Uncommon men spread the uncommon news of Texas. From the time a press first reached Texas in 1813 until the Civil War, some four hundred newspapers appeared to chronicle the development of a nation, then a state. Most were propaganda or special-purpose sheets that allowed their owners to support or oppose the day’s leading figures–including Mirabeau B. Lamar and Sam Houston–or causes–the Texan Revolution, annexation, Know-Nothingism, secession. A few papers brought the higher standards of journalism to Texas and preserve, through their reports and comments, much of the history they also influenced.
Gail Borden, founder of the milk company, reported on the war and independence. Adolph Douai, a German immigrant, editorialized against slavery and had to flee the state. Legs Lewis, a swashbuckling printer, helped found the King Ranch. A single editor precipitated the formal organization of the Democratic party in Texas.
An annotated checklist of Texas papers from annexation to the Civil War makes this an invaluable reference work for scholars, while the drama of the subject and the lively style make it an enthralling tale for not only Texas journalists but also all those interested in Texas history.
"Never before has any scholar attempted to catalogue and summarize the early development of journalism in the Lone Star State. Now Professor Marilyn McAdams Sibley has done it in a splendid fashion. . . . It is an excellent reference work and should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in Texas history."--Kenneth E. Hendrickson, Jr