Basic Texas Books 151. Streeter 1318. Graff 3010. Howes N115. Rader 2479. Raines, p. 154: "One of the rare and reliable books on Texas." Clark, Old South III: 215.
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