History of the Texas Revolution
The First Book to Tell the Story
Today when something happens in the world, we know all about it within hours, thanks to news channels and the internet. But things were much different in 1836.
It was a time before the telegraph, when newsmen would interrogate ships' passengers for details of what was happening where they were coming from. That's how news of the Texas Revolution slowly (and at times erroneously) crawled across the continent.
One man saw an opportunity in Americans' curiosity about what had happened in Texas. He would go there and get the truth about the events straight from the mouths of the men who were involved in them.
His name was Chester Newell and that's exactly what he did. A South Carolina native, Yale man and Navy chaplain, Newell had a gift for getting people to talk to him.
Twelve months after the Battle of San Jacinto, he was sitting in the clapboard capitol, interviewing Houston, Lamar, Rusk, Wharton, and the rest. He filled notebooks with their words. He was even given unfettered access to the documents of the War Department.
The result was his History of the Texas Revolution, and it's a very special book. It's the earliest book on the events of 1835 and '36, as well as one of the first to give details about how the new republic was taking shape.
Historians love it for all its quotations from the participants, but one area where it can really fill gaps in your knowledge is in its excellent summary of Mexican history from 1821 to 1835. The Texas Revolution did not take place in a vacuum, though many writers have treated it that way. Newell gives you the context.
Another thing (among many, many other things) he gives you is the earliest account of the capture of Santa Anna from someone who was there.
He also tells you all about the dictator's meeting with Sam Houston, as related by Houston himself.
Newell's History of the Texas Revolution, is a foundational volume for any Texas history collection.
- History of the Texas Revolutions by Chester Newell
- Standard Edition Hardcover
- Satin Finish Jacket
- 188 pages