By John Holmes Jenkins III [ed.]
Austin: Presidial Press, Brig. Gen. Jay Matthews, Publisher .
THE PAPERS OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION, 1835-1836
This series is for serious students of the Texas Revolution what Official Records of the War of the Rebellion are for scholars of the American Civil War. These ten volumes contain 4366 letters and documents from more than 300 sources, each with a note citing the source and a few with commentary. As the editor himself declared, “The most extensive collection of primary resources relating to the Texas Revolution, this set is also the largest single compilation of original source material on any Texas subject.” Some might find such a statement immodest. They would be wrong. As the old adage states, “It ain’t braggin’, if you can do it.” Jenkins did it—and well knew the magnitude of his achievement. Allan C. Ashcraft opined, “[The Papers] will stand as the major source for future research on the subject.” They have been, indeed. Yet, the series is not without its flaws. They must be the most poorly bound books in the history of Texas letters. Everyone I know who owns a set, complains that it is falling apart. My own certainly is. Another issue is its availability. These volumes have become almost impossible to locate and acquire. It would prove a project of inestimable value if some organization (or organizations) scanned all ten volumes and stored them online in a word-searchable format. Frankly, I am surprised that no one did it long ago.